Modifying Your Light

By Bryan Chan - on 29 Feb 2012, 6:33pm

Continuing on Kevin Boey’s blogpost about having good lighting to take good pictures, I’ll be showing you the various ways you can modify the light from your light source, namely with an external flash gun.

Why would we want to modify the light, you ask? Well, for starters, light is one of the most important factors in photography, and can determine if a photo is great or simply good. One of the easiest ways to modify the light that comes out from your external flash gun is by attaching a stofen to your flash gun. This simple white plastic box serves to diffuse the light coming from your flash gun, giving you more natural looking photos.

Here's a picture taken without a stofen

The same picture taken with a flash gun equipped with a stofen

This simple diffuser can help make your pictures look more natural

Another way to gain more natural light is by attaching a beauty dish to your flash gun. Beauty dishes serve to distribute the light and again, make for more natural lighting. This device is similar to the stofen, but is more effective at diffusing the light.

This is how a beauty dish looks like.

A softbox is yet another form of a diffuser that again ‘soften’ the lights for… yes, you guessed it, more natural lighting. The softbox is slightly more effective than a beauty dish in terms of casting a more natural light, making it a good choice for portraiture photography on the move.

A softbox helps to diffuse the light for more natural lighting

Finally, we have lighting gels, which is the most obvious form of lighting modification. Lighting gels are basically strips of colored gels that are placed at the front of your external flash gun. When your flash gun fires, the color of the light is modified based on the color of the attached gel. This technique is mostly used with multiple flash guns to create a dynamic photo with multiple colored lights.

Colored gels change the color of the light from your flash gun


Keep shooting with lights!

Till my next blogpost.

Bryan Chan

Bryan Chan / Freelance Writer

A guy who really needs to go on a diet, loves to laugh and gets high on life. He loves gaming and wishes he could drive the way he does in video games. He also loves photography but needs a hell of a lot more practice to be good at it.