In this video, I’ll show you the power of using a grid to further modify the light on a softbox. It creates mood and makes it simple to control the light completely.

Modifying a softbox with a grid from Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers by Robert Vanelli

Course transcript

So now what we want to do here is modify the light a little bit further to where we’re just using a beam of light. And this next shot’s going to be a perfect shot of a beautiful queen. This is Erin. – Hi. – So, in order to get that type of a look what we need to do is add a modifier on top of our modifier. So we already talked about the strip box. And how the strip box has that nice beam of light. Now what we want to do is add a grid to this strip box. And what the grid is going to do for us, is it’s going to take that light and position it even further for us.

So, let me put it in position. Now notice, I have Erin sitting because when we’re working on this here, I don’t want her getting her back muscles all cramped up when we’re bending. Or if she’s standing for a long period of time I don’t want her legs to wear out. And if that happens her facial expression is not going to be what we want. So we have a seat off to the side for her.She’ll take her mark. She’ll stand. Good.

That’s it. Good. Let me just move this back just a touch. Now slowly bend forward. Now the closer she gets to that light source, the hotter that light’s going to be. So we’ll have to do a quick test. And I want to take a quick meter reading. My goal is to get f 11. So I’ll take a quick shot. Now, according to this, I’m at 12 point seven. So what I’m going to do is this. Stand up.

Take a half a step back. Just a touch more. Right there. Now bend forward again. Lean in just,and head down. Good. Beautiful. Notice, just that, you can relax a minute, just that half a stepchanged that light by almost a half a stop. So I have her here. She’s going to take her position.Let me get ready with the camera. I dialed in my settings.

Good. Close your eyes for a moment. Now think, you’re the queen of England at such a young age. That crown is a blessing. But yet it’s also a curse. So that crown, you’re excited about being the queen. But you’re always, you’re also worried that you have all this responsibility. So bend your head just a touch. Right there. Perfect. Now, when I tell you to you, you’re going to slowly open your eyes. And give me that look. Go. Open.

Nice, nice. Good. That’s one. Open. Two. Good. Not in this shot, give me just a touch of a smirk.Ready. And open. Beautiful. Good. Now that we’ve ripped a few frames, what we want to do is review them. And just tweak it just a touch. So, Erin let’s come over here for a moment. We took our three shots. Good. There’s one.

Two. I like that. Oh, there’s that little smirk. Good. So that looks really good. Let’s bend your neck down, your head down just a little bit more. And with your hands, this time, let’s put the hands in front of you. Yep. And just twiddle with your fingers. Now, the reason why I’m having her just twiddle with her fingers like this, is by doing that it’s going to take your mind off of the expression that you have to do, all the lights, all the cameras. And just the stress of that. So this right here, is just a way of you just relaxing.

And shoot your shoulders back just a touch. Good. So we’re going to get that right across here.– Okay. – Beautiful. Alright, let’s take your spot. Now that we have the lighting all set, and we have the posing all set, I want to introduce a new modifier, and that’s going to be the reflector.The earrings are looking great. What I want this to do, is just add just a touch of light. You may or may not notice it. But when you look at ’em side by side, you’ll say, “Wow.

Just something is extra to that.” And that’s what this is going to do for us. So I’ll take this in.Good. Positioned right behind her. She takes her mark. Good. And let me grab my camera.Alright here we go Erin. Ready? Take your spot. Shoulders back. Good. Just like that. Head down a little bit more. Right there. Good Erin. Just like that. And slowly open. Beautiful.

That’s one. Nice, nice, nice. Good. Turn your head just a little bit towards me. A little more. Right there. Good. Ready? And go. Beautiful. All right, last one. Dip your chin down just a little bit more. Little more. Right there. Ready? And go. Good. Keep your eyes looking a little bit down more. Right there. Open. Got it. Oh, that’s it. That’s it. All right, so here’s the new set.

That looks good. Oh, that looks better. That one right there looks the best. Good. Now just so you could see it. What I’m really going to do, is crop that out. Right about, here. Now when we have more time, I’ll tweak it further. But you’re not, we’re not going to see, that’s why we’re wearing an off the shoulder dress. Beautiful. Right there. There it is. Now I know what you’re thinking.

We have a beautiful model, of course the image is going to look beautiful. Well, yes that’s true.But it’s not just the model. We had to make sure we stylized it. But most importantly, we needed to make sure our modifier matched the look that we’re going for. And these strip boxes, with that grid, is an awesome modifier.