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Lighting Modifiers

Oct 30, 2023

Modifiers are used to modify the quality of light sources. Here are some of the most popular:

· Umbrella – A shoot-through umbrella is an easy-to-use and affordable light modifier – all you need is a flash, a light stand and the umbrella. Widely used in portraiture, they cast diffused, even and soft light over your subject – but the light will spill over.

· Softbox – Like umbrellas, softboxes are a great modifier for beginners as there are many inexpensive options out there. Creating a soft quality of light, while allowing good control of the lighting, a softbox enables you to light your subject without illuminating the background. They’re great for portraits, and simple to set up too.

· Grid or gridbox – Lighting grids can attach to softboxes, or you can buy a separate all-in-one gridbox that can attach to your speedlight. Grids control the spill of light from your source.

· Beauty dish – A beauty dish is perfect for head and shoulder portraiture. Often used by fashion photographers, it can be described as a semi-hard light, resulting in sculpted, but not harsh, facial features.

· Octabox – Sometimes called simply an ‘octa’, the octabox creates very soft and flattering light. It’s a great on-location lighting modifier to compliment available light.

· Snoot – A cylindrical tube that fits over a light or flash, a snoot gives directional control over your light. Perfect for very high contrast portraits, or spotlighting.

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