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Using Grid Spots

If you took your softbox off your strobe, the light from the flash bulb would pretty much just go everywhere. That’s one of the reasons we use softboxes in the first place—to help us put the light where we want it and greatly soften it, of course, but softboxes are, by nature, soft. That’s where grid spots come in. These attach right over your strobe’s reflector, and have a metal honeycomb pattern that gives you a narrow, focused beam for very dramatic effects (the light will be hard-edged, because there’s no softbox—it’s a bare bulb with a metal reflector and a grid spot). Right now, you see these grid spots used big time as back-edge lights in portraits. These come in different degrees (like a 10° grid, a 20°, and so on), and the lower the number, the tighter the beam (I usually use a 20° or 30° grid). There’s not much to using them. You just snap them into place and that’s it—your beam is greatly narrowed. Put one on either side of your subject, aim them at the sides of their face, then use a strobe up front to put some fill light into their face, and—voilá—you’ve got the look.

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