Comparing 7 Common Light Modifiers

comp-7-modifiers_01

Guest post by Robert Mitchell. Hit the bottom of the post to see his links.

When assembling a lighting kit, it’s very difficult to know which modifiers are best for the type of work you want to do, and sometimes you don’t know or are discovering what you want to shoot. There are reflectors, umbrellas, square and rectangular softboxes, octabanks and a wide variety of accessories to shape and alter the quality of light.

So how do you know what’s best for you?

In many cases you don’t. If you have no experience then you don’t have any preferences formed and most of the tech talk is of no use to you and makes little sense. One person’s preference may not at all be what you like and it may not work within your budget.

I’ve chosen 7 common light modifiers of varying sizes and shapes, and I’m using modifiers that are , for the most part, inexpensive. Nothing very small and nothing terribly large. This is not an in-depth review, nor is it a light modifier showdown.

[Read more…]

Can DIY Modifiers Compete Against Pro Grade Modifiers?

Last week I wrote about why you would want to do a DIY photography project, but can it match up to pro gear? Challenge… Accepted!

This week I did a whole photoshoot using only DIY modifiers for main lights. With the help of my girlfriend and her friends to model for me, the challenge was on.

diy-vs-pro

The idea behind challenge was to prove that making your own modifiers and equipment is not all that bad compared to branded expensive material. (And before the first comment starts coming in, let me say that I do own a couple of Westcott softboxes and umbrellas, and I use them when needed or when working with high end clients, I just really like my DIY’s).

[Read more…]

Just Fab’s Turkey Pan Beauty Dish

just_fab_beauty_dish_00Beauty Dish for the Mechanically challenged a guest post by Just Fab

I had the honor of being photographed by one of my mentors, Don Giannatti (Wizwow on flickr) the other day after attending one of his fantastic lighting seminars. He chose to use a beauty dish on me. I love the way beauty dishes look, especially the way it sculpts the edges of my roundish face. Soft concentrated light which falls off quickly. You can learn more about the merits of the beauty dish on Don’s site.

Most of my inspiration for lighting setups come from that site and DVD. Anyway, I was so excited when I saw the images I knew I had to come up with something that could recreate the look that was portable and wouldn’t break the bank. Although I am handy with PVC pipes, my ability to use power tools are in question. I was thinking of cutting out a hole in a wok or mixing bowl, but I still couldn’t figure out how to rig it to reflect the concentrated beam back into the dish, plus my lighting stand would probably never stay upright with that kind of weight.

[Read more…]

Studio Lighting – Flash Mounted homemade DIY Beauty Dish or From Soup Dish to Beauty Dish

flash beauty dishDo you know why they call this piece of studio equipment “Beauty Dish”? Because it make people look beautiful. The idea is similar to other diffusion ideas – the more diffusion you put in your light, the softer the image is. This idea is widely deployed in photography studios – the softbox, the beauty dishes and the reflector disc all work on close principles.

The unique thing about a Beauty Dish is the way that it diffuses light – unlike a softbox or a reflector which has an “illuminating” surface the beauty dish has a circle of light with an opaque center. Now, what all this has to do with soup. You will soon find out. [Read more…]