How to Shape Light Using a Parabolic Reflector

In this video, Karl Taylor and Urs Recher experiment with and demonstrate the uses of a Parabolic reflector. Using a model who is wearing white against a white background, they produce a number of portraits demonstrating how to shape the Para light to separate the model from the background. The versatility of this practice is quite astounding as the photographer is able to stand in front of the light and have it still perfectly illuminate the model and is a simple one light set up.

[Via Karl Taylor - YouTube]


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There is definitely no way to produce those results without bronclolor.... >_> also, that crap about the model not being able to move freely if you light from the side is absolutely untrue. Its about the inverse square law. If you have some considerable distance from your model to the light then if they move a couple feet from one way to the other your meter reading wont change much. Think about it. if your light is 5 inches from your models face and they lean 5 inches away. you effectively quartered the power. the exposure is going to change. If your light is 20 feet away. Stepping to the right or the left isn't going to change a lot.

I think that's not what they are trying to say. It's more about the drop of shadow when the light is from the side. They probably meant the whole light "wrapping" around the model thing. I could be wrong.

I can't help to laugh every time one of the Broncolor Para tutorials come out. Anyone checked out the price on these things?

Yeah, that's a $7500 umbrella they're using there!!

was thinking of the same thing. its more like an infomercial I guess. or, tutomercial? :)

It's definitely a infomercial, but with some actual useful information about the product and how to use it.

I just find the thing so very over priced. There are bound to be people who will need it, use it, and use it well, but for 99% of photographers this thing is not even budget friendly when rented. It's hard to think that there is a LIGHT MODIFIER— not even a lamp head— that is the same price as a MEDIUM FORMAT CAMERA!!

My main thought, though, was that there is probably some new photographer out there who thinks all or most pros use these, and that this is what they need to be able to shoot professionally. I mainly want them to know that they don't.

Hi Guys, of course what we put together here is an 'infomercial' for the para 222, and yes this is not a cheap light modifier, i own one and it cost me about £3500. But I use it regularly and have never found another light like it, I've used it on location and in the studio and the quality of light it produces is incredible plus the durability of the product is for life. I think what you can benefit from here though is beyond thinking about the price, because this is free knowledge and many photographers choose to rent this modifier if the project requires it. Surely having knowledge of its capabilities is only beneficial because if you ever found yourself with a project where you might rent one then at least you understand it if purchasing is not an option. There are also a number of other great 'how to' videos I've released with Urs and bron that cover a broad range of lighting techniques that can be applied to various other equipment if necessary. I hope you have the time to check these out, you can find them on my blog.

Karl / Urs - thanks for the video. I didn't appreciate the ways this modifier could be used, and while it's beyond my budget, this video has given me some interesting new info (and food for thought on a possible future rental). Thanks for sharing.


Karl thanks to both you and Urs for posting this. I found it very informative, thank you.