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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Large diffusers, one more try

Today I wanted to give it a try to a new combo that I bought a while ago. Is a very large reflector, the Lastolite TriGrip and its specific bracket, that not only can support the diffuser but it also has an articulated arm to hold a flash to bounce the light off the diffuser.

It started as a stand alone test but whilst trying I decided to compare the results with another big Lastolite light modifier I got myself, the 1m Umbrella Box with 7mm shaft. They both are quite large light modifiers, at least for my minimalistic studio, among the largest I can deal with my small speed light.

The distance of the light from the subject is always the same. The shutter speed and f stop too, what I had to change a bit was the flash power rating in order to compensate the light absorption by each combination. For the sake of a comparison I also put a third image shot with a small LumiQuest Softobox III, of course the difference is staggering and is not fair to the little guy, but this is not what I wanted to prove, just to show how soft the light can be with a very large diffuser.

The fist image is shot with an SB800 at ¼ power bounced off a 1,20m Lastolite TriGrip on the Softsilver side (the other side is sunlite). As you can notice the light is extremely soft yet very scattered, with much diffused shadows, but quite poor in contrast. No reflector was used on the other side and in Lightroom I adjusted a bit the contrast, clarity and sharpening (the editing of the other image shave been synchronized with this on)

For this second take I used the Lastolite Umbrella Box. Same ratings as the previous image. The light is still soft and wrapping and the shadows less diffused. Due to the lesser spill of light the image is also a bit more contrast which I like a bit more. Being much closer to a softbox, with the Umbrella you have a better control over the light and it doesn’t scatter everywhere. I like this diffuser more and more

The third image shows how the light works when diffused by a small softbox. Imagine the difference in size from a 1,2 meters TriGrip, a 1 meter Umbrella and a 20cm softbox… Too much to handle.

In this final image you can see the TriGrip and the Umbrella Box together. Remember that the TriGrip is 1,2 meters, quite a huge thing, not too easy to handle and waaaaaay shaky on a light stand. I can see myself using it during one of my fishing trip and flying away with it like a kite surf at the first breeze. Thus, it can bounce the light over a standing subject and perfectly work as a fill light.

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