How to use a Speed Light with a Softbox
Author: Sheng Ye Date Posted:10 April 2015
The combination of a speed light and a softbox can create a unique light shaping effect. Many photographers avoid this combination for the same reason: a large softbox can absorb too much light, creating uneven tone and color. This is not really true, though. With good-quality equipment, this pairing can be one of the most useful tools in a photographer’s kit. If you have never considered using a speedlight and softbox together, discover how it can enhance your photography.
Benefits of Using a Speed Light
The combination of a speed light and softbox is appealing. Both are small, lightweight pieces of equipment that are easy to haul around from location to location. They require minimal assembly and setup, so the combination is convenient.
A speed light and softbox pair can be used for indoor or outdoor photography. This versatility is beneficial when shooting on location with a need to more specifically control the light. You cannot control the sun or clouds, but a softbox can make up for issues.
Softboxes come in smaller models that are specifically created to work with speed lights. Some models attach to the camera by using a hotshoe. This eliminates the need for a power source and cables because the accessories draw from the camera’s battery power.
Tips for Photo Accuracy
Using a softbox with a speed light can create a clean image, but the light is not as strong as bigger studio lights. Creating a striking image requires the photographer to be fully aware of light and movement.
Take advantage of natural light, particularly when shooting outdoors.
Avoid standing too close to the subject to avoid unnatural casting.
Aim the speed light toward the back of the softbox. This will create the widest spread of light.
Angle the softbox in front of the subject, rather than directly at it, to bring out the small details.
Do not be afraid to test new ideas. Often photographers follow the known rules for certain types of photography, including portraits. Think outside the box and experiment to discover new benefits to using this combination.
Choosing an Equipment Combination
Any softbox and speed light can be used together. However, some combinations are more effective. The type you use will depend somewhat on the photography you want to produce.
A mini speed light and softbox kit is helpful for beginners. It provides the basic tools needed.
Choose a foldable softbox for easy storage and transport. If you will be shooting outside the studio, this can make a big difference in getting to the destination.
A softbox that includes multiple interchangeable covers is practical. Each color creates a different light tone.
The combination of a softbox with a speed light can create great portrait photography. The results can be dramatic, and the necessary equipment does not need to cost much. If you are planning to do portrait photography and do not want to invest in a costly set of studio lights, this can be a budget-friendly solution.