Jerry Ghionis is widely regarded as one of the top portrait photographers in the world. His creativity and ability to capture the natural magic of individuals allows others to see the powerful visual story telling in his images. A master of lighting, Jerry uses many types of lighting techniques to create his timeless portraiture. Two of Jerry’s go-to lighting setups include big light modifiers: a 5-Foot Pro Octabank and a 47-Inch Zeppelin Parabolic Softbox.
Many photographers unfamiliar with parabolic modifiers might assume that both of these large softboxes would create very similar lighting styles. While the Zeppelin Parabolic can be configured to create lighting similar to the Octabank, there are many variables that make these two modifiers very different tools for photographers.
Octabanks are fantastic tools for creating a consistent and flattering light. Strobes can only be mounted to the rear of the Octabank and are softened through two removable diffusion panels.
The output from a large Octabank is soft, broad, and dependable. These softboxes are ideal for studio portrait and fashion photographers.
Zeppelin Parabolic softboxes are fantastic tools for commercial and fashion photographers looking for a more versatile modifier. Strobes can be mounted to the rear of the Zeppelin and softened through two removable diffusion panels (like an Octabank).
Unlike Octabanks, however, strobes can also be mounted internally. When mounted internally, the light source’s placed can be adjusted (or focused). This allows photographers to created a variety of lighting styles with a single modifier.
When a strobe is mounted internally and placed far from the rear of the Zeppelin, a soft yet slightly edgy light source is created. There is some light falloff with this placement, but it is controlled.
When a strobe is mounted internally and placed close to the rear of the Zeppelin, a very edgy light is created and shadows appear crisp and dark. There is almost no light falloff with this placement, and backgrounds will appear extremely dark (amplifying the dramatic lighting).