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In this article photographer Aries Tao introduces Godox Quick Release Softbox. Featuring easy setup and breakdown, QR series (QR-P70, QR-P90, QR-P120) highly levels up your efficiency.

Good day guys, your mate Aries Tao here. Welcome to Godox Basic Lighting 101. Today we are gonna discuss the Light Modifier:  Parabolic Softbox.

The soft is a large light modifier that delivers soft light, it also offers light refinement options such as single layer of diffusion, or grid attachment. I will explain them in detail later in this video.

Double-layer diffusion for flexible softness

Parabolic softbox comes with two diffusion layer to double diffuse the light. You can use it for a softlight look.We can also remove the front diffusion, and keep the internal diffusion only. Notice that Godox doubled the center part of the internal diffusion layer, this is a small but significant improvement as it would completely get rid of the flash hotspot. The light output would deliver higher intensity and contrast comparing with the double diffusion. If you need more directional light, or you simply need to increase light output for situations such as combating sun, this is the way to go.

To test the light out, we took the Parabolic softbox on location for some test shot. As you guys can see it’s just a simple ally that I think it would be perfect to test out the parabolic softbox. For mobility I took out the QR-P90. The central part of the internal diffusion would significantly improve the light output. To test it out I use sun as the hair light and I use the softbox as key light right above the camera. You guys can see how soft the light is on her skin.

And here is the same light setup with a single layer of diffusion. Slightly harsher comparing with double diffusion, but much softer comparing with standard reflector.

Then we moved on to the full body shoot. I used ⅛ th power to light the model with double diffusion as softbox. 

Then I keep the light setup the same with one layer of diffusion. You guys see that with the front diffusion layer removed. The light output is roughly doubled. Here is the result 1/16 power output with a single layer diffusion for your reference.

Grid for restricted spread of light

The Parabolic Softbox support grid as attachment. While the light is still soft, grid allows you to restrict the spread of light. This is useful to direct the light to a relatively restricted area, just where you want it to be. 

This is a cool location, problem is that the light spread from the softbox would light up the whole passage, and destroy the ambient light. That’s why my first reaction is adding the grid on the QR-P90. So we can have a soft yet focused light spread. And here is the result we get.

Grid on the softbox is particularly useful in a restricted space. And here are a few images with the grid that I randomly shoot on the train on our way back. And they turn out to be my favorite images of the day.

Aries’ personal take

Parabolic softbox allows me to keep my lighting options more flexible. if I want softlight, I would use double diffusion. 

I can also use the single diffusion option to increase the light output, this could make the world of difference if I am combating the sun. 

I can also deliver a soft yet restricted light spread with grid attached. Or I can use the grid simply because I love the particular look.

Size range and how to choose

For studio, the larger the light source means the softer the light out. As mainly a softlight guy I would go with P120 for full body shot. For half-body or headshot, P90 and P70 should be big enough as a softlight source. 

On location, as I mainly do fashion/editorial (one person) or wedding (two people), I need to shoot and move pretty fast. I found P70 and P90 is much easier to manage on location. Yes with the smaller light source I had harsher light, but it’s the trade-off I personally am willing to take. However, if I have the luxury of time to set up or I need to shoot group portraits, I would go for P120.

Simple lighting Tips with Parabolic softbox

So here is How I would use the parabolic softbox:

1. User two layers of diffusion to archive the softest light

2. Remove the front diffusion layer to increase the light output. This would be helpful especially if you are combating the sun with smaller strobes.

3. Adding a grid if you shoot in a restricted space and want to narrow the light spread. Or you simply want to prefer the particular look of the grid on softbox. 

Godox offers one-stop solution for all your photography needs. From Flash, LED lights, to light stands, and of course a wide range of modifiers. They’ve definitely thought of everything.

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