36 Softening Light

This exercise requires the setup a still life shoot and lighting with a ‘naked’ or point light source, then to diffuse the same light and location and compare the results. Equipment used Nikon DSLR, 105mm Macro Lens, Tripod, Nikon Speedlight, diffuser, black backdrop, lighting stands. Processing via Nikon NX2 and DXO.

The subject, a carved wooden statue of a boy and girl sitting, was lit from the about 40 degrees left and down at about a 40 degree angle down, so that there would be an obvious shadow onto the girls face.

Point light source


As you would expect the point light source produces very defined harsh and dark shadows. The detail of the carving in the wood i.e. surface detail is pronounced.

Diffused light source


The diffused light source produces a much softer light as you would expect, there are of course still shadows but they are not as harsh as the point source, less defined and not as dark. The surface detail is still visible but less pronounced.


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