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What to Do When You Can’t Turn Your Strobe Power Down Any Further

The bigger the softbox, the softer and more beautiful the light. But what if you want even softer light? Well, the trick is to move that light as close as possible to your subject (without it actually appearing in the frame), because the closer the light, the bigger it becomes, which makes it even softer and more beautiful. One other thing happens when you move a light in this close: it gets much brighter. So, as you move the light closer to your subject, you’ll need to lower the power of your strobe so it’s not so bright, right? Right. Now, what happens when you’ve lowered the power of your strobe as low as it can go, and it’s still too bright? When this happens, just raise your f-stop. That’s right. If you were at f/8, raise it to f/11. If you started at f/11, raise it to f/14. This cuts the amount of light falling on your subject, so you get the best of both worlds—you’re still getting super-soft light by moving it close to your subject, but you’re not blowing them out with too much light because it’s so close. You might even need to increase your f-stop by two stops or more, but if that’s the case, don’t sweat it—just do it.

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