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Old 23rd of July 2012 (Mon)   #1
stumbows
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Default Can I use umbrella or softbox? Which are better for this purpose.

I have 2 main types of photography I am using flashes for at the moment which is car shoots and indoor/studio portraits. What I am currently doing is bouncing the flash best I can to get the natural softer light but was thinking I should invest in some light diffusion accessories which has brought me to looking at umbrellas and softboxes. My first question is can I use either of those modifiers on cars? If so what are the best methods and accessories for what I am doing? Indoors I guess I can use either?

I'm starting to do more and more weddings at the moment too and wouldn't even mind something I can take out with me on location for adding some nice fill light etc. So I may need to factor in my purchase for that also.
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Old 23rd of July 2012 (Mon)   #2
tim
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Default Re: Can I use umbrella or softbox? Which are better for this purpose.

For cars you want a car sized diffuser, assuming you're shooting indoors. Outdoors you want a bunch of diffused flashes. Soft boxes are usually more efficient than umbrellas.

For portraits it makes little difference what you use. For weddings I use a small soft box, held by an assistant.
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Old 23rd of July 2012 (Mon)   #3
LeifHurst
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Default Re: Can I use umbrella or softbox? Which are better for this purpose.

Both will give you completely different looks of light and shadows so it's tough to say one or the other without really knowing what one gives you vs. the other.

If you could only choose one or the other,I would go with a 60" convertible umbrella (you could get several of them in varying sizes for the cost of a softbox). You can fake an umbrella to look like a softbox by closing it down/collapsing it but you can't fake a softbox to look like an umbrella.
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Old 23rd of July 2012 (Mon)   #4
stumbows
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Default Re: Can I use umbrella or softbox? Which are better for this purpose.

All of the cars I am doing are outdoor shots, mostly around late afternoon early evening. I am looking for that showroom light look without there being too many tiny/sharp reflections to be distracting.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #5
Wilt
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Default Re: Can I use umbrella or softbox? Which are better for this purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stumbows View Post
All of the cars I am doing are outdoor shots, mostly around late afternoon early evening. I am looking for that showroom light look without there being too many tiny/sharp reflections to be distracting.

Not possible to elminate the many reflections seen in the body panels and chrome surfaces of cars in well illuminated areas (like at a outdoor location)...control of reflections (the placement of desired reflections that help the eye to understand the curves of a car) is done with surroundings which are dimly lit and illumination of surfaces and curves with large car-sized softboxes.
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