Softbox vs Umbrella lighting, which one to choose? This is the first question that you will have to answer when you start working with artificial lights. First of all, remember that there is no right or wrong, the real answer lies in your needs and wants. Both of these are light modifiers and are essentially used for softening the light and producing light shadows. Your choice will depend on the type of photography that you are doing such as portraits or even products. However, there are certain advantages that one has over the other. Let us now discuss softbox vs umbrella lighting in detail and figure out which will work best for you.
What is a Softbox?
It is the most simple and common softbox because it perfectly emulates natural light coming from a window. Because of its size and shape, it throws the light more than others. It might be best in a scenario where you want to light up all of your setups evenly.
As the name suggests, it is the octagonal shape of this softbox that makes it unique. It resembles a circle in the light that it throws which is why it is more commonly used for group shots as well as portraits. One advantage that it has over rectangular softbox is the circular glint and highlights produced on the eyes by this.
What is Umbrella Lighting?
As the name suggests, the light passes through this umbrella before hitting the subject. The light is present in the interior of the umbrella and the outer portion faces the subject. Since the fabric is semi-translucent, it spreads the light and makes it softer. This is more common than the reflective one because the light is easier to modify with this one.
Photo edited in Lightroom.
Softbox vs Umbrella Lighting; Which One is Better?
Conclusion - Softbox vs Umbrella Lighting
To sum it up, softbox vs umbrella lighting is not a debate to prove that one is better than the other. It is simply a comparison to understand which one works best for you. For a beginner, we recommend using a umbrella is as it is easier to manage and portable. But you do not have to stick to it forever. If at any point you think that you would be better off with a softbox, just make the switch.
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