Tag Archives: Website review

Of Softboxes and light… New Interactive Website

The difference between hard and soft light can make or break your picture.
New website provides interactive light experience

A new website has been exciting photographers of all levels. The site, Virtual lighting studio by zvork External link - opens new tab/page is an interactive site allowing you to set up studio lights. You test your light set-ups on a virtual person. The pictures above show two light set-ups with one light using a softbox and as an alternative a bare strobe (flash).

You can use up to six different lights. Each can be set up differently. There is a bare strobe (flash); snoot (focusses the light); a ring light and two sizes of soft box. The intensity of the light can be changed from hard light to soft light, as well as the colour too. You can even turn on the ambient light and control the intensity and colour of that as well. To vary the light conditions you can move the light right or left of the person, around the back. In addition you can move the lights up and down to get light from above and below. Back and forward options allow you also move each light nearer or further from the subject.

Once you have designed your light set-up you can take a snapshot and try another. To see the light set-up as a design you can swap between the studio view and the light layout design. You can print it off or keep a copy as an image. The drawing of the light set-up could do with some further development, but it is perfectly understandable and usable.

One feature I particularly like is the ability to temporarily turn off all the lights except one using the ‘solo’ button. This is to enable you to adjust that one light without the impact of the others. Then you can turn them back on again to see the final result.

Virtual Lighting Studio web page

Virtual Lighting Studio web page.

One criticism – after playing with the features for I was not able to eliminate a light band under the chin. It looks like a line of reflection from a mirror and it is not life-like. It doesn’t interfere with the overall experience if you ignore it.

I spent several hours with this page. Really the best thing to do is try it. For starters and improver’s in photography it is a wonderful opportunity to play with a range of light conditions. For more advanced and professional photographers it is an invaluable light design tool. It provides everyone with a design planner for lighting on a real shoot. I really enjoyed using this site and have used some of the results.

This is an interesting and useful site that photographers at all levels can benefit from trying out. It is free and provides a full set of help details. Click the button in the top right hand corner of the site. The site is still in its Beta version… out for testing with the public. So feedback and comments will help the developers to improve the site.

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