What’s the Difference Between a Bare Head and a White Beauty Dish?

Written by Jared Platt on . Posted in Off-camera flash, On location, Portrait photography

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© Jared Platt

© Jared Platt

What’s the Difference? is a series of lighting tutorials. Each article responds to a single question. In this post, Jared Platt explains the difference between using a bare head and a white beauty dish.

Photographers instinctively know that a soft box creates soft light, it’s in the name for heaven sake! But the reason is sometimes less obvious to some. If you already know the answer to this quiz, don’t worry, we will get a little more detailed in a moment. The sun (less than an inch in diameter in the sky) is a very hard light and creates very hard shadows, but a 4 foot softbox, placed next to your portrait subject will create soft, beautiful light.  Take that softbox a few hundred yards away from the subject (if the strobe was strong enough) and that light would feel a lot more like the hard sunlight you so desperately want to avoid. Simply put, the quality of light (whether a light is soft or hard) depends on the size of the light to the subject.  No matter what light you have and what modifier you are using, the closer you bring the light to the subject, the softer it will become (even if it is also becoming more powerful in the process).

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What’s the difference between using CTO gels and CTB gels?

Written by Jared Platt on . Posted in Off-camera flash, On location, Portrait photography

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© Jared Platt

© Jared Platt

What’s the Difference? is a series of lighting tutorials. Each article responds to a single question. In this post, Jared Platt shows how to achieve different effects with CTO and CTB gels.

Color of light is a critical part of photographic lighting, but most photographers do not pay much attention to it when using flash. Each light source has a particular color cast to it, which is why your camera has white balance settings. When you choose the proper white balance for the color of light you are photographing, the color in the exposure will be neutral, and look correct. In mixed lighting conditions, where you have multiple colors of light, the light you white balance for will be neutral, while the other light will end up either too warm, too cool, too green, etc. In most cases, you will have one primary light source and color and if you want to keep your image color neutral, you will need to alter the color of your flash to match it. This is where color gels come in.
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Rossella Vanon gets creative with the OCF Gels

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in Fashion photography, Off-camera flash, Portrait photography

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© Rossella Vanon

© Rossella Vanon

Flash is an essential part of light shaping, but to catch the right feeling in your pictures you cannot always solely rely on light. With the OCF Gels you can shape light in color and create the mood you are after. To show an example, we asked fashion and beauty photographer Rossella Vanon to get creative.

Lighting and color has always been important ingredients in Rossella Vanon’s photography. Her delicate and dreamy, yet bold and rich look and feel has awarded her international acclaim in just a few years.

“I always prefer the look of gels used subtly and in a targeted way to when the colors are allowed to take over the entire image, uncontrolled,” says Rossella. “However, it tends to require the use of more light sources and certainly more time positioning and figuring out a balance between the place and intensity of all sources.”

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Busting a move with Taylor Swift and the Profoto D1

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in Portrait photography

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© Jordan Curtis Hughes

© Jordan Curtis Hughes

Taylor Swift is arguably one of the biggest pop stars in modern time. To take her portrait is not something you do in an instant. Or? Music photographer Jordan Curtis Hughes took a three day trip to LA to meet her and her huge crew. We met him and asked him to tell us all about it.

The life of a portraiture and music photographer can be one of fast turns and quick changes. Jordan Curtis Hughes’s shooting with Taylor Swift, for example, was really last minute. The job was confirmed Monday and Jordan was told he would be flying to LA the following Thursday to shoot the pop star.

“That’s what makes it exciting though, and stops you overthinking things!” Jordan ensures.

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Alba Soler catches
timeless portraits with
the OCF Beauty Dish

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in Child photography, Off-camera flash, On location, Portrait photography

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© Alba Soler

© Alba Soler

Ever since Alba Soler started to photograph, she has been experimenting with light shaping. Aiming for, and achieving, a crispy beauty light that captivates the eyes of the viewer. Already an accustomed user of the classic Profoto Softlight Reflector, Alba set out to try the new OCF Beauty Dish.

Specialized in shooting children portraiture on-location, Alba needs to be able to move around and being flexible. This means that even though Alba plans her setups well ahead, there always have to be room for improvisation.

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