On Location PhotographySubmitted by Michael on Thu, 2010-08-05 11:27

DIY softbox lighting: Light enters the room... through the door

Are you one of the photographers who love the soft and charming light that a large softbox throws onto a model? I absolutely am. And I forked out quite some money in order to get me some of these. But then again I found, that I hardly ever use them because most of my photo shoots happen on location. Call me lazy, but I shy away from the hassle to carry softboxes with me and set them up on location.

I rather use a couple of alternatives, one of which I show you in this video: It’s a an on-the-fly DIY softbox that is constructed using the a multi purpose reflector that doubles as a diffuser. For simplicity sake the diffuser is standing in a door, which provides for defined edges of my lightsource.


Have a look at the video:

I find it interesting that the speedlights behind this diffuser can be triggered from my on camera flash 100% reliable even though the flashes can’t see  each other directly. 



This DIY softbox is very easy to setup. Do you have some speedlights and a diffusor? If you don’t have such a multipurpose reflector like I show in the video, then make it a shower curtain DIY softbox, like I showed in a previous post. Or even a bedsheet DIY softbox? However,  give it a quick test with an object, for instance a larger vase. If the light is interesting, then go ahead and shoot with a model and be happy about that fact that you did not have to go out and buy a pricy fulll lenght softbox.

I wish you good light!






Related Links:

Blogpost: Shower Curtain DIY Softbox

This video on Youtube:  DIY Softbox Lighting Trick


Great tip, Michael. The inner ring of a reflector is a great tool for fast and easy soft light - I use it often.

Thank you, Steve! If you like, then you are very welcome to post links to those photos of yours over here.

Very very nice. I was always playing with the idae to use flashlight and diffuser. Will give it now a try !

P.S. - they way how to leave comments here is not good. :The URL of your homepage is not valid. Remember that it must be fully qualified, i.e. of the form http ://example.com/directory.


Thanks a lot. And if you like, then let us see the results. Sorry if the URL check is bothering you. The URL is optional, but if you type something in, then it needs to be valid. If I would allow for invalid URLs over here, then Google would sooner or later slap this blog.

I wish you good light!
-- Michael

Hi Michael,
I only recently started to see your tutorials and am finding them really excellent. Great tips, simple, creative and so effective, thanks a lot !!

Thanks a lot, Karl
If you ever need a tip regarding any specific topic or challenge, please post your question. I'll then show you how I am dealing with that particular topic.

Very nice work

Thanks Rome! Cool profile pic!

Great post Michael, the shots of your lovely wife turned out amazing. I especially like the one with her facing the wall. That is a clever and easy to pull off lighting setup. Thank you.


As requested by one of our cousins I published the uncensored photos as well. They are on my photographer's portfolio on deviantART. I'm working on a portfolio website of mine, but it's not finished and it's not my top priority at the moment.

I wish you good light!



Thanks for these lighting tips, they're very helpful! I'm slowly assembling my mobile lighting kit and I love the diagrams you provide!

I have only been able to see one video on your page so far but not upset about that. I have been viewing them on youtube and I have been very impressed with what you do and accomplish with just speedlights. I only shot with them but I am learning as I go and to me your videos are the most helpful plus I love seeing the result you produce. This page is now one of the tabs on my browser.
Thank you.

Hi Gerald,
can you tell me which video you watched and one that does not work?

That is a very good idea. Your tutorials are very helpful. I just need a couple more flashes. :) And I think the photographers here are not going to be afraid of a bit of nipple. the coloured stripes were better than the normal back bars though :)

> I just need a couple more flashes.
Same with me, mate! I hope one day I find a shop selling speedlights in sixpacks at a nice discount.

Hi Michael, may i know or if you can link where to find that 2nd flash bracket that hangs on to the same light stand. I know of only use 2 light stands to assimilate strip lighting.

I am happy to find your preeminent way of writing the article. Now you make it easy for me to understand and carry out the concept. Thank you for the article.

Got it! Tnkhas a lot again for helping me out!

Love your simple but truly effective lighting setup. Really amazes my what you can do with simple speedlights and some creativity. People these days always tend to think more of the gear than of the actual images the like to shoot. Kudos!

Kudos to you, Marvin!

bright idea!...any plan to visit Jakarta or Bali island in near future Mike?

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