Sculpting With Light: A Deep Dive into Parabolic Lighting Modifiers

Photography and videography heavily rely on the quality of lighting, and the choice of modifiers can significantly influence the outcome of a shoot. Parabolic lighting modifiers, known for their distinctive impact on texture and sculpting of human features, are especially important in fashion and beauty photography.

Coming to you from Karl Taylor with Visual Education, this insightful video delves into the world of parabolic lighting modifiers, particularly the Broncolor Para 88 and Para 133. Taylor, a seasoned photographer, explains the physics behind these modifiers and their unique parabolic shape, which is crucial for achieving their renowned effect. He emphasizes that true parabolic modifiers must have a specific depth and curvature to function as intended, a detail often overlooked with many brands claiming to offer parabolic solutions. The video showcases how these modifiers are not just about brightness but also about the quality and direction of light, impacting texture and the three-dimensional feel of images.

Taylor demonstrates the practical use of these modifiers, focusing on their ability to sculpt light in a way that enhances textures and human features, making them ideal for fashion and beauty shoots. He points out that while parabolic modifiers are famed for their hard, biting light, they can also produce flattering, soft illumination. This paradoxical nature makes them highly versatile. The video also covers the importance of having a light source that can emit light sideways and forwards, a key requirement for these modifiers to work effectively. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Taylor.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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1 Comment

Great video. I own the Broncolor Para 133 and 222. Paras produce the finest results of any modifier I’ve used. Truly a joy to use.