Softer shadows with my speedlight

Wayne wrote:

Love the podcast!

Question: At the moment, I have a Nikon D50 with only one SB-600 speedlight that I’m using off-camera with an optical trigger for some portraits. I’m using a omnibounce right now but I really need some softer light and I’m not sure what to get.

I was thinking about a softbox or an umbrella (not sure which would be better or what size, etc.)…then Ed mentioned that he used to shoot his speedlight through a white sheet (or something to that effect)…could you give me some advice here?

Right now, my shadows are just too harsh and I’m looking for a way to soften my portraits while I save my pennies for some Alienbees. Also, if you could provide some setup suggestions, like flash height and distance to subject, f-stops, etc., I’d be very greatful.

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