Do I already know the answer?


TPF Noob!
Sep 26, 2010
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Ok I have a question. I probably may know the answer but I'm thinking of adding a grid to my softbox to narrow the light so it's not sooo soft and spilling everywhere. So my question... or maybe I just need a confirmation on this: a grid would add more contrast as well right? This ismy goal as well.... to get a stronger contrast in my lighting.
It is just to concentrate the flash to small area like a snoot.
It may increase the contrast, depending on how much light spilled out everywhere and was reflected back into the scene.
A grid by itself, may add a little contrast as it basically turns one light source into many tiny light sources. Just thinking out loud....without the grid, light from every spot of the softbox, can reach any part of your subject that has line-of-sight to it. But with a grid, the farthest side of the soft box may not give any light to the closest part of the subject (if the softbox is not too far back and pointed directly at the subject.

But for the most part, when I think of a grid, it's use is to further constrain the spread of light. In a large open space, spilled light may not affect your photo, but in a smaller space, spilled light may bounce off of surfaces around your subject, which could certainly limit/lower your contrast.
Of course, a tighter 'beam' of light from the softbox, also allows you to be more specific about where you have light, and where you have none/less.
You will also be able to position it farther back behind the model without light going into your lens, and it will also reduce the power of your light
Thanks all! Didn't mean to post and run but my son has been sick. Anyways thanks all for your explanation! Gsgary I forgot about how it reduces the power... So I'm def gonna have to bump up the power a stop or two from how I normally have it set? I use ab's.
Instead of a grid, try flagging the edges of the soft box to control the spill to the sides but keeping the light quality from the box intact. This should give you more defined edges to the light and you can then control where it spills by slightly turning the softbox/light stand.
Thanks Tony... I will try that!

One more question... does the grid show up in the catchlights of an eye?

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