underwater strobe diffusers
Improve your lighting
The Beauty of Soft Lighting
with a wider and soft edged light beam
Underwater Lighting Made Easy
The definition of soft light is:
“Light that tends to “wrap” around objects, casting diffuse shadows with soft edges. Soft light is when a light source is large relative to the subject.”
Light Dome diffusers produce a very wide and soft edged light beam that extends softly around the strobe.
The total surface area of a Light Dome diffuser is about 315 cm2, while the standard diffuser of, for instance a Sea&Sea D2 strobe is only 55 cm2.
Larger Emitting Surface = Softer Light
This enormous increase in emitting surface combined with the shape and material of the Light Dome diffusers produces a nice even light with extremely soft edges which make edge-lighting much easier.
The distance from the dome port to the subject at which you can get good light is decreased considerably, even in murky conditions, resulting in less backscatter and stunning wide angle compositions.
Topside (land) photographers have many resources to soften light by diffusing light through large surfaces or bouncing light off of walls or ceilings, while underwater photographers have been limited with a forward blast of light coming out from a small source which favors sharp shadows and increases backscatter. Not anymore !
Wide and Macro
The Light Dome diffusers work great for Wide Angle as well as Macro.
The soft edge allows extreme side lighting at "touching-distance" from the dome port, reducing backscatter dramatically.
With softer and diffuse shadows, those macro shy subjects that like to hide behind coral branches are easier to illuminate. Strobe positioning for extreme macro is not as critical, even when using additional high magnification lenses.
Light loss at the center of the beam is about 2/3 of f-stop compared to a standard diffusers, but the gain at the edge is so much that in most real world conditions, using the common edge lighting technique, you would use a smaller aperture or a lower power setting, obtaining greater depth of field or faster recycling times.
No More Undesirable Reflections
Many silvery fish cause distracting reflections, specially when they form schools, because it becomes virtually impossible to control de light angle for each individual fish at the same time. But the nice soft light of the Light Dome diffusers makes this task much easier, preventing harsh reflection throughout the frame.
Ideal for One Strobe Systems too
If you like to keep your photo gear simple using a single strobe without compromising good lighting across the frame, the Light Dome diffusers are a perfect option for you.
Crystal clear examples of the efficiency of Light Dome
We want to share with you some test shots we took during the developing process. A variety of shapes, sizes and materials were tested on land and underwater to reach the perfect balance between size and diffusion.
In this example you can see how using standard diffusers there is a distance at which the center of the frame gets darker than the sides. However using the Light Dome diffusers the light spreads evenly throughout the game, even at a closer distance
Coverage Angle Decreases Underwater
This images are taken at night in very murky water, using constant light (video lamp) which gives 120º on land.
Due to refraction the beam angle is reduced to only 80º as it passes through a flat frontal plate. This is exactly the same physical process that happens each time you wear your diving mask that makes you see everything bigger.
The second image shows how the light beam is transformed using the Light Dome diffuser. You can see the glow of the light even behind the lamp. These extreme angle is what allows for radical edge-lighting and obtain spotless photos in very dirty water.
Much Wider and Softer Beam
For this test shots the strobe has been placed pointing 90º to the left and a circular fisheye lens has been used to show the difference between using a standard diffuser against a Light Dome diffuser.
The increase in angle coverage is huge and the soft edge of the beam expands behind the strobe. The same test was performed outdoor in the dark to avoid light bouncing off walls and ceiling and the same results were obtained.
Watch the Light Dome Diffusers in Action
By the way, These diffusers work great for video lights too. We custom make the fittings for most video lights.
They are specially helpful in murk conditions and with wide angle lenses where the corners often get dark as you change the distance from the scene.
See The Magic Work
Here you can see the effect of using Light Dome diffusers in the foreground of the image.
Shadows are greatly reduced
This is a clear example of how the soft light from the Light Dome diffusers reduces shadows dramatically.
for wide angle and macro
Ideal for compact and DSLR - for dual and single strobe systems
Available for the Most Popular Strobes
Each model is specifically designed to fit perfectly on your strobe
Easy and quick on and off
The shape to fit each particular model of strobe has been carefully designed to offer a super-quick and secure press fitting coupling. You can remove and put back on the diffuser in -literally- one second.
They come with a lanyard so they stay attached to the strobe arm when you remove them.
Sea&Sea YS01, 02, 03
Ikelite 125, 160, 161
Sea&Sea 110, 110a
Sea&Sea YS 250 Pro
We also make Light Dome diffusers for video lights
Strobe Positioning using Light Dome diffusers
Go wide, Go wild
To obtain good lighting in wide angle scenes, one of the most common techniques is side lighting. The technique is specially useful for Close Focus Wide Angle shots, where you place the strobes at both sides of the dome, slightly behind the dome base plate and pointing a little outwards to avoid backscatter when the water is not so clear.
The more particles there are in suspension the more you would have to open the angle of the strobes pointing towards the sides. With standard diffusers this means leaving the foreground in the shade of both beams at some point when you either get too close or open up the strobes too much to prevent particles bouncing off light back to the lens.
So, if you point the strobes outward to avoid backscatter you can't get very close to your subject, and if you point the strobes forward to light the foreground you have to deal with the infamous backscatter.
The Light Dome diffusers immensely solve this dilema. With a light beam that reaches even behind the strobe and with a super-soft edge you can point your strobe to the sides as much as you need to avoid backscatter and you still get good light very close in front of the lens.
During the development tests we were shocked to find out that you can place the strobe 20cm behind the camera and pointing 90º towards the sides and still be able to get even lighting right in front of the dome port. Users feedback confirms our finding and we receive many reports with photos taken in terrible visibility conditions which are spotless right out of the camera without any editing. In general, if the water is murky, you will want to point the strobes more outward than using standard diffusers.
When the water is clear you can point the strobes inward towards the subject, for an easy even lighting of the foreground when you work upclose.
The soft light of the Light dome diffusers will provide better filled shadows, even using a single strobe.
The light loss at the center of the beam is about 2/3 f-stop, but you gain so much power at the edge, that in real world conditions, using the common edge-lighting technique you will find yourself using a lower power setting in the strobe, or a smaller aperture, or lower ISO. This results in more depth of field, less picture noise, faster recycling time and easiness to balance ambient light in bright sunny conditions.
Your Underwater Lighting Studio
The angle of macro lenses, is much narrower than any strobe beam, so you may think that you have plenty of light angle to play with and don't see the need for a wider beam. However, the good lighting doesn't come from quantity but quality of the light. The diffuse shadows produced by a much bigger emitting surface, regardless of its angle, results in softer shadows, which is particularly helpful when working up close or when high magnification wet lenses are used.
The position of the strobes doesn't need to be so accurate to get the light on the subject. Using the Light Dome diffusers is almost like having a flash ring, but with the capability of changing the power/distance of each strobe to have control of ver shadows that produce volume to the image.
This is what photographers say about Light Dome
We are receiving awesome feedback from photographers around the world
You can buy Light Dome from these dealers and save time and shipping costs.
If you don't have a dealer in your country you can buy directly from us.
Price: 80 € for one, 150 € for two.
We Ship Worldwide, Please inquiry shipping cost to your country.
Behind the Domes
Underwater Photographer and product designer
Light Dome diffuser is a Glowdive product designed by Carlos Villoch.
Carlos is an award winning professional underwater photographer who travels the world on assignments or teaching underwater photography to other fellow divers. He founded www.GlowDive.com where he designs, manufactures and distributes underwater photography products to help other photographers taking better photos.
After seeing many photography students suffering difficulties to properly illuminate their photos, he designed the Light Dome diffusers, making it much easier to get the right light in the foreground of wide angle scenes and to obtain shadowless macro shots.
Since the early nineties, Carlos has been designing and producing multitude of products to increase functionality of the actual equipments, from video housings to the first complete systems to observe and photograph underwater fluorescence using ultraviolet LED lights and filters.
You can learn more about Carlos here.