In this video I show you why simply moving your Softbox will radically change the look and feel of your portraits. Hello I’m Gavin Hoey and you’re watching AdoramaTV brought to you by Adorama, the camera store that’s got everything for us photographers and today you join me in my small home studio. Now you might think working in a small studio space means you have to use a small light modifier, well you’d be mostly right if I’m honest with you but I do have something a bit bigger. I’ve got this. This is a 48 inch by 16 inch strip box. Yes I know it is a big light source. It’s a wide light source when you use it this way around and that’s how I like to use it for headshots, but it also opens up some questions being fairly large where should it be positioned for best use? Should it be in front of the model? Should the model be in the middle? Or should it be behind the model? Well the answer is it depends on the look you want to achieve and that’s what we’re going to explore in this video. So let’s get some light set, let’s get a model in, let’s get shooting! So to help me out today I’ve got the amazing Brian. Brian is going to be the model for this shoot and he is not going to move. The distance between Brian and the background will remain exactly the same throughout all these shots. The only thing that’s going to move is the position of the Softbox, so we can see how that affects the pictures. Now to begin with, I’m going to start with a fairly standard position for a Softbox. In other words it’s in front of Brian. I’ve already metered this out for f/5.6 Let’s take a picture, see how it looks? Okay Brian here we go and what we get here is just a classically lit portrait. There’s a little bit of shadow on Brian’s right-hand side as we look at the picture and when Brian turns to look towards the light source, well it’s a very similar story. For my next setup what I’ve done is moved the Softbox backwards, so now the back of the Softbox is more or less in line with the back of Brian’s head. This is actually my go-to lighting setup for head-shots. It means that most of the surface of the Softbox is in front of Brian. That means we get light coming all the way around, wrapping around and lighting well both the side nearest the Softbox and a little bit on the cheeks over this side too, but being closer to the light it will affect the exposure. I could do trial and error or I can just get my flash meter and work out how much light is on Brian and it is f/8 so I’ve gained a stop. I can either dial in f/8 or just turn the power of the flash down which is what I’m going to do and I can get back to f/5.6, okay let’s take a shot like this. Okay Brian here we go. Now we have a portrait with a lot more contrast. There’s plenty of shadow on the right hand side but there’s also plenty of detail. I can see Brian’s eye. There’s a catch light in it and even when Brian turns towards the light source, this still works and has a lovely three-dimensional feel. Now I’ve moved the light so it is exactly central on Brian. There’s as much light on the back of him as on the front. Now in theory this should give me a split light look; a lit side and a shady side, but before I take the picture to prove that I’m going to check the exposure. If you’ve moved the light, check your exposure, here we go and in fact it’s exactly the same as it was before, so that’s great! Let’s take the picture. Okay here we go. This is exactly what I expected. There’s a bright side and a dark side and in those shadows there’s very little detail, not even a catch light but when Brian turns to look towards the light it’s a different story. This works fantastically well as a portrait and the background, well that slightly brighter because of course the Softbox is closer to it. So finally I’ve got the Softbox, so Brian is in line with the front edge. That means almost all of the Softbox is behind him. That should give some interesting effects. Firstly it means much more of the light is going to reach this background that should go a lighter tone of gray and very little light is actually going to reach Brian. Certainly very little on this side of him at least but the challenging part of this is actually getting the metering right. Now I could get my flash meter and point it at the camera? If I do that I’m only getting f/2.2 I need to meter it for the light. I want to meter it for the highlights, so I’m going to point my flash meter actually at the flash and I get f/5. That’s still not quite f/5.6 so I can adjust it and get back to f/5.6 Okay let’s take this picture. Now the background is much brighter which is to be expected and the shadows on Brian’s face, well they’re creeping evermore to the left-hand side as we look at the picture. When Brian turns towards the light, well actually I can see a little bit of detail in the eye on the right-hand side and this would make a great portrait if the background was a nice deep dark black. So as you can see by moving the Softbox around, we can completely change the look on Brian, so let’s do a little bit more creative photography. I’m going to change the light around and we’ll take a few pictures, so Brian are you ready? Okay let’s do a shoot. So let’s start by getting that Softbox back to the front of you, so let’s move that Softbox so you’re in the middle and then because more light will reach the background I’m going to put a different background in. Something with some texture. Right that Softbox is all the way behind you now, so I’m going to need to turn the chair a little bit just so you look into that front edge of the light. So where should you place your Softbox in relation to your model for the best portraits? Well the answer is; everywhere! Because the more you move your light the more you’ll learn and the more variety you’ll be able to create in your portraits. Now if you’ve enjoyed this video, don’t forget to leave me a comment below and of course don’t forget to click on that subscribe button and to get notifications of all of our new uploads on AdoramaTV, click on the bell icon. I’m Gavin Hoey thanks for watching.