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Studio photography with two softboxes

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Category: Studio Lighting and Flash

Shooting with two softboxes - A softbox is a useful studio light accessory and two is even better as Chris Burfoot AMPA ASWPP explains.

Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off
For the softest, most flattering lighting, two softboxes will give lovely results.
lighting set-up shooting with two softboxes
In this case one 100x100cm and one 70x70cm softbox have been combined. As you can see, the main light was placed on the right of the camera and the fill, set at 1 f-stop less, was to the left. A third head fitted with a honeycomb was directed at the back of Laura’s head to bring out the colour
and detail in her hair.
The lighting hasn’t changed! But just look at the difference a change of background has made! A little extra distance between your subject and the black background will keep the light off it and give a rich deep black.
portrait by Chris Burfoot portrait by Chris Burfoot
 Beautiful soft, flattering light!  To get a good black background - keep the light off it!

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15 Jul 2009 - 11:10 AM

Ah! More brevity...

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VicBarnes  449 forum posts England2 Constructive Critique Points
17 Jul 2009 - 3:40 PM

I agree with MikeOtley -- far too brief and subjectively definitive. I often employed two softboxes for my studio/location work and rarely used the simplistic set up illustrated here. The film industry used this equipment for years before still photographers copied them. At first, softboxes were called 'broadlights'. A good tip for using two of them (on the subject illustrated) is to put them side-by-side 90 degrees from the subject and as close as possible. This encircles the subject and produces a quality of light similar to northern light. The subject will literally glow. Great for glamour and portraiture. Oops... now I'm being subjective!

19 Jul 2009 - 4:19 PM

brevity Vic? side-by-side, close as possible, 90 degrees from subject. You mean touching each other then?

VicBarnes  449 forum posts England2 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jul 2009 - 12:00 AM

Hi Brownie. Sorry, I should have said 'as close to the subject as possible'. The two soft boxes can touch so that they become one broadlight.
Diffused light becomes less and less effective the further it is away from the subject. Eventually it becomes a weak, point light source.

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