We’ve seen a lot of softboxes in our day—from the Profoto RFi Softboxes to Westcott’s Rapid Box Octa Mini and Photogenic SB22 Square Soft Box—but have you ever though about making your own. Digital Camera World has come up with a nifty guide to do just that with a bit of cardboard, tin foil, and some cloth.
First you’ll need to cut out four wedge-shaped pieces of cardboard that will form into the softbox tent around the flash head. Then wrap the sections with aluminum foil and adjoin them together into a trapezoidal shape, filling in any gaps with light-proof tape (i.e. electrical or gaffers tape). As for your fabric anything white like an old t-shirt will suffice as long as it covers the front opening of the softbox.
Now that you’ve put it all together, the whole point of a softbox is to provide defused beam of light directed at your subject. Whether the flash is on your camera or off to the side as a second light source it should light your subject evenly while still in a directed manner.
Of course softboxes aren’t limited to just shooting model, they can be useful for product photography from nick-nacks destined for eBay to cars, make shift photo booth operations, and just about anything that demands more light. Now that you can build our own with random household items, there are even less holding you back from giving it a shot. Be sure to checkout Digital Camera World for the full build guide. Also be sure to check out our intro to softboxes.