The role of softbox

The softbox is an accessory of the studio light, which is installed on the studio light to make the light softer, and can eliminate the light spots and shadows on the photo when shooting. The function of the softbox is to soften the hard light and make the light quality softer. The principle is that one or two layers of diffusion can be used on the basis of ordinary light sources to make the original light irradiate a wider range and make it diffuse light. The soft box is mostly composed of reflective material and soft cloth, etc., so that the light-emitting surface of the soft box is larger and more uniform, the light is softer, and the color is sharper. The soft box is like a large box that can emit light on one side while the rest is covered. The light-transmitting part is covered with a translucent material that diffuses the light, so the light emitted is very soft. The contrast between light and darkness of the object illuminated by it is also the weakest, and the resulting projection edge is also the softest. The soft box comes in various sizes, the larger the size, the more obvious the soft light effect. In addition to lighting, another use of the soft box is that it can form a beautiful reflective effect on the surface of a totally reflective metal object.

Types of softbox

The types of soft boxes are divided into rectangular soft boxes, square soft boxes, octagonal soft boxes, cylindrical soft boxes, umbrella soft boxes, honeycomb soft boxes, etc., regardless of the shape, the effect can be produced They are similar, all in bright and soft colors. This kind of light is especially suitable for indoor portrait art photos and still life. It is conducive to expressing the texture and color of human skin, making the skin texture very delicate, and the light area is large, and it will not form a hard black shadow behind the edamame. It is soft and comfortable, and it is a necessary accessory for the studio. The octagonal softbox that appears on the market is a better one. Its light scattering surface is close to a circle, which is very useful for shooting. Its large illuminated area can highlight the three-dimensional effect. When shooting portraits, it will make the highlights of the characters soft. , Can better highlight the level and color, and highlight the eyes of the characters. The umbrella-shaped fast soft box uses the soft box to produce uniform and soft light and good color saturation.

Use of softbox

During the use of the softbox, the shooting effect of different lighting angles is different. Meet your diversified requirements for camera.

  1. This is the most basic single-lamp setting. Put the soft box on the front 45° side, with the main body facing or slightly facing the lens. When shooting multi-person photos, the softbox is placed about 45 degrees between the subject and the camera. The distance needs to be farther, and the direction of illumination should not directly face the subject, so that the light hits evenly on everyone.
  2. On the basis of 45° lighting, move the soft box 90° backward to the side and back, which is 135° lighting. The subject generally needs to turn around so that the light source is on its side. Compared with 45° lighting, 135° lighting is often more dramatic, and the light and shadow levels of the subject’s face are richer.
  3. Put the soft box directly behind the main body, which is called “big backlight”. There will be contour light or halo around the subject, which is very emotional. In a large backlight, the background will be overexposed and become completely white, just take the subject’s face as the reference for exposure. If you feel that the background is too glaring, you can appropriately lower the output power of the light source, or make the face slightly darker. If you don’t want the background to be too bright or the subject to darken, you can consider adding a light to the front or side to fill in the light.
  4. The soft box is placed in the front position above the main body, and as close as possible to the main body. Then place a reflector on the chin for supplemental light, which can highlight the lines of the subject’s cheeks without causing too deep shadows. This type of lighting method is more commonly used when shooting fashion portraits.
  5. The lighting method commonly used in movie stills is called Monster Light. Place the soft box facing the main body directly below, and the main body faces the light source at the same time.
  6. Place the soft box on the left/right front of the main body (illuminate the direction that the main body is facing), and then place a large transparent material (such as curtains, shower curtains, etc.) between the soft box and the main body. Larger is enough), it can be made as if leaning against a large window to shoot, with a very soft light effect.


The following summarizes the basic principles of using soft boxes:

The larger the soft box, the better the “softening” effect.

Distance is the key factor in controlling the softening effect, but be careful not to let the edge of the box appear in the picture.

The center of the light source is best located above the human face, and the lighting effect will be better.