Understanding Light Modifiers

Light modifiers are a fundamental part that completes our lighting equipment and allows us to turn a well-lit image into a spectacularly lit photograph. The style of many photographers has a close relationship with the type of light used, and these illuminations depend directly on their accessories. Light modifiers are equipment that modifies the light in a scene.

You can find accessories for your large lighting equipment, as well as for your compact flashes so that you can manage the light regardless of whether you have equipment with greater or lesser features. You can buy accessories to concentrate the light like the snoot, to diffuse it like the windows, or to create intermediate effects with the beauty, ideal for portraits. There are as many possible lighting schemes as you are able to create. So start creating and surprise yourself with what you are capable of doing.

Common light modifiers used in photography.

  • Reflectors

Floodlights modify the illumination of a scene by reflecting a substantial portion of the light that falls on its surface or surfaces. Photographic reflectors are generally used to illuminate portions of the object to be photographed that do not receive enough direct light from the source(s). Generally, photographic reflectors also act as diffusers by spreading the angle of the incident light and, in this sense, are equivalent to diffuse light sources.

Traditional light reflectors typically consist of white or silver cloth on an optically opaque backing. Generally speaking, silver reflectors provide a greater amount of reflection, while white reflectors provide a greater amount of diffusion. Furthermore, these reflectors do not change the color of the light, which is why they are known as neutral reflectors.

On the other hand, there are golden light modifiers that do affect the color of the light, giving the image a warmer color. These types of reflectors are often used in portraiture.

  • Diffusers

The main purpose of diffusers is to transform direct or hard light into softer light, which generates less contrast and less direction and produces lighter and less defined shadows. This is caused by two simultaneous factors:

The diffuser directs the light it transmits in such a way that each point on the surface of the diffuser emits light.

Increases the emission surface of the original light source.

That is, in principle, the diffuser acquires its characteristic effect by transmitting or reflecting light.

Let's go through the different kinds of light modifiers in Part 2!

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