A softbox is a light diffuser that helps create the perfect lighting conditions for portraits, headshots and product photography. It is a great alternative to a standard lighting box, as it allows you to capture images with a natural light look, and is very portable. You can use softboxes outdoors, indoors or inside a studio.
Softboxes have two main parts: the diffuser and the reflector. The diffuser is the part that creates the soft light. There are different kinds of diffusers available, each one designed to suit a particular purpose and style of photography. For instance, the Softglo™ Soft Diffuser is a circular diffuser with a white foam surface that creates a soft light. The Sunpak™ Soft Diffuser is a rectangular diffuser with a reflective surface and a velvety texture.
The reflector is used to bounce light back towards the subject. It can be in the form of a circular softbox, or a square reflector that sits behind the diffuser and reflects the light into the diffuser.
In this article, we share our tips for using a softbox, and show you how to make it even more versatile by combining it with other photography tools, such as a flashgun, lens, or tripod.
Table of Contents
1. Set up the Softbox
To set up the Softbox, follow these steps:
Attach the reflector (if required) to the back of the diffuser.
Place the diffuser on the floor.
Place the reflector on top of the diffuser, so that the diffuser lies between the reflector and the subject.
Adjust the position of the reflector until the diffuser looks natural and the subject is in focus.
2. Attach a Flashgun
To add a flashgun to the Softbox, follow these steps:
Locate the flashgun, either in the studio, in your bag or on a shelf.
Plug the flashgun into its charging port, or into an external battery pack.
Turn the flashgun on, so that it starts working.
Unplug the flashgun from the wall outlet.
Remove the batteries.
3. Attach a Lens
To attach a lens to the Softbox, follow these steps:
Check whether your lens has a built-in remote control and attach the remote to the lens.
Mount the lens on top of the reflector, and tighten it to the maximum setting.
Check that the lens is positioned so that it will be correctly framed, and that the lens is aimed in the direction you want the image to appear.
Turn the lens on, and check that the exposure settings are set to manual mode.
4. Place the Subject
Place the subject in front of the reflector.
Position the subject so that he or she is in the center of the frame.
5. Take the Picture
To take the picture, follow these steps:
Set the camera to manual mode, and select the correct focal length for your lens.
Select the aperture and shutter speed that you want to use.
Click the “shooting” button.
Take the picture.
6. Recharging the Softbox
If you are using a large softbox that needs recharging regularly, you can purchase a Softbox Recharger.
Note: If you have not already done so, plug the flashgun into its charging port or into an external battery pack.
7. Take the Photo
Once the Softbox is ready to go, turn it on, and place the subject in front of it.
Take the photo.
8. Remove the Softbox
When you are finished taking the photos, remove the Softbox.
Note: If you are taking photos with a flashgun, do not forget to unplug the flashgun from the wall outlet.
9. Clean the Softbox
Clean the Softbox by placing it in a container and spraying some cleaning solution on it.
10. Keep It Safe
Keep the Softbox in a safe place, such as a photo studio, where it will not be damaged.
As with any photography tool, there are lots of different ways of using a softbox. To get the most out of it, practice the techniques above, and experiment with different subjects, settings, and poses. We hope that you find the tips in this article useful.