A grid snoot is a great light shaper for photographers who want to throw a little light into a tight spot or highlight a select part of a scene, or cast a beam across a surface.
There are two different types of snoot out there when it comes to flashes. You’ve got your regular snoots, which essentially act like a cylindrical flag around your light that blocks off any light not travelling directly ahead. Then you’ve got optical snoots, which incorporate some kind of lens, letting you project the light.
In this video, photographer David Bergman shows off how both types of snoot work but with the main focus being on optical snoots, using the Light Blaster – a popular optical snoot designed primarily for speedlights but that can also be adapted to studio strobes.
When photographers use terms like ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ light, it’s actually incredibly vague. You would rarely describe your meal as simply a ‘meat’ dish, so when a photographer says they are using hard light in a portrait, it’s just as open to interpretation as your mystery-meat.
Hard light can be anything from strong sunlight, to snoots, grids or even simple barn doors in a studio. But even with all that, none come close to the true crisp, brilliantly contrasty light of ‘Optical Snoots’.