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This post was most recently updated on June 26th, 2022

Are you looking to diffuse your softbox further and aren’t sure what to use? Maybe you have heard about diffusion panels and want to hear more about them before making a purchase?

Or maybe you don’t have a softbox and wonder what else you can use to diffuse the light? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you! 

When it comes to finding appropriate diffusers for softboxes, we can quickly find ourselves overwhelmed. With so many different options on the market and countless expert opinions, we can find ourselves turned around, unsure who to trust or where to turn.

Our hopes of finding the best diffuser seem dashed and the prospects of perfect photographs diminished. 

Well, no more! Today we are here to get you the answers you need! Keep reading to find out what you can use for diffusion on your softbox and all the information you need to know about diffusion. 

What Is Diffusion In Photography?

Before we get into it, let’s have a recap for those that need it! In photography, diffusion is when we diffuse or scatter the light from its source.

Devices like softboxes or reflectors are used to evenly distribute the light when you take your photograph, usually when you trigger the flash. 

Diffusion helps to soften the light to create the soft lighting that many of us love in photography. It is also used to direct the light to certain angles or parts of the image. We can help to brighten up harsh shadows and create the exact lighting that we want in the image.

What To Use For Diffusion Softbox

Diffusion is commonly used in photography, from beginners to experts manipulating the light to better suit the photograph they wish to take. 

Sometimes we add panels or other objects to our softboxes to enhance the diffusion further. Items, like grids, can be placed over the softbox to allow less light in and control it to hit the image as you want.

These can help create more shadows and direct concentrated amounts of light. If precision is what you crave, you will want diffusion panels to do the job for you! There are plenty to choose from, so there’s bound to be one that meets your needs. 

Now that we have covered what diffusion is, let’s move on and look at what we can use to diffuse the light with our softboxes. 

What To Use For A Diffuser Softbox?

Let’s get into it! When looking for extra light diffusion, we have two categories to look at. The first is what we can add to our softboxes to increase their light diffusing ability.

The second is what we can use to diffuse light if we don’t have a softbox. To find out how to diffuse and control the light, read the section that best applies to your situation and get ready to diffuse light like never before! 

Light Diffusion With A Softbox

Those with softboxes will already be enjoying diffused light that can be controlled. But what do we do when we want to diffuse the light even further? Well, we can use diffusion panels or grids, and these are usually placed over the front of the softbox and will allow you to control the light even more. 

You can use these to restrict the light and diffuse it further. These are often used when people want to create more atmospheric lighting or target it to best suit their work. 

Panels or grids come in different shapes and sizes, meaning you can find one to work well for your softbox. It’s usually easier to purchase your softbox as a pack with panels or grids to ensure that they will fit your softbox, but it’s not essential.

Light Diffusion With A Softbox

You can usually find them at a range of prices too, so there is sure to be one that suits you! 

You don’t need additional diffusion with your softbox if you don’t want them, but if you want additional control of the light or its direction, then it’s worth considering these panels. 

Light Diffusion Without A Softbox

For those that don’t have a softbox, there are plenty of items that you can use to diffuse the light. Most of these are household items and shouldn’t cost you much money at all!

These methods are perfect for those on a budget looking to diffuse light or beginner photographers who aren’t ready to invest in equipment just yet.

So let’s take a look at what some of your options are! 

Garbage Bags 

The first and most affordable option is to use garbage bags. Preferably white garbage bags can be placed over your lights or camera flash to help diffuse the light.

You should create a softer light with garbage bags that enhance your photographs, but be mindful if they are flammable. In these cases, you will want to ensure that you aren’t working with any lighting that emits heat. 

Opt for LED bulbs that produce virtually no heat, allowing you to cover them with ease. You can use these and garbage bags to create your softbox with ease; all you need is a cardboard box, a light, and some garbage bags.

We have some tips about doing this on our website, or there are plenty of online tutorials you can check out if you want to make your softbox!

Clothing 

Old t-shirts and other clothing items can also be placed over the light to diffuse it. How well the light is diffused will depend on the thickness of the material used.

Why not play with different fabrics and thicknesses to see what kind of light you can create? There are many different materials you can use to diffuse the light, so be sure to give them a go!

Just remember to opt for low heat bulbs and be extra careful when working with any flammable substances. The last thing you want is to cause a fire when taking your photographs! 

Wax Paper 

Wax paper is another super cheap item you can use to diffuse the light! You can clamp the paper directly onto the light without needing to worry about it causing a fire.

It will help diffuse the light, but it’s worth noting that you don’t get much coverage if you work with larger areas. In these cases, you will want to opt for something more substantial. 

Cheap Blinds 

Blinds can be used easily and don’t need to cost a fortune either! You can pick up cheap blinds for a few dollars in stores like IKEA and use them to diffuse the light.

You can even store them away easily, making them handy for those that need to travel with a cheap diffuser. 

Shower Curtains 

Another affordable option is to use a frosted shower curtain or liner. You can purchase these in most stores at a low price and use them to diffuse the light. These are excellent options for those wishing to cover large areas and work better than the wax paper we mentioned earlier. 

Again, just be mindful of any flammable materials used in the shower curtain to prevent a fire. 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it, plenty of options to diffuse the light.

Whether you decide to purchase a softbox, make your own, or use one of our affordable alternatives, there are plenty of ways that you can diffuse the light and take wonderful photographs. Why not experiment and see which option suits you and your photographs best?