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Light Modifiers

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 7D Mk II review images portraits Bec (1 of 1)ISO 2501-250 sec at f - 4.0

With WPPI just on the horizon, we’re releasing our Portrait Gear Guide for the early portion of 2015. We’re breaking this down into lighting, lenses, and light modifiers that we strongly recommend from our own uses.

With that said though, we’d like to remind you that gear isn’t the end all be all, it’s the photographer that still creates the images.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art Lens Review images (13 of 13)ISO 4001-160 sec at f - 1.4

By definition, soft lighting has to do with the quality of the shadows. Generally, the darker the shadows and the less details that you can see in them, the harder the light. The lighter the shadows and the more details you can see in them, the softer the light. Many photographers and portrait subjects love being shot in soft light. Soft light indeed can beautiful but creating it in various situations can be tough.

Here’s how.

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4808_SB-700-AF-Speedlight-front Many think of flash as a tool you use only when there isn’t enough available light to shoot with. If it’s dark, simply pop up the built-in flash and make the photograph. Never mind that the photographs don’t look especially good. The direct, hard lighting a speedlight delivers may not produce fine-art, but at least it ensures that we got something usable. However, flash can be an incredible creative tool especially when you have the flexibility of an external flash to work with. It’s an investment that provides more than just power, but choices that can improve the look of a photograph. [click to continue…]

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Replichrome Astia on Fujifilm rendering (1 of 1)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.4

Lots of photographers try to make things simple when it comes to lighting by working with a single source of illumination. And to be honest, we don’t blame them. When you work with lots of lights, you’ll need to learn ratios and have a better idea of how you want the illumination from the lights to work. So working with one artificial light is usually one of the simplest and most portable way to create images.

Here are some of the best ways to do just that.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EM5 Link Cosplay shoot (11 of 23)ISO 200

When it comes to light, your images don’t need to look like there was flash added to them. In fact, some of the best photographers try to not fight natural light, but augment what it can do with flash by adding just the right amounts in specific spots. Doing this takes a lot of shooting and experimenting followed by careful analysis of what you actually are doing to make the changes in camera look like what you want them to.

And to do this, you don’t need anything extraordinary or amazingly fancy.

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When I heard about the MagMod, it piqued my interest. Originally announced on Kickstarter, the project is already well past it’s goal on Kickstarter and rightfully so. The Magmod is a magnetic flash modifier which eliminates velcro, straps and adhesives. The Modifiers are made from a single piece of silicone rubber and it’s one size fits all. They say it works with anything from the Nikon SB600 or an old Sunpack Auto30DX to the the Canon 600EX and Nikon SB900. The MagMod comes with a modular flexible honeycomb grid and a MagGel kit.

More details are after the jump.

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