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Which is better, a softbox or an umbrella?

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Joined 2012-05-08

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For portraits and product photography, most professionals prefer to use SoftBoxes, as the extra diffusion in front of the light (not available with the umbrella) produces less specularity in the highlight areas of faces & creates a more pleasing skin tone. Products tend to look more natural with the diffused window light quality of the soft box. It is also easier to control the direction of the light with the SoftBox, especially when combined with a grid. An umbrella is useful for large groups, when you want a wide and soft light spread. You may wish to purchase a SoftBox kit and have an umbrella available for those circumstances.