Learning lighting techniques is an essential skill for photographers. This leads to the question, what is parabolic lighting and what makes it special compared to other light sources? We're going to explain what parabolic lighting is, its benefits and disadvantages, and how it can affect your real estate photos.
Parabolic lighting is a softer and less focused light beam. It comes from a plane curve or symmetrical U-shaped line caused by parabolic modifiers. Depending on where you position the lamp head in a real estate scene, this curvature or shape enables you to alter the light's strength or focus.
Lighting interiors and exteriors let you highlight a property's features, helping your clients market and sell a home through visually stunning images. With various kinds of lighting you can use, it's vital that you know the best time to apply parabolic lighting in real estate images.
Parabolic lighting is a less harsh light from a more rounded modifier with more panels to create a focal point of light. In effect, it generates a more natural illumination than other modifier shapes.
Parabolic light can mimic the sun's natural lighting to capture more detailed and high-contrast real estate photos. When photographing a house, the difference in placement and intensity can help change a room's mood, and consequently, the viewer's perception.
You can partially illuminate the center when moving the light bulb closer into a parabolic modifier. Meanwhile, moving closer enables you to illuminate the scene entirely. Either way, the circular illumination lets you surround the subject with soft yet 2-dimensional lighting.
Professionally photographed properties have a 47% higher asking price per square foot. One of the ways to achieve that is to provide proper illumination.
The parabolic shape's symmetry enables you to reflect light at specific angles and distances. With such benefits, you can see why parabolic lighting is a suitable form of lighting for on-location shoots, such as real estate photography.
It can be pretty challenging to use parabolic lighting when photographing subjects with reflective or glossy surfaces. This usually applies in kitchens with shiny countertops or bathrooms with several mirrors.
Another drawback is the price, as parabolic modifiers typically cost more than their counterparts. However, modifiers can be worthwhile investments as they can produce variable lighting strength and focus.
Only 15% of property listings use high-quality photos for marketing. If you want to provide professional real estate photography services, it's essential that you know how to use the various parabolic modifiers.
These modifiers can reflect light either to a single point or beam of light. However, they can have significant differences in the overall effect.
The simplest way to make a parabolic surface is to cut and fold a flat sheet, like cardboard, into the shape you prefer. Stick a layer of aluminum foil, plastic, or metal, on the inner surface to ensure reflectivity.
Among the most common umbrella shapes are the regular umbrellas and the combination of an umbrella and a softbox. Compared to the symmetrical lines of parabolic lighting, regular umbrellas have standard convex shapes. Meanwhile, the softbox-and-umbrella hybrid combines the features and characteristics of both lighting modifiers.
Parabolic lighting is a great technique to apply in real estate photography as it can consistently produce natural-looking light. Any parabolic modifier would allow you to experiment with lighting so that your images would have a more creative effect.