Testing a Photek Softliter

feather_mask-3128I like to experiment with different lighting sources and recently tried a  Softlighter 60″ diffusion umbrella.  One of the beauties of an umbrella is the shape of the highlight reflection in the eyes.  A standard softbox causes a rectangular reflection that seems unnatural, but an umbrella creates an octagonal shape that is more pleasing.

Another feature of an umbrella is its thinner profile as compared to a softbox which requires more depth in order to produce the same sized light source.   This means the light can be moved closer to the subject, making the transition between highlights and shadows softer.

For comparison, I switched light sources between a small softbox, a strip bank with a grid, a medium softbox, and a 48″ umbrella — while keeping my model in the same general pose.

After comparing the contrast, eye-reflections, and light spill onto the background, I was very happy with the Softliter and settled on it as my light source for the remainder  of the shoot.