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Learn the basics of Portrait Photography in Part II of this video tutorial, covering the essentials on timing, posing, and cropping.


Umbrella or SoftBox?

Gia Hillenbrand , Oct 12, 2009; 02:22 p.m.

Hi-

I am creating a IN-Home studio and will be using HotShoe flashes. Do you suggest I use an umbrella or softbox for portaits?

I assume I will want an umbrella for the larger (mid body and full length), but do you think I should get a softbox? or maybe one of the softboax's that look like an umbrella? (wrap around lights with the white towards the subject)

I am going to be making a DIY Beauty Dish for the key light-

All are slaves-

Thanks! I am also thinking about getting a small work light if I cant find one more flash for a continous light (side lighting) and for that I will use a DIY diffusser (empty cranvas frame and some either material ir shower curtain - or both removable for various uses)

thanks

Responses


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Garry Edwards , Oct 12, 2009; 02:28 p.m.

This article will explain the differences between umbrellas and softboxes, and will also tell you what beauty dishes are - and what they are not. Personally I would forget about something that will go on a hotshoe flash.
Using a hotlight with a non-fireproofed diffuser may produce interesting results that aren't welcome, as well as producing a very strange colour of light. Flash and tungsten lights really don't mix that well.

Tom Meyer , Oct 12, 2009; 03:01 p.m.

most in home studios are fairly small. If yours is, soft boxes, or umbrerlla boxes would be superior, just to control the light better. Umbrellas tend to be harder to direct, specifically.

The umbrella box that is easiest to control, is the Westcott Apollo, which has a deeply recessed face. It is not that easy to point in unusual directions, (like down).

Given that you can get a pretty nice umbrella for under $50, you should have both an umbrella (or two, different sizes or even one white and one silver) and a soft box (or two of different sizes, or even one strip light).

Avoid mixing tungsten with strobe, for the very reason Gary states in his post, above... t


two softboxes, 16x20 at back spills on to background, 36x36 as main, set close

Gia Hillenbrand , Oct 13, 2009; 02:19 a.m.

Thanks guys, but i did not say I was going to mix them - I said I was thinking about getting them...in place of hot flashes... perhaps that was not clear.

The are more for fill that I am asking, and I have decided on Hot Flashes with syncing...

tight budget, and yes, tight space. You start small, and build.

I wish there was a softbox for the flashes, bit I dont see any...so umbrella it is - and I also found a convertible one - bit still unsure about it until I see it in person.

My backdrop will be white, blown out. If needed, I will add gels. There will be 2 separate lights for that and placed (and setup) in a way that the light for the backdrop does not spill or wrap on subject.
Thanks! I appreciate ur comments.

Hosteen Yendikeno , Oct 13, 2009; 02:21 p.m.

'I wish there was a softbox for the flashes, bit I dont see any...so umbrella it is - and I also found a convertible one - bit still unsure about it until I see it in person.'

There are any number of softboxes available for hotshoe flashes from vendors such as B&H or Adorama. Do a search on their sites and you'll see listings from a number of manufacturers. Also, you might want to check this site - http://www.alzodigital.com, as they make a relatively inexpensive softbox as well.

C. F. , Oct 13, 2009; 03:46 p.m.

If you want something and don't see it, DIY. Google DIY Photography and you'll be surprised with results.
Good luck and enjoy it

Adam

Gia Hillenbrand , Oct 13, 2009; 08:42 p.m.

Thanks Again!

Tom Meyer , Oct 13, 2009; 10:47 p.m.

"I am also thinking about getting a small work light if I cant find one more flash for a continous light "
"i did not say I was going to mix them - I said I was thinking about getting them...in place of hot flashes... perhaps that was not clear. "

Pretty not clear, I'd say.

To put a hotshoe type flash in a soft box, here are a few options:

Lastolite

Photoflex

Westcott

Good luck... t

Gia Hillenbrand , Oct 14, 2009; 12:41 p.m.

Hello All-

I think I foind what I would need---

Its a Softlighter II.
Not to expensive either. I can use it as a 'softbox', a relector, a warming reflector, and if I am misten a "Beauty Light" (for lighting close ups)...

What do you think?

Hosteen Yendikeno , Oct 14, 2009; 09:05 p.m.

I have never used one myself, but have read many good reports about it. A lot of people use it, and seem to be very satisfied. Have fun with your new toy! :-)


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