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Weekly Video Tip: Umbrella vs. Soft Box Lights

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By Stephen Schweickart

There are two different ways to implement your umbrella diffusion. One, you direct your light into the umbrella and bounce it back onto your subject. Second, you can blast the light directly through the umbrella to light your subject. Both techniques will produce soft lighting that can mimic outdoor lighting when using a high-intensity bulb.

Soft boxes, also known as ‘Lightbanks,’ create a more directional light source. They produce a narrow range of field allowing for more control over the light on your subject. You can also add ‘a grid’ to the inside of the soft box to diffuse the light even more. It creates a soft look similar to light produced by a window which makes skin appear smoother. Since the light coming through a soft box is already being diffused, the bulb doesn’t need to be as bright or as intense as umbrella diffusion requires.

With so many ways and recommendations for lighting, I’m going to give you a basic break down. If you’re looking for a smoother look and more control, use soft box diffusion for your subjects, like people. Umbrella diffusion lights a broader area making it ideal for backdrops and on location shoots, but make sure your talent is far enough away from the background to prevent light spill.

Remember that your setup will definitely change depending on the look you’re wanting to create. Now, shine a little light on that subscribe button below and let me brighten your week with more helpful video tips.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic visit VScreen’s site at www.vscreen.com.

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