This is an article about soft light. I'm so in love with it, but unfortunatelly it's not so popular in photoblogs. Every article starts to talk about it, but finishes with other interesting things.
I would not like to tell you now "how to place Octaboxes", but how to create soft "flat" light, even if you have no Octabox!
I have many series and photos to show, so I will use different images from my different series.
Okay, let's start with basics:
The standard scheme means placing the Octabox closer to the model and using a 45 degree angle. It looks good on every human's face and body. And also gives us nice soft shadows.
Looks like that:
Everyone knows it, maybe even uses it. But do you know that you can move an Octabox very far from the model and get a sharper light covering all scene. (Depending of distance, the big Octabox 150 can give us a light like a small Softbox). Of course it's more simple to have a small Softbox, but if you need to light up a big scene with the model`s full body? Looks good right? I think so too.
Okay, that's logically understandable. When your light modifier is farther away, the size of the spot becomes smaller and smaller. The smallest sources of light always gives us sharp light (standard reflectors or open lamp). So then our Octabox 150 on such distance, when you start to see the small spot only, you will get theoretically something like standard reflector's light. (Hyperbolizing is a bad idea, guys!). So, using only one Octabox you can do so many schemes, rotating and changing positions of monolight.
A propos rotations.
Do you like drama light? I do! It's possible even with an Octabox. Just rotate it more to the floor and place above the model! Not a theater as it is, but looks more dramatic always. Even if you make a darker pictures than me.
You can ask me how to work with soft lights when you have no soft modifiers and you are in a refrigerator-sized room? -Yeah, you found the right person, haha. Long time ago I was working with a makeup artist's academy, which is based in a small white room and has got only two monolights, two hard light modifiers, and one small softbox 40x40. Seems impossible, but with experience I started to create hundreds of schemes even with only two lamps. The answer is very simple. Use your environment.
Very nice example for me is this one made last month.
The light of the reflector is bouncing from the white wall and reflecting also from the white drapery (or from the roof of the room, or white big cardboard on your choose). As I said before: When the surface is bigger - the light is softer. Try different angles and positions to find the ideal light for your images!