enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereI keep getting light circles whenever I am shooting dark clothing, especially black. I am using an umbrella reflector flash and a soft box. I've tried moving the flash and it just moves the circle elsewhere. I've tried google, I can't figure out what this is and I'm obviously not a professional. Can someone explain, and maybe how to fix this.

Update: I've tried covering anything that light could be reflecting off of like mirrors and screens, and the light spot is still there. I have added a photo of how my flash is set up, as i'm thinking it has something to do with this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just maybe: Try moving the flash distance from the reflector --> does the spot change in size and intensity. || Try moving the flash off centre on the reflector and/or angle to its axis. || As you change the reflector to subject distance does the spot size change? ||All those are aimed at investigating whether the reflector is focusing the flash. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 6 at 6:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can move the umbrella closer or further away from the flash but it's on the same stand so I can't move it off center. I'll try moving it a bit and see. I've added a picture of how my umbrella and flash are set up \$\endgroup\$
    – Holly
    Jan 10 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am probably blind. Can you circle the circle you are referring to? I only see the dark spot that is as mentioned in the answer, dust. A flare is almost by definition lighter than. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Jan 10 at 23:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ ok. I've added an additional photo where it has 2 of the light spots and circled them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Holly
    Jan 11 at 1:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ When I've used a studio flash I've always had a reflector on the unit that focuses the light on the umbrella and minimizes spill. The photograph seems to show that you're not using a reflector. You're getting a lot of light that's spilling into the room and this might be the source of your issues. It also makes controlling your lighting a bit more difficult. An example of your unit wiith a reflector is here. \$\endgroup\$
    – BobT
    Jan 11 at 16:05

2 Answers 2


Couple of things... The light circle looks like lens flare- are you using a lens shade? There is also a dark spot that may be a bit of dirt on your sensor, unless you have a dark spot on your backdrop.

Make sure there aren't any lights that are shining on your lens, like something just out of frame.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah yes the dark spot is a piece of dust on my lens. I am not using a lens shade, I will get one and try though..The only light I have on is a soft box shining towards the backdrop and the flash from the umbrella. I wonder if maybe the flash is reflecting off of something (like a TV screen) when it goes off. Thank you for your input. \$\endgroup\$
    – Holly
    Jan 6 at 0:13

Oh. Yes, that looks like a light flare.

It seems one of your lights is actually hitting the lens (A)

See if you can turn them away (B) Or put what is called a mask or flag (C)

enter image description here

You can also try to use the lens hood.

One way to spot a flare, after putting some flags is to use a wider angle lens, take a shoot and see.


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