Photo Studio Softboxes and Diffusers
A softbox is an enclosure used in photography to diffuse light escaping from a source. The walls of the box cover a light source on all sides. When taking a photo, the diffuser helps to spread the lighting of a scene to produce soft light with soft-edged shadows.What are the different types of diffusers?
- Dome: Bigger domes enable rays to bounce more evenly, and the subject is lit evenly for the photo. Domes offer wide working areas where rays can be bounced off or directed.
- Omni Bounce Dome: White material is used to cover the flash-head. One works the dome by scattering the beam to bigger spaces around it, making rays simultaneously bounce off of many spots.
- Flash Softbox: These are used to diffuse beams from small sources like candles which tend to emit harsh contrasted lighting. This equipment tries to create the softest shadows possible using controlled light.
- Studio Umbrella: This is the most widely used equipment in photo studios. It is made with an uneven surface that facilitates the reflection in random directions, hence diffusing the rays. Diffusion cloths are used alongside the umbrella for better light distribution.
- Flash Reflectors: These do not directly cover the beam of light. Instead, the white material is used around the flash to bounce the beam.
Softboxes, which are attached to a stand, come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but all kinds can be used to for different purposes. Large ones produce softer lights. However, it also requires the source to have a larger output in order to completely fill the equipment. They are also portable.
Smaller types are ideal for mobility purposes and where subjects are at extremely close range. Multiple ones can be used for full-body or group shots. The general rule of thumb that governs the choice of the softbox is that its size should be approximately equal to that of the subject. The different shapes allow photographers to adjust the quality of light. Common shapes include thin long strips, rectangular, octagonal, and square. These can be combined to produce a well-rounded photograph.What are the tips for effective use of these devices?
In order to achieve accuracy, you should take into account the following tips:
- Before doing an important photo shoot, it is vital to practice beforehand by trying different techniques.
- Take note of the structures around you like walls and ceilings. When stray light bounces off such structures, it can lead to images tinted with the color of the structures.
- Digital cameras are ideal photography tools for experimenting in your studio with your lighting equipment since results are immediate.
- When capturing images, better diffusion is achieved when more flash power is used.
- Wide apertures can be used as the substitute for a powerful beam by facilitating the direction of light away from the object.
- Your softbox and diffuser, as well as any other complementary equipment, must be compatible with the camera.