The Phoblographer’s Guide on How to Use a Softbox for Newbies

Think about a softbox. And then think about a hose and the water spraying out. If the hose doesn’t have much of a nozzle on it, then the water is just going to spray. But consider one of those nozzles with lots of different shapes. Twist it one way, and the water will come out very tight and concentrated. Twist it another way and the water will come out almost like a showerhead. Twist it again, the water may come out more wide–perfect for getting lots of your friends wet during the summer. Think about all this when we explain how a softbox works.

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Quick Lighting Tip: How Light Diffusion Can Sometimes Kill Details in a Photo

Is diffusion always a good thing when it comes to photography?

Diffusion: in regards to photography, this is the softening of light as it pertains to the quality of it. There is hard light which is often much less diffused while soft light is very diffused. Diffusion can break things known as specular highlights–which are little bits of light and details that come out due to the illumination found with light. Flash duration and a number of other things also play a role. But with diffusion, light’s super powers can be nullified.

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Camera Bag Review: Portage Supply Kenora Backpack (4th Generation)

The Portage Supply Kenora Backpack didn’t seem all that amazing; that is until I used it for a few months!

When I was first told about the Portage Supply Kenora Backpack by my buddy Travis, I went out and bought the 3rd generation backpack off of Amazon. But after establishing a press relationship with the company, I was told about their 4th generation backpack, and for everyday use this has to be one of the best options that isn’t a roll top camera bag. The Portage Supply Kenora Backpack has it all: looks, ruggedness, leather, canvas, quick access, and most importantly it’s comfortable. In fact, it’s the only backpack that I like that doesn’t have straps to secure it around your chest. Why? Well, in real life use I realized that the design is in such a way that it doesn’t need them. Yes, seriously–it doesn’t need them.

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Review: Blackforest Bags K2 Leather Edition (A Proper Man-Purse of a Camera Bag)

The Blackforest Bags K2 Leather Edition looks nice if you’re into Gucci.

When the Blackforest Bags K2 Leather Edition came in for review, the first thing I thought about is how much it looks like a man purse. I’ve reviewed tons of stylish camera bags before, but more than anything else that I’ve used, the Blackforest Bags K2 Leather Edition seems best meant to accompany your super high end camera. Yet the Blackforest Bags K2 Leather Edition isn’t available at a super high end price. This version is the all-leather option, but there are offerings with canvas if you please. It’s not going to hold a laptop or most computing devices, but it will be more than enough for most things you’ll need to have with you while out shooting.

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Tutorial: The Differences Between a Parabolic Umbrella and a Beauty Dish

Photographer Anita Sedowska takes us through what a parabolic umbrella and a beauty dish do for portraiture.

When it comes to portrait photography there is no doubt in my mind that softboxes are the most popular diffusers, but parabolic umbrellas and beauty dishes are also a favorite of many photographers. If you’re just getting into lighting, then it can be difficult to look at an image and determine whether a softbox, umbrella, or beauty dish was used to shoot it. Anita Sedowska takes you through this in her latest tutorial video which you’ll find after the jump, but we thought that we’d go into our archives to dig even deeper.

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The Hasselblad XCD 21mm f4 Lens Renders a 17mm Field of View for $3,750

The new Hasselblad XCD 21mm f4 lens could be perfect for landscape photographers

Photographers who choose to pay the seriously high price tag of the Hasselblad X series cameras and lenses will be delighted to know that more of their hard earned money can potentially go to the Hasselblad XCD 21mm f4. This lens delivers a 17mm full frame in 35mm field of view, and is the widest lens to be delivered to the Hasselblad mirrorless system so far. What you need to know is that the lens can focus as closely at 32cm and that they’re targeting it at landscape and interior photographers. The press release is after the jump.

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How to Use a Softbox: A Visual Guide for the Photographer New to Lighting

Give lots of photographers a softbox and they’ll know nothing about using one; but it makes lighting so easy

Over the years, I’ve used many different lighting modifiers, but one of the mainstays has always been a variation of the traditional photography softbox. Along with the umbrella, it’s arguably the most popular option on the market. Photographers of all types use them, but they’re perhaps most commonly employed with studio portraiture and headshots. Softboxes take the fundamental values of light and find a way to shape and mold it. To understand this a bit better, think about how fairy lights, a desk lamp, and ceiling lights all affect a room differently. They’re all different shapes, sizes, and are placed in different ways. This idea will help you get through this article and ultimately guide you on how to use one. But in the end, you’ll need to figure out whether or not you actually need one.

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Westcott Announces New Line of Pro Softboxes


Westcott has been known for their Apollo softboxes for a very long time and are used by many professionals that want excellent quality for a good price. Their umbrellas are pretty awesome too. The company is once again trying to make a mark with the announcement of their brand new Pro Softboxes. They’re pitching the new modifiers at both photographers and videographers, and come with a 5-year warranty.

As for the construction, they feature double layer heat shield fabric (which is essential for tungsten lights), sprung steel rods to keep the shape and form, and tent style vents. The softboxes come in a 36 x 48 for $169.90, 24 x 32 for $129.90, and a 16 x 22 for $99 at the moment. But there are more in the works with silver and white interiors.

Also be sure to check Adorama for their listings.