4 Ways to Use the Magsphere

flash magmod magsphere Mar 13, 2020

The Magsphere is an incredible tool that can lead to some pretty amazing images.  The truth is that this tool is often used incorrectly.  There is a misperception that the Magsphere will actually soften the light you are using on your subjects, and that is actually incorrect.

The Magsphere works in two distinct ways. First, it allows light to be spread out in a 360° angle. This is incredibly useful in a variety of situations. For instance, you would want to use it to make the light spread out to light up a room and increase the ambient light to flash ratio. Another way you could potentially use it would be to backlight rain or smoke as you can see in the video above.

The second way that the mag spear works is that it diffuses light coming from a speed light that uses a Fresnel lens. The light that comes from a Fresnel lens is typically specular in nature which means that it reflects highlights back from the subject into the camera. This can create unflattering portraits because it accentuates texture in the oil on your subject's skin. The mag spirit can help alleviate that however it still produces a very hard light, and using it in a close-up portrait where you would typically see the specularity is not usually advisable.

So there are a couple of ways I recommend using this tool to get the most out of it.

1. Backlighting your subjects

the Magsphere is excellent for spreading light out in that 360° angle but we talked about above. This makes it ideal when backlighting rain shots or any other type of water. When using light behind a semi-translucent object like glass, rain, foliage, smoke, or anything that you can slightly see through it will allow that object to light up and bounce light through it to create abstract and interesting effects.

The Magsphere allows that light to spread out in a wider pattern which will help to give you more even light distribution.

2. Creating lens flare

the Magsphere is very unique in that it will allow you to add color using the built in gel holder, or stack it with the MagGel. By adding an orange gel to your light, you are actually able to fire it into the camera lens and create interesting haze or lens flare effects. You can experiment with the color to create complementary colors with your subjects attire.

3. Create soft light by bouncing flash

There’s actually a way to get beautiful soft light from the Magsphere, but you would not want to fire it directly at your subjects. By utilizing the Magsphere and bouncing light off of the surface you are going to get wider and more even distribution without hotspots on your subject's skin. This is because the spear will throw the light in that 360° angle and cover the surface of your reflector much more evenly. This is my favorite way to use this light tool and can lead to some beautiful effects.

4. Change the Shape of your Flash Head

The Magsphere can take a traditional rectangular light source and change the shape of it to a round head. There are many benefits to using round had flashes, but the main one is that you have even light distribution. The most obvious way to use this would be when you are silhouetting a subject and you have to keep the light source close to the wall.

This will allow you to create an ideal circular pattern that can look like a spotlight shining behind your subjects allowing their shapes to show completely through in a silhouette. For bonus points, you can add color to your light using the MagGel and create interesting effects.

So those are my top four ways to utilize the Magsphere I hope you guys enjoyed this article as we are going to be making one for every one of our favorite Magmod tools.


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