Elinchrom: How to Use the Snoot

The Elinchrom Snoot is conical shaped accessory for a light source, which will restrict the area of light spread making it smaller. The Snoot comes with a grid attachment, which will make the small circle of light much softer.


The Snoot is useful to control the light when you are adding a backlight in a portrait shoot. When you use a light with a wide angle reflector behind the subject, it brightly lights up the area behind the subject, but there is a lot of light coming towards the camera which will cause over exposures. In such a case, the Snoot is used; the wide part of the cone fits on to the light head and the light becomes concentrated as it streams out of the smaller opening. No light is able to escape sideways. Once you have fitted the Snoot, you can bring the light source in front of the subject and direct the light at the background.

The Effect

The snoot gives a high contrast light with a sharp edge which is not so good for lighting the background. To counter this problem, the honeycomb grid can be used which comes along with the Snoot. This will soften the edges, and the pool of light is now much more even.


You can use it from the same side as the main light so that it streams from the same direction and the effect will be more natural looking light. The light will fall at the back of the subject's hair and also onto the shoulders. Be careful that the light from the Snoot does not catch the end of the subject's nose, as this will make it appear much bigger.

If the subject's hair is of a lighter color, you will have to use the same exposure at the back as the main light. If the hair has mid-toned colors, you can increase the stop by half. Dark hair will need an increment of a full stop more.