Five Essential Lighting Modifiers for Photographers

When you are new to artificial lighting, it can be a bit difficult to navigate the world of modifiers — how they work and how they will render an image. Nonetheless, they are essential equipment for anyone who wants to learn how to light a photo properly. This excellent video will introduce you to five common lighting modifiers, including how they work and how they will make your photos look.

Coming to you from Michael Corsentino with Behind the Shutter, this fantastic video will show you how five common lighting modifiers (such as umbrellas, beauty dishes, and strip boxes) work and show you some helpful examples of how they will render an image. My favorite modifier has always been the Broncolor Para 133. It is certainly expensive, but it is highly versatile and allows you to dial in the exact contrast and hardness of light you desire. In addition, I have never seen another modifier that gets you so close to a finished product in camera, and the vast reduction in post-processing time is well worth it, in my opinion. Nonetheless, you certainly do not need expensive modifiers to produce great results. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Corsentino.

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3 Comments

after using and owning nearly every whatever, it is quite simple, clients never see a difference, so don't hassle with softboxes, use big dirt cheap umbrellas. softboxes only if you have tight spaces and need grids. having grids makes the biggest impact. if you need them, even clients notice. but to be honest, they are only needed for more dark contrasty work. for everything bright and soft - just f... dirt cheap umbrellas - so much faster to work with. use reflective white ones. have some spares with you…

This works until your client has a red or orange wall next to them and with an umbrella you get the nasty color cast...

Alejandro Espeche's picture

My favorite modifiers are: the black umbrella, with that I avoid unwanted reflections in small places and if I close it a bit I get a snoot effect that I use a lot. The strip softbox with grid and the beauty dish for more specific things, are difficult to replace and emulate with umbrellas. With that is more than enough.