DIY Soft Box Lighting for Pocket Strobe

DIY Soft Box for Pocket Strobe

I use my DIY Soft Box all the time with my pocket strobe. It softens the hard directional strobe light to subtly enhance the subject, so it doesn’t look like it is being interrogated. It adds details to the normal shadows often created when using one light source.

You can buy a soft box/light modifier for $30-$75 or you can make your own for about $5 as I show you here.

My Nikon SB-800 with my DIY soft box attached.

A lighting soft box

Material list to make your own Soft Box:

White Foam Core

Gorilla Tape

White non-acidic masking tape

Adhesive Velcro Strips

Light Diffusing/Softening material such as Diffusion Fabric, white mesh, Mylar, acetate, rayon, nylon, rip-stop nylon, white parachute, kite material, shower curtain, translucent papers or cloth.

Creating a template:

DIY Soft Box Lighting

You can adjust this to how big or small your flash head is, the important part is to make your soft box about 2 inches wider on both sides than your flash head and have it stick out about 3 inches from the flash.

Cut the four foam-core pieces to create the four sides of the soft-box. Use four pieces of white non-acidic tape to hold together the inside corners of the box. Make sure the smaller end fits snugly around the end of your strobe.

Cut out the piece of white soft-box material, one big enough to cover the outside of the soft box and bleed over about an inch on each side so that you can tape it securely. I also put a second piece of soft box material on the inside of the soft-box to ad some additional diffusion to the light. Use the non-acidic white tape to hold these in place.

Neatly cover with Gorilla tape on the outside. Create 4 flaps on the small end to attach your Velcro to your strobe head. I keep the soft side of the Velcro attached to my flash head at all times to allow me to attach soft boxes, gels, grid-spots, bounce-cards, Better Beamers and other light modifiers of my own devising.

This Bold Jumping Spider is a good example of using a soft box because as you can see the light wraps around the subject instead of having harsh unexposed shadow areas.

Bold jumpimg Spider

This is an example of how I use my soft box during a snake shoot.

Photographing Snakes

Attach to strobe and shoot. If you have approached this project in a different way and you like the results please share with us in the comments section.

3 comments on “DIY Soft Box Lighting for Pocket Strobe”

  1. cindy Reply

    Every time I see these set ups I laugh..I’ll never get pictures like these..’cause I’ll be waiting for luck and natural light.. I admire your ingenuity..and patience!

    • Kimberly Beck Reply

      You know Cindy, it was from an Art Wolfe session that Barry attended in which he learned to set up shots more than to find them. Art said something to the effect of “Whatever it takes to get you the best image”. Barry never even moved a leaf out of the way before that. Now he gets better shots by manipulating the scene.

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