A LITTLE EXPERIMENT WITH LIGHTING MODIFIERS

 

This section contains a comparison of common lighting sources and modifiers.  As with so many comparisons, there is some artificiality in this experiment.  All of the lighting sources were placed at the same distance (4') from the subject at very nearly the same output.  As a result, many of the sources were not at their ideal working distance.  The setup for the experiment is shown in the diagram below.  This shooting environment, a moderate-to-large-sized room with an 8' ceiling, is likely similar to that used by many in-home shooters.  In each case, the main (modifier) light was set to an output  2 f-stops more powerful than the fill light.  This difference allowed the shadow characteristics of each modifier to be visible, while keeping the overall lighting contrast within a useful range.  The images were roughly color balanced and carefully density matched at two areas of diffuse facial highlight. 

 

7.5" COARSE GRID

7.5" FINE GRID

STD. 7" REFLECTOR

24" BEAUTY DISH

16" PARABOLIC

46" SILVER UMBRELLA

24" SQ. SOFTBOX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on thumbnail for a larger image and some babble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

60" SHOOT-THROUGH

60" UMBRELLA

LARGE SOFTBOX

BAFFLED BARE BULB

BARE-BULB STROBE

 

 

39" UMBRELLA

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIUM SOFTLIGHTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MODIFIERS COMPARED