Tip: An Ice Container Is a Great Way to Shape Light

Sometimes all you need to boost your creativity is to play around with light.

If you’ve been into lighting for many years, then you know what a Gobo is. For the rest of us, a Gobo is basically anything that goes between a light and the subject. A softbox can be a Gobo, but the vernacular refers to it being more homemade and put together. It’s designed to shape light. Sometimes all you need is a bit of light shaping.

The Profoto B10 was used to photograph a number of the products we’re featuring in the next few months. While in my condo, I decided to mess around with light for some new concepts. Most of the time I don’t like shooting with natural light. It’s not punchy, and it doesn’t let me be really feel creative. It feels like I’m capturing a photo instead of creating my own light. I created my own light here by using an ice container and a plastic trash bag.

The idea is that a softbox uses two levels of diffusion. So, this way, what I created was something like a strip softbox. The plastic layer of the icebox, along with the trash bag, added diffusion and made the light resemble soft window light. What is also worth noting is the box is larger than the products I’m photographing, which makes the light seem softer. This is due to the rule that the larger and closer the light source is to the subject, the softer the light will be. That means the shadows will be more delicate.

I encourage you all to be creative this weekend too and to try making your own Gobo. Experiment. Play around. Have fun.

Editor’s Note: Sony KANDO trip was fully paid for by Sony. The Phoblographer’s Editors are trained to resist the temptation to deliver “good” reviews and just be transparent instead. In this particular case, I spent a day in my condo working and not doing all the rest of that fun stuff.