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Shaping effect

by AdminAg

Written by Simone Angarano

Let’s discover the shaping effect together.
The use of translucent materials that increase the illuminated area makes it possible to diffuse light from, for example, flashes or a direct tungsten source. In fact, in the absence of a defocusing mechanism, the light will be more intense in the centre and will fade quickly towards the edges (ES.1), generating a very dark shadow with a uniform and deep density not only in the part of the object not directly illuminated but also in the shadow cast by the object itself . 
The use of a sheet of translucent material placed in front of a lamp operates the diffusion by making the light beam wider.  In this way, the diffuser becomes the light source.  Since the light source is thus wider, a softening of the contours and density of the shadows is achieved (ES.2), but this will lead to a reduction in intensity proportional to the degree of diffusion achieved.If we then move the light source away from our diffuser, a further decrease in light intensity to extreme diffusion is generated (ES.3).

Basically, the diffusion is controlled by three factors: By the transparency of the material used, the distance to the light source and the size of the diffuser in relation to the subject. It is therefore important to assess the combination of the size of the subject, the size of the light source and the distance between them.

One way to combine these three elements in one measure is to assess the perspective of the subject towards the light by carefully evaluating the size of the subject. As a general rule, the light source is said to be diffuse as long as it appears to be the same or larger than the subject.

Softening a hard light is a basic procedure in photography to soften shadows, increasing the uniformity of illumination making it suitable for most photographic uses.
shaping effect example 2
Example 2
shaping effect example 3
Example 3
shaping effect example 1
Example 1

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