Thursday, 3 February 2011

Exercise 36 - Softening the Light

For this exercise I need to take a photo of a still life arrangement using a hard light source and a diffused light source.

I'm quite into photographic lighting so this is an interesting task for me. I currently use two flash units with a few different diffuser 'toys' as well as a pretty good softbox add on.

I do have, as part of my wedding photography, a studio kit with two lights, but I'm going to stick to the flash heads - strobist style for this exercise.

Hard Light Source:

Diffused Light Source:

What are the differences?

The bird is useful here for showing the difference as the hard, small flash light can be seen in the bird's reflective head and the larger source is less easy to make out.
The shadows of the first photo are hard and dominant whereas the shadows in the second photo are more diffused and softer.
The last difference is that the detail of the textures are more prominent with the hard light whereas the softer light fills in the cracks, one of the reasons why its so popular with older people for portraits!

here is my set up:

 The small hard light was a canon 430EX II on a light stand to the side of the objects photographed.

The softer light source was the same flash, using the same settings (I think it was 1/16th on manual).
the difference is the softbox that has been added.
This isn't a true softbox as the light is only diffused through the large white material, when it should be diffused through two pieces of material. But it was a cheap eBay version of the Lastolite EasyBox

It serves the purpose though and it was a fraction of the price!

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