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  1. #1

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    softbox shape and its effect on light..?

    Just wondering whats the difference of a bit square soft box or the octagonal ones... Obviously the light must be shaped differently but is it obvious?

    Thanks
    Doug
    www.detunephotography.com

  2. #2
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I think that much of it has to do with the desired shape of catchlights in the eyes in portraits and reflections in shiny objects.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  3. #3
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam
    I think that much of it has to do with the desired shape of catchlights in the eyes in portraits and reflections in shiny objects.
    Yes, in some cases, but more so I feel to provide maximum surface area with shallow depth, the main point of a soft box being to increase the physical size of the light source, so the "highlight" is larger than the subject, and the light wraps the subject evenly from a greater arc of angles. What we call soft light could also be called large light. Not about intensity, but size.

  4. #4
    bjorke's Avatar
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    The spill shape will change too. The bigger the box and the closer it is to the subject, the more you'll see a difference.

    IIRC, http://www.photoflexlightingschool.com/ has some pages relating to different types (essentially some sample setups to show you why you need to buy their various sorts of kit)

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  5. #5
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke
    The spill shape will change too. The bigger the box and the closer it is to the subject, the more you'll see a difference.

    IIRC, http://www.photoflexlightingschool.com/ has some pages relating to different types (essentially some sample setups to show you why you need to buy their various sorts of kit)
    THANK YOU!!! (Three exclamation points) for that site! There is a WORLD of useful information here. I've only skimmed superficially, but I'm sure that it will intrude on my busy (argggh!) schedule in the future.

    I thought I knew a little about studio lighting. Now I realize just how little I know!
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  6. #6

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    An area Pro prefers umbrellas with diffusers to softboxes. One reason is the catchlight is more natural.

    Also, Thank you for the above link - much to learn.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  7. #7
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughowk
    An area Pro prefers umbrellas with diffusers to softboxes. One reason is the catchlight is more natural.

    Also, Thank you for the above link - much to learn.
    The problem with umbrellas is that the light sprays everywhere and is not controlled the same as with a softbox. If a person has a catchlight fetish and only likes round ones you can buy an insert for a softbox that makes it round.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam
    I think that much of it has to do with the desired shape of catchlights in the eyes in portraits and reflections in shiny objects.
    The square boxes will make the catch-lights in the eyes (and other highly reflective surfaces) look like window light.
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray

  9. #9
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    The problem with umbrellas is that the light sprays everywhere and is not controlled the same as with a softbox. If a person has a catchlight fetish and only likes round ones you can buy an insert for a softbox that makes it round.

    Michael
    I've never liked umbrellas, especially big ones. They are too self-filling. I like to have more control over the light. Small light boxes or hard lights.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  10. #10
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam
    I've never liked umbrellas, especially big ones. They are too self-filling. I like to have more control over the light. Small light boxes or hard lights.
    Umbrellas make great fill lights. But for main lights, head and shoulders to 3/4, I prefer 24x36 softboxes. Any bigger and I find the light too mushy.

    I also have parabolics for harder light, mola for a bit softer and a bunch or different softboxes as well as grid spots.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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