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Strobe Modifiers with Q&A

Lesson 20 from: Location Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

Strobe Modifiers with Q&A

Lesson 20 from: Location Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

20. Strobe Modifiers with Q&A


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Principles of Light


Speedlights vs Strobes


Compressing the Scene


Location Lenses and Lenshoods


Metering Modes and Back Button Focus


Natural Light Reflectors


Lesson Info

Strobe Modifiers with Q&A

rochelle who say maybe I missed it but what is she using that doesn't need a power cord slash big battery okay so this is the light that will be using today this is the pro photo be one five hundred one seconds this always turn this off so I don't okay this is actually the battery right here and so this battery gets two hundred twenty full power flashes per charge it takes a couple hours to charge they actually have a supercharger that you can plug in and like double or cuts and half the amount of time it takes to charge each battery three layers and I like this is each batteries like two hundred twenty so I bought it like I was like four of them I got a little carried away because I thought when we went into the cave for sure I was going to need for but I didn't I used to but um but anyway super like insanely lightweight so yeah profile toby one this is what will be demo ing with four today majority what we're lighting your question the beauty dish I mean it can cost you know so littl...

e are hundreds of dollars for the pro photo and how that affects the actual quality yeah that's a good question all touched on it briefly can you grab me the other key bring that other light the other beauty dish over here okay so the question was the difference in the cost of modifiers I actually do have beauty dishes I like more than another and it has to do with the sweet spot and then the falloff of light how it's built so it has to do with the depth of the way that they have things beveled like this one I have like a really sweet spot in the center and then it kind of like feathers out from there there's other ones what happens the way that it's bill is of a sweet spot and then a really harsh spot and then no light I mastered like mathematically how they design it differently I don't know um I mean honestly like I shot the white light it means forever and as long as you know how to use it right the policy buff ones it was fine but I also really love like I love love love this the fact of this pops off like that that's like the best party ever and I mean whether you're going to pay a lot more that's totally up to you but I really like that pops off so simply s o just like looking at the difference between them I'm not an engineer so you know what I mean it doesn't even mean anything to me so I just learned it by testing it out so that segways me to what I was going to bring up um so this one right here bro photo be one has its battery on the side it's a model block this is not built I'm sure someone out there has a workaround but it's not built to plug into the wall like this is not supposed to also work in the studio you khun use your battery in the studio you could charge your batteries every day and use it as a studio light but it doesn't have something that plugs it into the wall um so if you were one of those people that are like you know what a budget right now I just want to take what I've got in my studio I want to take it out on location that's all I want so then can you give me that charge over there and I put that perfect so for example this is an alien b this is the alien be right here notice it's the b sixteen hundred which is six hundred and forty watt seconds told you okay little little misleading anyway so for this one this is what you might be comfortable to use in a studio but to take it on location you've got this and I mean it's got a little weight to it but it's much it's not as heavy as a pack would be and this is the vagabond lithium extreme and there's also a listening extreme mini so it's like and might even just be like half the size of this so it doesn't have as faster recycle time it doesn't have as much power output like it can't last is long but I'm not going to actually take this apart but it hooks onto a light stand which is actually really nice because it acts as a weight an accident sand back for you so that's something I get concerned about taking expensive lights out on location especially if it's just me and the wind knocks over that could be very expensive so this this helps out but yeah if you look can you see that whatever you have just plugs into it and I think this one even has a place for us be charged so you know your phone when you're out on location and you want to know what time it isn't sofia teo yeah curling irons will you when you're out on location you're doing a fashion shoot or doing something refer portrait you want to do here yeah so I actually like when we went into the caves I wasn't shooting this I was shooting the b one but we brought this to have to charge whatever we needed in the until the time and I was being resourceful but I had them carry lasts up but anyway it's it's really is pretty light and very very useful but the recycle time's kinda suck for really really if you're like a thousand watt second strobe it takes a while for it to recycle at full power okay how we doing on that so far you really love it all right so let me just show you a couple modifiers actually when you guys take this off uh off stage phase right okay and I'll show you a couple other things now while I said that you can just take your studio modifiers on location sometimes like a beauty dish it is kind of awkward to take on location and stephen there's a fold up beauty dish in the other room I'm gonna have you ground it like it's a pop up um so there are a lot of modifiers that air primarily made by third party companies is like westcott light foe ticks like however many other exists that make your soft box set up on location more friendly because I don't know about you but taking a part in putting together a soft box on location and when it's windy is like it's awful it really sucks s oh there are a lot of modifiers that exists out there that this these could be used some of these could be used for studio strobes as well but they're also great for going ahead and using them with your strobes all right so this one for example this one is made by westcott and I think this is the apollo mega you see on the side you say that okay uh this is the big one we show you so what's great is it is an umbrella so it compacts is an umbrella and you just pop it up you don't have to put this stupid little things in short a bend it like if you know you know what I'm talking about so it just collapses like this and you can shrink it down so super awesome um and where the stroke goes is the strobe actually goes inside here it fits up so that it functions like a soft box so you actually put the strobe through here that's why I had a short stick so it reaches on the short stick and then this pops up really really easily this is what I use when I am trying to like groups for a group portrait because it's big it's really really portable the other one I use is that seventy two inch umbrella that pops up with the diffusion that faux ticks makes so it's his westcott apollo megha all right if you like thank you if you like a beauty dish on location um this is intended for studio strobes this one's by phone text I think it's called the luna yeah I think it's called the faux takes luna but these things all pop and so it compacts like an umbrella and it functions just like a beauty so you come from past a beauty dish to now be portable because I know that this is definitely definitely a pain to move around this can kind of water up and go in a bag going to pack so they're endless different modifiers that exists I'm just going to show you one more that I really really like I'll pass this off to you since you won't be using it again um but that's that's a really good portable beauty dish yeah different modified with the different beauty this is is there difference in the quality of light between the two like that you lose the stop for half stop or anything on yes so so four let's go for the soft box example the big one that I just had you don't have to bring it out the big one that I just had a ce faras let's say how a soft box functions well that one has a silver inside and on ly one layer of diffusion so it's probably a little harsher than most soft boxes that size because it only has one layer diffusion wears in the studio sometimes you have to and sometimes you can get weight on the inside for the beauty dish it looks slightly different but it's the same idea so depends on how discerning you are too that like it's not it is not identical but it's it's the same thing like you have it's soft light but it still has control with more shape to the shadows then you would get with a soft box but not as harsh as you would have with a silver dish so it's still like in the same family of of light quick one on and actually this is perfect if you want to bring that around because kitty karsh in the chat room I was saying I've seen a set up where the speed light was pointed into an umbrella and it had a fabric covering it seemingly with eyelets orb buttons that attached to the spokes of the umbrella had a sock type things stretched over the flash then wouldn't seem that wondering if that's a home made thing or if it's available anywhere for purchase so since this is a one a one class can you explain kind of what the diffuser panel is and what that is and what sort of modifiers will use something like absolutely so here is a diffusion panel and this is intended to soften the light and there's actually two in most soft boxes and literally what it does it softens the light and then also for this the a life where the strove or speed light is pointed out like in this case and if you can kind of see it there it cuts down on a hot spot because what you will have with a soft box is it's a light pointed straight forward if you only have one piece of diffusion sometimes you get that really bright spot in the center like the whole thing is still soft but you definitely have a hot spot so this what it does is it hits the inter diffusion and it spreads the light out and then that spread out light hits the second piece of diffusion and softens um but each one of these cuts out like a staff of power so when I'm on location let's say I'm trying to overpower the sun and it's like I'm using this and I can't do it it's because I probably just caught like two stops plus of light out of the power that I have the ability that I have so you could shoot this with nothing but it's not going to be the ideal type of light so you have those trade off so maybe I would pick a beauty dish then because it doesn't cut off is much light but it's still soft like it's that a balancing of the variables also you can tell I was getting there that was a little pre emptive okay this was what I was going to recommend for a pop up soft box is well this one is it's actually parabolic umbrella um which is one of those things I said is really nice this one is the rapid box octa I used this one a lot for my pro photo lights they have a bowman's mount I forget what other amounts they have but it's like a soft box parabolic umbrella but it's portable and you don't have to put the things in and it just if just pops open it can lock into place pretty simply and actually this just fits over top of it here and now you have a box so it's just a much simpler solution and I don't like to have like a deal with the hassle of things on location I really like the quality of light out of this when I go on location instead of thie pro photo three foot doctor box I choose one of these because this one has that whole issue of putting the the sprocket the pegs in to your rectangular south bucks versus the doctor bucks and how that changes the quality of the light has never quite sure why pick one so the other businesses so the question but your mike so the differences within with an octa box it wraps kind of more evil in every direction when you have something that's rectangular it's easier to get more dramatic feather because it's not a circle so since it's kind of a vertical shape I can feather it off or I can move it so that it gives me more dramatic fall off this just wraps a little bit more I actually I go in phases I'm gonna phase right now where I prefer octa boxes for light on the face over rectangular but then if you would ask me like a year ago I would've said the opposite so just depends on my mood I guess okay anywhere modifier question we have plenty we could probably go all day with these but let's not do that let's take a couple of big ones first of all let's see fashion tv susan rig well first well susan brig was wondering the name and manufacturer again for the collapsible beauty dish oh tics luna beauty dish and I like ninety five percent sure on that if it's like slightly off one user was saying can beauty dishes be used for more than head shots like could I use it for a three quarter shot and I would like to expand that could you also just talk about when you use different types of modifiers so in general I tend to use a beauty dish for fashion more than I do portrait's but also use it for portrait I use it when I want to have soft light on the face but still have defined shadows because sometimes when you use a soft box the shadows are just so feathered you know when we went back to our quality of light there there is a soft transition between the highlight and shadow sometimes I don't want that I wanted to just have maybe a little more jaw line I want the person have a jawline or see their cheekbones more a little bit more drama but if I go to something like I have the silver dish the zoom reflector it's over there someplace if I go selling small and silver now it's like really really harsh but it's not like a good in between oh it's okay um so a beauty dish is the good in between it seemed between of these two basically if you want glowing light like this but a little bit more shape to the shadows that's like your compromise oh and the three quarter shot that was part of the question yeah so to get a three quarter shot you've got to back your beauty dish up because it's the bucket of water if the beauty dishes really close it only lights here the water only spreads on the top of the body when I back the light up then you can get a three quarter length shot but because of beauty dish is relatively small as I backs at light up it gets smaller relative to the subject which means the light gets harsher so then you're bouncing around too maybe you're better with a soft box at that point and backing it up because relative when you back it up it'll be equivalent size but have more spread to the light so you're kind of it's always a balance between those which which I want to say I don't bring a tonic you're on location like it's going to sound like I bring everything on location recently I've been doing a ton of this I've been bringing this octo box um it's a rapid box octa I bring this a lot if it's a fashion shoot I will bring that beauty dish with the grid unless I need to be super portable and then I bring that pt dish yeah I have a question this far is like I mean no you've talked about the model blocks and the lights and all that stuff but light stands if you don't have an assistant because if you talk about putting a two thousand dollar piece of equipment you don't want to put it on the sticks I mean so what I mean there's any recommendations that you have on you know like light stands or the difference between that type and the one that's holding up there milord yeah so the strongest and most stable are going to be the ones that airs the c stands it when they're when they're metal and they have those three large bases the larger the base the larger the spread the more stable it'll be uh yeah there you go that's what so this one is a little bit stronger but it's not that great because if you look comparatively I'll have you take this off set if you look comparatively the base is not really any broader and you want a broad base so this one's better cause it's metal and it's stronger and it's heavier but the really heavy duty good ones they cannot really far um but then they're not really portable so my in between compromise matthew stands or nice the men photo stands or nice and then just get a sandbag that you carry with you they have ones that air clips that can just clip onto the base instead of having actually carry a sandbag that goes over the based on here we'll actually have clipped waits that khun clip here and so that would be my compromises probably like a mathewson man photo with a weight if I can't do anything oh the other one that we we do this often is we take other things and set them on the if we didn't bring a sandbag we take what my camera bag and like squish it I'm not recommending I'm just saying we've done it in a pinch or when it's really windy and I have one assistant and two light stands like last week you know I think you might actually see that right yeah yeah I think you'll see that in one of the behind things you see my camera bag underneath belle jack can you talk a little bit about egg boxes or grids on diffuse lights yeah so I think we have one right oh I'll just take a grade for the beauty dish is fine for now so I do have grids for the beauty dishes then they're probably someplace in the other room basically what they look like the reason they're called egg boxes they looks kind of like a box it's their little fabric black fabric that stretches out and has little rectangles and it goes in front of your soft box this is what the beauty dish one looks like and what this does is it focuses the light so as we already talked about when I said that I wanted to like to stay focus it would actually reach my subject who's out on the edge of that cliff for example I picked a deep bucket you know the long throw started late would say focus but what happens if I want really soft light but I do want the light to stay a little bit more focused so what grade does or what egg box does with the what they do is you put him in front it's kind of like if you have a filter in front of a bottle of water it focuses it and send it in one direction that's what those those little there's they're usually about this thick in the soft boxes the depth of those grids and when it does it just sends all the light out in one direction instead of pouring out in every direction it forces it forward so the benefit now s o the benefit of them are eight focuses the light but you can also get sharper fall off so when I can I have lie proof beauty dish this one oh I'll set it up I get it so when I have this beauty this year and I have it on a light it'll light me maybe very about this distance head to toe when I put the grid on it'll light from my head to my stomach it focuses the light that quickly and it falls off from full power to like no light at all and about a foot depending on your distance oh sure it is the quicker that fall off is like we talked about the inverse square law so if there's a shot at the end of the day where I wanted the model she's it's at sunset she's against the sky I just wanted this lit and then I wanted the bottom of her dress to fall to shadow kind of melt away into the shadow I'd add a grid bringing it closer and adding a grid intensifies that even even more great a question that I like here it's a practical one von king how much rain can the big shoot through umbrella or soft back so handle before you damage it if we're taking this stuff out on location how careful do we need to be um if you ask anyone who's ever worked with me I'm not careful whatsoever yeah see they're all agreeing with me so I'm just going to say no they do really well they don't know the popular umbrellas don't do well to bending like forcing it to shape or fit places that it doesn't belong in a car like that kind of thing but getting wet I've had no problem or covered in mud we did that and it was fine so yes and this is what the grid for a soft box looks like okay something like this it goes inside this office we're like we're in the front and so this shape it forces the light out straight ahead instead of pouring out in every direction so you have more focus yvonne king is wondering again what about mixing brands of modifiers or strobes is there anything to be aware of when you're mixing mixing modifiers now I do it all the time I'll used like if you look I'm using a westcott use the west cop rapid box on my pro photo no just make sure if purchasing wass make sure they have the right speed ring or mount that is the huge one because for example can I have that pop up beauty dish this the papa beauty dish that I have here this will not work with pro photo this is a bone is mount so you have to make sure you're purchasing the right part to make it connect to the light that's like that's the other part and and there's other ones what they do is they have universal mounts so what that means is they basically will have a big hole in the back of the light with a bracket and then whatever had you have fits in loosely and it doesn't actually clip on to your light so there are several universal brackets for third parties I don't usually use those because it's not it's not exactly how its intended to use its intended to fit right there for the quality of the light and how it's supposed to balance but they do have that and there are if you do your research there's modifiers to make a bowen's go on to a pro photo to go on to uh it starts to get complicated so just just buy what fits your lights all right and one more final question here for this segment a cz we're talking about these modifiers as a student one year into photography what light do you recommend as a first light to buy it's always the question on I would like to expand that more to also modifier like what is your best general purpose modifier and you know what you recommend for people just getting started yeah a good general purpose modifier is a mid size soft box there's weighs too much wise being I think maybe the uh the the three foot were larger like the pop up one that I had the octo box the west cut lescaut rapid box octa that one because the huge ones ones that are four by six foot you don't need to go that you don't have much control when they're modifiers that big and then when it's really really small modifier you can't get it soft that hole you had to bring it closer you brought it right up to their face and it's still not going to be light because it's hard to be soft still about the size of their head so mid size maybe three to four foot soft box ideally if you have a grid that you can get with it then you can focus the lighting if you want but you can feather the light a huge amount you can definitely soften it up by adding another diffusion panel and it's that's the go to for portrait's some people I used beauty dishes all the time that's like my go to portrait light but some people it doesn't just quite doesn't look good on it's just a little bit too harsh the light that I recommend so if you miss the beginning make sure you go back and watch like figuring out what your needs actually are I started off with a policy buff light like that was what I had in the very beginning and it did find for me because I understood its limitations I knew what it couldn't do and then I wouldn't get mad because that's just not with the lights for I would also take a look I I'm a huge proponent of use gear like that is it huge one also fear student there's discounts on all lighting systems like I think there's like ten percent for student discounts and pretty much any lights but yeah I would go for user refurbished here in fact there's a lot of stuff in my studio that's used in refurbished because if it works

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This class was amazing. Lindsay Adler is a great presenter...I learned so much.....I love that she spoke about natural light..strobes and speedlites. Wonderful information. I purchased this and I am glad I did. Great job Lindsay. Jean


Lindsey Adler is one of the best and most engaging photography instructors in the USA. I highly recommend this lighting course. It felt more like a 101 and a 102 course than just a basic course. She teaches in a way that makes learning alot of fun and the amount of time & effort that she puts into her video and class presentations are second to none. Her classes are well worth their weight in gold and you will walk away with a wealth of knowledge!


Lindsay is amazing , I love the way she explains everything!! This course is filled with GREAT information and helps you better understand natural lighting,strobe and flash. Thank You Lindsay, please keep your classes coming!

Student Work