Light mod­i­fiers are spe­cial attach­ments. They are put on a flash to scat­ter the light. Pop­u­lar mod­i­fiers: umbrel­la, plate, soft­box. The lat­ter has sev­er­al vari­eties. They dif­fer in shape and num­ber of cor­ners.

Today we’ll talk about strip­box­ing. A strip­box is an elon­gat­ed, rec­tan­gu­lar soft­box. It is need­ed to empha­size the height of the object, to illu­mi­nate it with a nar­row beam. Also, there is less shad­ow from this mod­i­fi­er than from a square mod­el.

With the help of such a noz­zle, you can make many unusu­al and beau­ti­ful shots. Pho­to: oehling.cz

Details about the stripbox modifier

Strip­box is a nar­row and long soft­box. It is need­ed for shoot­ing:

  • por­trait;
  • sub­ject.

Can play dif­fer­ent roles in the schema. For exam­ple, be in the role of back­light, mod­el­ing, draw­ing or fill light. It depends on the schema you are using.

Under­es­ti­mat­ed due to its unusu­al shape. Many begin­ner pho­tog­ra­phers don’t real­ize how much this mod­i­fi­er can trans­form an image.

For exam­ple, you can use it to:

– high­light the sil­hou­ette of the mod­el. Make the por­trait volu­mi­nous;

- light­en the hair a lit­tle — sep­a­rat­ing them from the back­ground and mak­ing the hair more lay­ered;

- empha­size the height of the object. For exam­ple, if it is a nar­row tall glass. Soft­box­es are need­ed for food pho­tog­ra­phy if the object of the pho­to ses­sion is glass­es, drinks or tall cakes;

- focus on the tex­ture of a tall object. For exam­ple, there is a beau­ti­ful tall vase, stat­ue or col­umn in the room. And this item has an unusu­al tex­ture. The pho­tog­ra­ph­er can empha­size it with an addi­tion­al nar­row beam of light.

For what strip­box with hon­ey­comb? This is a spe­cial fit­ting. It is made from fab­ric. It makes it eas­i­er to con­trol the lumi­nous flux, to nar­row the size of the light spot. With it, the light will be hard­er.

Flash strip­box mod­els dif­fer in:

  • size. From small (30x90) to huge (for exam­ple, 40x180). Thanks to this, you can choose the appro­pri­ate option for both a small object and a full-length por­trait;
  • col­or. The col­or of the inner sur­face can be sil­ver (col­ors become more con­trast­ing) or white (the beam of light is as dif­fused and soft as pos­si­ble).
Such mod­i­fiers can be includ­ed in a wide vari­ety of schemes. Pho­to: sandrablog.net

How to use the nozzle

A strip­box can play dif­fer­ent roles in a cir­cuit. There­fore, you can place it almost any­where around the object. The fol­low­ing should be avoid­ed:

  • too far and/or high from the sub­ject. The illu­mi­na­tion inten­si­ty of the back­ground and the mod­el will be the same. As a result, the pic­ture will appear flat;
  • if the mod­i­fi­er is a sin­gle light source, it is bet­ter not to put it on the side close to the mod­el’s face. There will be a strong light on the face. The way out is to rearrange it in front of her, move it fur­ther or install it on a rack and light it from above.

Stripbox Usage Examples

The noz­zle is used for por­traits and prod­uct pho­tog­ra­phy. There­fore, in this arti­cle we will con­sid­er the main tech­niques and schemes that are rel­e­vant for these options.


A nar­row soft­box (strip­box) per­forms an impor­tant task in por­trait shoot­ing. It is need­ed to high­light the cheek­bones, to make the face more slen­der, grace­ful. It is impos­si­ble to achieve such an effect with a con­ven­tion­al soft­box. Since it com­plete­ly illu­mi­nates the face and removes the shad­ow from the cheek­bones.

Option 1. This is an unusu­al light scheme with a strip­box. It must be placed hor­i­zon­tal­ly above the girl’s head. This place­ment will help light­en the shad­ows under the eyes and nose, make the fore­head expres­sive, while adding shad­ow on the cheek­bones.

The posi­tion of the strip­box on the rack can be changed. For exam­ple, it remains par­al­lel to the ground. But it can be placed on the oth­er side of the mod­el, raised or low­ered. The strip­box allows you to cre­ate a long and soft beam of light, which is indis­pens­able for shoot­ing dra­mat­ic, seri­ous por­traits.

Oth­er mod­i­fiers can be added to this scheme. But the main task of such an idea is to make the face as refined and slen­der as pos­si­ble. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

Option 2. This exam­ple involves cre­at­ing a pow­er­ful bright stream in front of the girl’s face. You can get it by plac­ing strip­box­es oppo­site each oth­er. After that, the mod­el needs to step towards them. The shoul­ders and body remain in shad­ow, while the face and chest are illu­mi­nat­ed. It turns out a very volu­mi­nous and ele­gant por­trait.

When using this scheme, unnec­es­sary shad­ows dis­ap­pear. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

Option 3. You will need 3 light mod­i­fiers. You can take 2 strip­box­es and an octo­box. The lat­ter acts as a fill light. It is locat­ed at a height of 2–2.5 meters, even­ly fills the fore­ground with soft light.

Strip­box­es should be placed on both sides of the mod­el at a dis­tance of about half a meter. The mod­i­fi­er to the right of the mod­el needs to be moved for­ward a lit­tle. Its task is not to clear­ly out­line the con­tour of the body, but to cre­ate a soft high­light. To the left of the mod­el, the strip­box needs to be reversed, moved a lit­tle fur­ther than the sub­ject. This will help define the sil­hou­ette, but the high­lights will be very soft.

The light is soft, but at the same time quite con­trast­ing. It is worth pay­ing atten­tion to the depth of the mod­i­fi­er. The larg­er it is, the soft­er and more even the light will be from it. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

Option 4. An exam­ple of using one strip­box. You need to install the mod­i­fi­er on the rack, approx­i­mate­ly at a height of 2–2.5 meters, at a dis­tance of 0.7–1 meter from the girl.

This scheme can be mod­i­fied at will. For exam­ple, the fur­ther the girl retreats, the more dra­mat­ic and dark the por­trait will turn out. It is also bet­ter to change the height of the stand depend­ing on the height of the mod­el. The para­me­ters indi­cat­ed are approx­i­mate. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

Object shooting

For a prod­uct pho­tog­ra­ph­er, the hard­est part of the job is shoot­ing glossy prod­ucts. Met­al, plas­tic, glass can be added to this cat­e­go­ry. It is not easy to work with nar­row elon­gat­ed objects: vas­es, bot­tles, glass­es, glass­es. Mak­ing beau­ti­ful high­lights on com­plex sur­faces is not easy. But the strip­box comes to the res­cue.

Read also:

Com­pos­ite pho­to in prod­uct pho­tog­ra­phy

How to use sharp­ness brack­et­ing and stack­ing in prod­uct pho­tog­ra­phy

Option 1. To cre­ate an attrac­tive black and white pat­tern, it is enough to place 2 light sources behind the object. More is pos­si­ble if there is a desire, oppor­tu­ni­ty and mean­ing. Now they should be moved so that a long flare appears (in the desired zone) and take a pho­to.

The exact loca­tion (tilt angle, height) depends on the sub­ject being shot. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

Option 2. I need to light up the back­ground. This will high­light it and sep­a­rate the sub­ject from it. But in this case, we risk get­ting a very dark object in the fore­ground.

If you need to achieve exact­ly this and want to get a sil­hou­ette in the pho­to, you can leave every­thing as it is. If you need to high­light the object from the front, you can sup­ple­ment the scheme. About how to work with light in prod­uct pho­tog­ra­phy, they told in the blog.

A scheme that will help to get a beau­ti­ful­ly illu­mi­nat­ed sil­hou­ette of an object. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

We hope that this mate­r­i­al has helped you under­stand how to work with a flash strip­box. This is a great light mod­i­fi­er with which you can make beau­ti­ful and very styl­ish shots.

Read also:

Noz­zles for stu­dio light: what are and how to use. Detailed guide