A softbox is an enclosure designed to surround an artificial light source (i.e., a halogen lamp or flash tube) on all sides to make it (the light source) appear bigger and softer in relation to the subject. Softboxes consists of 2 types of material: the exterior, which is often black, and the interior, which can be white or silver. This handy equipment also has one piece of fabric that goes inside the softbox called the interior baffle, and another piece of fabric on the outside called a diffusion soc.
They work by shutting in light from a lamp into a closed chamber and releasing it through a layer of diffusion material. The reflective interior of a softbox intensifies the output from a light source and projects it through a translucent panel. That produces a quality of light that resembles the softer light that naturally streams through a window.
Softbox use falls predominantly into two categories – key light, as the primary light source, and fill light, as the secondary light source to reduce contrast. By using a softbox, the light will be easier to use, giving your images more clarity while keeping your newborn subject safe from the flash.
Different types of softboxes come in different sizes and shapes. The typical examples of softboxes include:
• Rectangular softboxes: They are rectangular-shaped and are ideal for vertical compositions, such as full-length portraits.
• Square softboxes: They square-shaped and are ideal for head-to-shoulder portraiture and small groups.
• Octagonal softboxes: They feature the octagon shape and are ideal for portraits.
• Strip softboxes: They are long and thin and are ideal for lighting the full body when placed parallel with the subject.