Creating Hard and Soft Light With the Same Speedlight

You might not think speedlights are that flexible in terms of the quality of light they can output, but with a bit of ingenuity and an understanding of the basics of light, you can get both hard and soft light out of just a single speedlight. This helpful video will show you how it is done.

Coming to you from Daniel Norton with Adorama TV, this great video will show you how to get hard and soft light out of the same speedlight. The tricky thing about speedlights is that they often don't have the power or spread to fill up larger modifiers, but as you will see in the video, Norton gets around this by bouncing his off a 5-in-1 reflector to create a larger, softer light source (it is also cheaper that way as well). It really comes down to the fundamental principle that the relative size of the light source determines the hardness. Thus, if you want a softer light source, you have two options: either use a bigger modifier or simply move the light closer to your subject, which is what you might have to do if you're working with smaller modifiers made for speedlights. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

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4 Comments

..and big modifier.

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

Beautiful model.

I think she's German. ;-)

Giovanni Aprea's picture

Interesting how you can obtain very good shots with affordable gear