Question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by inhifistereo6, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. inhifistereo6

    inhifistereo6 TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone, I'm brand new here. I'm also fairly new to photography as well.

    I have a question regarding different lighting equipment. What is the difference between a softbox, beauty dish, and umbrella? I realize they are used for different types of lighting situations, but I'm having trouble figuring out which one is the best to start with in terms of learning studio lighting. I'm primarily interested in portrait and glamour photography.

    I'm in the market for an Alien Bees strobe, but grad school is keeping me from that for now. Not long to go though. Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    The most basic is the umbrella. It basically enlarges the light source, which makes it softer. Soft is usually good. The problem with umbrellas is that they spill light all over the place.

    I would suggest a softbox. They enlarge the light source to soften it and they also allow you to more precisely control the direction of the light.

    A beauty dish is a more specific light source, which produces a specific effect. It is often used for 'glamor/fashion' type stuff but I don't know if that is something that you want to start with.
     
  3. henryp

    henryp TPF Noob!

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    The choice of soft-box or umbrella is not either-or. Each has a purpose. In my traditional 4-light portrait setup I usually use an umbrella for my fill light and a soft box for my main because i want the main light to be more directional and the fill to be more of an overall wash of illumination.
     

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