Light modifiers compared: when to use beauty dish, softbox or umbrella

Sep 18, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Light modifiers compared: when to use beauty dish, softbox or umbrella

Sep 18, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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There are different ways to modify studio lights and adapt them to your shooting needs. In this video, Manny Ortiz compares three popular modifiers: a beauty dish, a softbox, and an umbrella. He uses all three in the studio to show you what to expect from them and how to use them to achieve a nice, flattering light.

YouTube video

Beauty dish

A beauty dish serves to sculpt and to give emphasis to someone’s facial features. The quality of light you get from a beauty dish is a harsh light, so you’ll have strong highlights and shadows. You can use a diffuser to soften the light.

Make sure to place the modifier right above the model’s face to get the most flattering results. If you start moving it to the side, at a 45-degree angle, the light won’t be as flattering.

Softbox

The softbox Manny uses in the video is Westcott Rapid Box Switch Octa-M 36″. It has two diffusion panels and gives a very soft, flattering light.

Unlike the beauty dish, when you put this modifier at a 45-degree angle, you’ll still get flattering light. The Octabox is so big that the light wraps around the model’s face and creates much softer shadows.

Umbrella

Umbrella is a cheap modifier and it’s great for the studio. It’s not always the best solution for shooting outdoors though, because you might have to deal with the wind blowing it over.

When shooting with an umbrella, keep in mind that the light will be bouncing everywhere. You do get a nice and soft light, but not as soft as the double-diffused softbox.

Still, even when you move the light to the side, you’ll get a nice, flattering light on the model’s face.

To sum up, there is no one modifier that covers everything. It all depends on the look you’re going for, and you should pick the modifier accordingly. Hopefully, this video helped you get acquainted with these three popular modifiers and learn what you can get from them.

[Beauty dish vs Softbox vs Umbrella | Light Modifiers Compared! | Manny Ortiz]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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