How to Simulate a Ringlight Using a Softbox

blank space

Lighting Diagram by Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith writes, “Set-up a flash with softbox or shoot-through umbrella and take the picture from immediately in front of it, centered horizontally and vertically. Keep yourself as small as possible so as to allow as much light as possible to pass around you.”

He says the technique is still used by even the most high-end magazine photographers who need a ringlight effect in a pinch. The telltale catchlights in the subject’s eyes will appear as circles or squares with a line going from the middle downwards.

One bonus for this technique is the soft shadows created because you’re using a softbox.

Illustration: Andrew Smith

Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.