Light shaping tools are another term for light modifiers, which are essentially attachments to place on flash heads. Light shaping tools help manipulate the light source in many ways such as, softening, feathering, directing, spotlighting, spreading and more. Profoto are the world leaders in light shaping tools with more than 150 available. Below is a guide on what each light shaping tool does to help you choose the right tool.
Umbrellas are a simple way to spread out light and work effectively with speedlights or strobes. Furthermore, they come in multiple sizes ranging from small to large and multiple shapes. Profoto offer umbrellas in a deep shape for better light spread control, and a shallow shape for lightweight location use. In addition, Umbrellas come in multiple types such as:
- Silver: Designed for creating contrast
- White: Designed for creating softer light
- Translucent: Designed for creating diffused light
Softboxes are a popular light shaping tool amongst enthusiasts and professionals. As the name suggests, softboxes are used to create soft light with wide spread. They’re available in multiple shapes and sizes. Using a larger softbox and being close to the subject will create super soft light. Using a smaller softbox won’t have the spread like the large softbox, however is portable and designed to be used on location.
- Rectangular: Shaped similar to window light, rectangular softboxes are used to emulate flattering soft natural light.
- Octa: Perfect for portrait photographer due to the round shape of the softbox. This creates a nice catch light in the subject’s eyes.
- Strip: Designed to produce soft light with long shadow edges to create strong contrast from the background and the subject. Used to enhance the curves of an object such as a car or create elegant highlights.
It’s in the name, beauty dishes create unique light to bring out the “beauty of the subject”. Beauty dishes create a “creamy” and crisp effect which makes it ideal for fashion and portraiture photography.
Light reflectors are designed to bounce light to punch more light out of the source. Reflectors have a reflective surface that transmits light forward to create the impression of sunlight, or to help combat against harsh lighting like the sun.
Grids are a unique modifier that many speedlight and strobe users use. They make it easy to control and focus the light source on where you want it with minimal spillage. In addition, grids help create strong contrast between the subject and the background.
Gels are a fun and creative way to create imagery filled with colour. Creative colour gels come in a variety of colours from the full spectrum. Furthermore gels can be useful for colour correction when shooting in different lighting scenarios.
There are a large range of other light shaping tools by Profoto and smaller ones on the CLIC system for the Profoto A1. Discover the full range below.