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  1. #1
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    Default How to soften my portrait studio lighting

    I am no expert in studio portraits and the lighting thereof...don't like it and try to avoid those jobs. But from time to time I have to do corporate / event basic portraits for my clients.

    I am battling to get to light nice and soft...it is always too harsh for my liking. I know there must be some basic things that I am missing here, so please help.

    Kit: 2 Elinchrome RX 200 / 400 lights (main set) and 2 Prolinca (Elinchrome) 230, 2x soft boxes 60x60 silver inside (Graham Robinson ones), diffuser sheet inside just in front of bulb and sheet outside (I then add a sheet of tracing paper to further soften it). Also got umbrellas, white and silver reflective.

    Setup: Basic, two lights left and right, height adjusted according to shooting scenario e.g full length of half, ambient light plays no role in most cases and mostly shooting space / area is limited.

  2. #2
    Frequent Member Dave_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: How to soften my portrait studio lighting

    The golden rule of soft lighting is "the larger the light source in relation to the subject the softer the lighting". So you could try bigger softboxes, or try move them as close as possible to the subject. 60 x 60 is not big at all for a full length. This is really only ok for a head and shoulder shot, if you are looking for soft light.

    Try bounce your light against a wall or roof as a quick test. You will see the light will get much softer (but it bounces everywhere, and this can be a pain, but it depends on the look you are going for).

    Also, white reflectors are softer than silver ones. Silver ones tend to give a harsher/more contrasty look.
    The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr

  3. #3
    Premium Member elsahoffmann's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to soften my portrait studio lighting

    it could be helpful if you posted a pic or 3 which you regard as unsuitable. WOuld that be possible?
    Nudity is the most Avant Garde form of dress

    www.elsahoffmann.co.za
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to soften my portrait studio lighting

    Have a look at this site, it will help you compare different light modifiers so you can get the look you want, should apply to all brands generally

    http://www.hensel.eu/en/infos/compar...cache=1&lcat=9

    Also try http://strobox.com/photos for lighting diagrams

    Hope this helps

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to soften my portrait studio lighting

    Thank you for the advice, will have a look at the sites and upgrade my soft boxes to bigger ones.

    @Elsa Good idea thanks, that would be best, but let me rather do a few shots at home, try the new advice out and post them rather than use the commissioned portraits that I have.

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