If you shoot a lot portraits or beauty work, you likely spend a lot of your time thinking about lighting, including what the right modifier for the look you're going for is. This very comprehensive and well-explained video will walk you through the standard octabox and beauty dish, as well as the more exotic adjustable parabolic reflector and Satellite Staro.
Coming to you from Karl Taylor, this truly awesome video will show you how four types (with many variations) of lighting modifiers work and the results they give. In it, he tests the following modifiers:
- 70 cm silver beauty dish
- Broncolor Para 88 Parabolic Umbrella (in focused, mid-focus, and defocused positions)
- Satellite Staro (a reflector with a heavy center-weighting, as opposed to the mostly even diffusion of a softbox)
- Broncolor Para 133 Parabolic Umbrella (in focused, mid-focus, and defocused positions), a larger version of the Para 88
- Broncolor Para 222 Parabolic Umbrella (in focused, mid-focus, and defocused positions), an even larger version that can completely envelope a person in light, giving a very different look
- 150 cm octabox softbox
I've shot with the Para 222 and can tell you it is indeed a spectacularly unique and wonderful modifier. In particular, the focusing rod that allows you to vastly reshape the light output makes it both highly versatile and a ton of fun to shoot with. Nonetheless, it's all about picking the modifier that most resonates with your creative vision. By the way, if you're wondering why Taylor mentions that the Para 88 functions well as a beauty dish, it's because a beauty dish is actually a parabolic reflector, though its light properties are not identical to those of the parabolic umbrella.