Erotic Nude Photography – Lighting Accessories: Soft-Boxes and Umbrellas

Within the field of nude and erotic photography, many tools are available that aid in the precise control of light. Let\’s take a closer look at two of the most important:

SOFT-BOXES
A soft-box is used to deliver soft, even light onto a scene. Typically, it is shaped like a rectangular box and fits over a flash head. Soft-boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes (3′ x 2′ and 4′ x 3′ are popular sizes).
Like umbrellas and diffusion panels, a soft-box is used to take a “hard” light (a flash head) and convert it to a softer and wider light. However, soft-boxes have an advantage over umbrellas and diffusion panels by allowing more control over the edges of light; thus, providing a solution to the problem of spilling unwanted light onto other parts of a scene.
The sides and top of a soft-box are black. The front of a soft-box (where the light passes through) is made of a translucent material. This translucent material is what causes the light to become diffused. The inside of a soft-box is typically white. However, they’re also available with silver or gold interiors (to “cool” or “warm” the light if desired). When photographing a nude women, gold interiors are often used to \”warm\” the model\’s skin tone. Most soft-boxes are collapsable for easy storage and transport.

Soft-boxes are extremely popular with erotic photographers because they consistently deliver a gentle, though easily directed, light. As a general guideline, small soft-boxes are usually used to light smaller subjects (such as makeup products or food), while photographing people usually requires larger soft-boxes.

Another important thing to know is that the closer the soft-box is positioned to a subject, the softer and gentler the light will be. The light that appears on the subject will get gradually less soft as the distance between the subject and the soft-box is increased.

UMBRELLAS
Umbrellas designed for photographic lighting look very similar to typical rain umbrellas. However, the interiors of photographic umbrellas are constructed with material that reflects light.

Most photographic umbrellas are black on the outside and white on the inside. They are used by taking a light source (such as a flash head) and pointing it toward the inside of the umbrella. When the flash is triggered, the light bounces off the inside of the umbrella in the direction of the subject.

Similar to a soft-box, an umbrella takes a small light source (the flash head) and turns it into a wider, less directional light. The light from an umbrella is typically smooth and soft; this type of light is often very good for nude photography due to the flattering type of light it produces. I discuss this topic in more detail in my ebook, “Money Shots: The Insider’s Guide to the World of Nude & Erotic Photography” (available for purchase and immediate download at http://www.moneyshotsbook.com).

For my erotic photography, I find myself using soft-boxes more often than umbrellas because i feel soft-boxes give me more precise control over the light. However, there are many very good photographers who get excellent results by using umbrellas only.

In fact, umbrellas are sometimes preferred because they create a more traditional, round “catchlight” in the eye of the subject; rather than the rectangular one that is created by most soft-boxes. Like soft-boxes, umbrellas come in a wide variety of sizes. Though the majority of umbrellas have a white interior, the are also available in gold or silver (to create \”warmer\” or\”cooler\” light).

Author Bio: Michael Charles is a professional photographer based in Los Angeles, California. He is the author of \”Money Shots: The Insider\’s Guide to the World of Nude & Erotic Photography\” (this book is available for purchase and immediate download at http://www.moneyshotsbook.com). For over a decade, Michael has shot exclusively in the world of nude, erotic, and adult-oriented photography. His work has been featured in hundreds of national and international publications and appears on a wide variety of prominent websites. For a complete course on the techniques, styles, moneymaking secrets, and amazing fringe benefits of nude and erotic photography, visit http://www.moneyshotsbook.com

Category: Arts and Crafts
Keywords: nude photography jobs,adult jobs,adult photography,nude photo tips,erotica,nude models

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