flash workshops

Orb or Softbox? That is a question for speedlite shooters

Soft boxes offer directional light. © Rick Sammon
I'm taking the weekend off from posting. Just finished five days of Alaska photos.


This was my most popular posts, so I'm re-posting it for those speedlite shooters who might have missed it.

On my Master Your Flash Workshops, I illustrate - among several other lighting techniques - the difference between portraits taken with softboxes and orbs. We place a speedlite in each flash accessories and get to work – and start to have fun.

Catherine Hall. © Rick Sammon
Basically, softboxes with recessed diffusion panels offer more directional light than orbs. The two illustrations above illustrate directional light from a softbox.

© Jason Ludwig
Above is a picture of me (taken in Dave Cross' studio) using a 28-inch Westcott Apollo softbox to light the subject from above, which was the same technique I used when I photographed Catherine Hall at the Google studio. Speaking of me: You can hire me as a voice activated light stand :-)

Artist Eddi Flemming. © Rick Sammon
Orbs with recessed diffusion panels produce a wider and softer beam of light than softboxes. They are nice to use when you want to light a wider area with softer shadows. I used my Westcott Orb for the photograph above. Orbs also wrap the light around a subject for softer light.


Umbrellas? I don't use them too often, but they are nice for large groups.

For more lighting tips, see my apps.

Explore the light,
Rick