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The importance of softbox modifiers

Last Updated 27th August 2015

Softbox modifiers! Softbox modifiers for all! We’ve now got a wide range available here at Hypop, so today I’ll discuss the importance of the softbox & the effects created by some of the most common, including the rectangle, strip & octagon.

photography studio large softbox continuous lighting kit

Almost every professional photographer has used or uses softboxes, they provide a soft light for practically any style, this includes portraiture, fashion, food, newborn, wedding – literally everything! They can be used to fill, edge & separate light. For the newbies out there – a softbox is an artificial enclosure that traps the light & diffuses it via the opening (usually covered by a white sheet also know as a diffuser or grid), where the light escapes. These are excellent for controlling where you would like the light to fall, photographers I believe are inadvertently lighting control masters. A general rule of thumb is that the larger the softbox, the softer the light.

The Rectangle –  The most widely used of them all – it produces a soft window like directional light, mostly used because of this. It is also available in a wide varierty of sizes, making it the most conventional of the range.

The Strip –  Initially created to emulate stage footlights, stripboxes create dramatic portraiture effects by helping control the spread of light making it more concentrated and directional – also making it perfect as a hair light

The Octagon – Perfect for wraparound lighting, it produces a soft & subtle even spread of light. Also available in larger sizes, the octagon is commonly used in fashion photography, perfect as a key light. Due to it’s shape, the octagon softbox catch lights will give the illusion of natural sunlight on the subject.

Another important thing to think about when working with soft boxes is the difference between the diffuser sheet and the grid (both attached usually with built in velcro lining.) Both respectively having their own effects. The diffuser sheet covering produces a softer filtered light where as the grid itself is perfect for dramatic light spill (a standard diffused softbox produces a light angle of approximately 60 degrees – the softbox with grid narrows it down to 40 degrees.

For more information visit our website or contact us on 1300 449 767.

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