Studio Lighting – Homemade Gridspot

gridspotGridspot (or grid) is a studio accessory that you can attach to your flash. When the flash fires through the grid, the spread of the light rays is limited. The effect you get is very similar to the effect achieved by a snoot, but light more controlled and really hits a small surface. You often want to use a snoot or a grid for avoiding light spillage when you are setting up you back light.

The inspiration for this article came from a strobist article that shows how to make a cardboard gridspot. I thought I can improve it by making it out of plastic known as coroplast.

Here is what you’ll need:

- Some black coroplast (you can get it in art stores and office depot)
- An exacto knife
- Glue

The first step is to measure your flash head. I use a Nikon SB800 which is six centimeters wide. Then, using the exacto knife, cut the coroplast into pieces of six by three. (If your flash is wider cut to something else by three cm). I did this by cutting a long six centimeters strip of coroplast, then trimming 3 centimeters at a time.

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The next step is to glue the pieces of coroplast one on top of the other. Make sure that all the “tunnels” are aligned.

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You should end up with something like this:

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Now here is the trick. Try looking at a light source with the gridspot in between. You will see that only one angle allows you to see the light. This is exactly what happens when you place the grid on the flash – Light can come out only in one angle and is not spreading out.

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Now use a rubber band to place the small gridspot on the flash head.

Here are two images taken exactly the same way with one change – one has a gridspot on the flash head and one does not.

Image number one – no gridspot – you can see the geek I am reading all those sci-fi books.

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Image number two – gridspot on flash – I am still the same geek, but now only books in the center get the glory.

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Related articles:
- Homemade snoot
- Homemade softbox
- 3 lights technique – a little about back light