ShadowCaster Gobos - What Do They Do by Richard Bradbury

ShadowCaster Gobos – What Do They Do

Hello everyone I hope you are all well. Great to be back on the EP blog.

In this post we will be taking a look at the new Shadow Caster Gobos available from Pixapro.  As photographer or videographer we often have access to or see many light modifiers that can be bought and fitted to a light but you don’t see a ton of off the shelf solutions to place in front of your light (Gobo = Go Between) to breakup the light pattern.

In come the Shadow Caster Gobo sets.

I got sent these recently and they have been a ton of fun to use.  In t his post I want to show you what patterns each Gobo cause by showing the shadow pattern created on grey seamless paper, that way we are looking at shadow and highlight only.  Full lighting breakdown also included.

You will see more of these being used in my work including portraits.

First let’s cover what a Gobo is. A gobo is any material that you place in front of a light to partially block its beam and a cookie is a type of gobo that projects a pattern.  This makes the shadow casters cookie gobos.  It is also worth noting that a light blocking gobo is also called a flag.

Either way you are changing the patter of light that is thrown most likely from a bare bulb or harder more direct light source.  With a cookie/gobo that is designed to create a pattern you would normally want to use it with a harder light so the shadow are more defined hence showing more of the pattern, that said you can set up to taste.   

The images in this post show the Gobo’s shot with bare bulb and a 5” reflector from the same distance, bare bulb will always be a harder source than any standard reflector as it is a smaller source.

In the images below I have photographed each Shadow Caster sent over to throw a pattern on a plain wall / background so you can see a clear pattern.  You can change the shadows pattern cast by changing your light angle (or Gobo Angle) should you wish to but for this I wanted to show clearly what each Gobo does.

Before we get to the images and examples let me break down the kit being used.

Camera – Canon 5DsR
Lens – Canon 85mm F1.4L IS
TriggerPixapro ST-IV Trigger
Light Stand – 240cm Air Cushioned Light Stand with reflector grip
C-Stand300cm C-Stand with 50” Boom Arm
Bracket For LightSmart Bracket
Gobo LightPixapro Pika 200 TTL with 5” reflector or Bare Bulb.  Used for Gobo pattern shots.
Gobo’s various

Lighting Set

I had to use a black card to prevent light from the bare bulb hitting the light fittings in my studio as they would create highlights on the background.  But the lighting setup can be done with any bare bulb light source, bare bulb with reflector or even a speedlite.


The ShadowCaster Gobos are 40x40cm in size and come in the following patterns.

1.Flower Design

2. Cloud Design

3. Window Design

4. Tree Design

5. Grid Design

You can see each of the shadow patterns created below. They create some very interesting shadow play and can break up a set or plain background on product shots and even portraits.

I have included 2 images of each Gobo one taken with a bare bulb Pika 200 and the other using the 5” reflector for the Pika 200. 


You can control the hardness of the shadows created a few ways.

1. Change the distance of the light source (you risk more light spill)
2. Use a bare bulb strobe. This will mean a loss of flash output (Exposure was F5 for bare bulb VS F13 with reflector)

You could even double two of the Shadow casters up to create something unique pattern wise. I will be trying that for a follow up post and video coming soon.  I am waiting for some items arriving for a video and other posts.

I would like to say thank you to Pixapro for sending these over, I love them and cannot wait to use them on a portrait as well.  Who would like to see a blog post of that?

Any comments or questions hit me up on Instagram.

Thank you for reading.


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