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Reflectors and diffusers

From: Up and Running with Studio Strobes

Video: Reflectors and diffusers

On it's own, the light coming out of this device is pretty intense, right? What we have is a highly reflective surface,

Reflectors and diffusers

On it's own, the light coming out of this device is pretty intense, right? >> Yeah, it's hard. It's not focused. It is just a bulb. >> And that's a lot of light. And while having a lot of light is good, having control over the light is better. Now the good news is, is that chances are your kit comes with some sort of lighting control. What I've got here is actually the ability to put basically this unit on the front. I push a button here, you see, it comes right off. There's the exposed bulb. I could push that in and just turn it to lock.

There we go. And now it's on there, easy enough. And that's pretty straightforward. You've got two different ones there. >> Right. So, you know? They'll come in different sizes. They serve different purposes. We'll actually talk about this in greater detail, but in this case, it's a slightly different attachment. And I can just slide that on, let go, and this is going to focus the light and allow me to control where it's going to go, as opposed to this, which, light's going to go everywhere. >> Yeah. Without the ability of putting this sort of on there, what's going to happen is the light is going to radiate in all directions.

This is much like a spotlight, and it's going to take that light, bounce it through the surface here, and push it out in one direction. Now that's great, and that's going to provide some directional control. But it's still, at that point, kind of harsh light, right? >> Right. And you know, there's times you want harsh light, and there's times when you want a softer light, or a softer look. And that's where the diffuser part comes in and we have a couple of examples or ways that you can soften the light. Directly in front of me is a soft box, these are very popular these days and it literally takes what is a strong hard light and disperses it across this front area and I have nice control over it.

>> Yeah, just compare the surface area. The opening here. Versus this giant opening here. Chances are, this is going to do a better job of spreading that light over your portrait. This is a large enough soft box to easily do a bust portrait. And they make them even bigger. An alternative to that or, can also be used in conjunction, is basically, you know, it looks like the little car umbrella that you might have. But if I pop this open here, you see it's not an umbrella for the rain. What we have is a highly reflective surface, and so this could be attached to the light.

There is usually a holder right in here, and what's going to happen with that, Otto? >> Well, the light's going to shoot into the umbrella, and instead of it being this very small surface area. It's going to actually disperse it, and it's almost like having a giant light, and this light is going to be very soft, so it's great if you have large groups. >> Yeah. >> Or if you want just that soft light to wrap around your talent. >> Essentially you're bouncing the light, dispersing it over a wider surface area, and reflecting it back on your subject. And remember, the good news here is that these lights are really powerful, so it's not like you're taking a little speed light and popping it in here.

You're shooting off a bunch of light, it's going to spread back and come back quite nicely. So pretty straightforward stuff. So as you go through your kit, get familiar with what you have or, as you're building a kit, make sure you pick up a few things. Personally, I use soft boxes more than umbrellas, but you nailed it. If I'm shooting a larger shot or a group shot Nothing beats the umbrella. That's going to spread it out over a much bigger area. While I prefer this for portrait. How about you? Do you have a favorite? >> Well I'm a softbox person myself. I like to be able to know where the light cuts off.

Umbrellas are hard to control. It can flood over to the background, though they're quick. They're easy. >> They're cheaper. >> Yeah. Sometimes they're silver, sometimes they're white. But you'll learn that a mix of these elements can give you the exact shot that you wanted. So that's why you have so many different modifiers, because you want to control the light in a specific way to get the exact shot that you want.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Studio Strobes
Up and Running with Studio Strobes

62 video lessons · 5298 viewers

Richard Harrington and Abba Shapiro
Author

 
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  1. 4m 6s
    1. Welcome
      2m 4s
    2. What you should know to get the most from this course
      2m 2s
  2. 6m 26s
    1. Shooting with strobes
      1m 23s
    2. Strobe lighting allows you to shoot with an increased depth of field
      58s
    3. Strobe lighting has faster recharge times than flashes
      1m 39s
    4. Strobe lighting is good at freezing action
      48s
    5. Strobe lighting offers many modifiers to shape light
      1m 38s
  3. 7m 34s
    1. Continuous lighting is easier for a beginner to understand
      1m 47s
    2. Continuous lighting makes it easier to achieve soft-light looks
      2m 57s
    3. Continuous lighting is useful if mixing video into the shoot
      2m 50s
  4. 20m 47s
    1. Buying piecemeal vs. buying a kit
      2m 29s
    2. Criteria for selecting lights
      5m 57s
    3. How many lights do you need?
      3m 0s
    4. How much power do you need
      5m 37s
    5. Mixing brands
      3m 44s
  5. 16m 40s
    1. Monolights and flash heads
      2m 22s
    2. Reflectors and diffusers
      3m 54s
    3. Lighting stands and booms
      3m 49s
    4. Power pack or power supplies
      4m 29s
    5. Sync cable
      2m 6s
  6. 19m 7s
    1. Handling the lamp or bulb
      2m 52s
    2. The role of the modeling light
      4m 36s
    3. Keeping lights cool
      1m 46s
    4. The master and slave relationship for lighting
      4m 5s
    5. Essential controls
      5m 48s
  7. 14m 59s
    1. Connecting the sync cable
      3m 16s
    2. Using a wireless transmitter
      7m 7s
    3. Slaving with a speedlight
      4m 36s
  8. 34m 6s
    1. Setting shutter sync speed
      4m 56s
    2. Setting an initial aperture and ISO
      2m 28s
    3. Controlling power output
      3m 1s
    4. Moving lights (the inverse-square rule)
      2m 8s
    5. Using a light meter in camera
      4m 4s
    6. Using an external light meter
      1m 45s
    7. Test shooting with one light at a time
      2m 5s
    8. Putting it all together
      1m 39s
    9. Controlling exposure with power or aperture
      1m 6s
    10. Refining exposure with ISO
      1m 39s
    11. Tethering to a laptop
      5m 22s
    12. Checking the shots on a computer
      3m 53s
  9. 31m 38s
    1. Modifying strobe lights
      1m 9s
    2. Bouncing the light with a reflector
      4m 26s
    3. Bouncing the light with a bounce card
      1m 12s
    4. Shaping the light with a beauty dish
      3m 5s
    5. Diffusing the light with an umbrella
      5m 50s
    6. Diffusing the light with a softbox
      4m 49s
    7. Focusing the light with a snoot
      6m 58s
    8. Modeling the light with grids and honeycombs
      2m 2s
    9. Using flags to restrict the light
      2m 7s
  10. 14m 50s
    1. Three-light setup
      6m 52s
    2. Three-light dramatic portrait
      4m 59s
    3. Four-light setup
      2m 59s
  11. 46m 56s
    1. Take the challenge
      55s
    2. Solution
      29s
    3. Portrait challenge 1
      8m 6s
    4. Portrait challenge 2
      3m 10s
    5. Portrait challenge 3
      12m 55s
    6. Portrait challenge 4
      3m 19s
    7. Portrait challenge 5
      4m 28s
    8. Portrait challenge 6
      9m 5s
    9. Portrait challenge 7
      4m 29s
  12. 39s
    1. Next steps
      39s

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