Studio Lighting – Home Made Cheap DIY Backdrop Stand

Studio Lighting - Home Made Cheap DIY Backdrop StandIn The following article, Brian will demonstrate how to build a DIY backdrop stand. The stand, along with matching backdrop will help to create a controlled environment, with good subject/background separation. The cost is very low, just some PVC pipes, muslin and two really good hands. Oh, and a wife to agree to place this in the leaving room. [Read more…]

Studio Lighting – Soft Panel Frame Designed for Hotlight

A stand made of 3/4″ PVC to hold a diffusion panel made of ripstop nylon that slides up and down and tilts. Sliding joint is made of a “Slip-Tee” as described in the Tinker Tubes document at “”. Total cost, including 500W light stand, nylon and PVC parts is about $50. I also got a similar quartz-halogen 250W clip-on light for about $15 that I hung above to add some highlights to the hair.

A 250W light was hung above and slightly to the right and behind the subject to add some highlights to the hair. [Read more…]

Studio Lighting – DIY Cheap Soft Light Panel Frame Designed for Flash (or hotlight)

Soft light Panel Introduction

In the following article, Brian Zimmerman will demonstrate the construction of a soft light panel frame. As Brian will illustrate, the soft light panel frame can be used to reduce the harshness of light, and to crate soft eye pleasing picture. THe soft light panel can be used to take portrait pictures, or still life picture. The construction is not easy, but very rewarding.
Enjoy your build.

[Read more…]

Studio Lighting – Brian Zimmerman Designs

All the articles in this section were contributed by Brian L. Zimmerman. Brian has done a great deal of home studio constructions and was very kind to share his knowladge. Brian has built a homemade flash diffuser, a homemade flash bouncer, homemade backgroung stands, and other soft light panels. (I bring the information here in first person form, as a direct quote from Brian).
you can see more of his work at

The articles in this section present various designs for home-made soft lighting panels and stands that can be useful in portraiture, still life or product photography. Click on articels in the section to see Brian's design for use with a slave flash (or hotlight) mounted behind the 3×4' panel on a single pole stand (what I currently use with slave flash). See the Hotlight Design folder for another lighting stand designed for use with "hotlight" illumination using the same 3×4' panel with an inexpensive quartz-halogen worklight. Soft flash folder shows a simple way to soften flash output on a typical flash unit, plus a tip for selecting nylon fabric. Other articles show designs for a flash bouncer, backdrop stand, reflector stand, and carrying case for the stands.
I cannot guarantee that any of these designs will give you the exact results you want, but they can give some good results with minimal investment of money (my goal), if you have the time to experiment and are somewhat of a handyman with some basic tools. I bought all the supplies I needed except the nylon fabric at a local hardware store (Lowes, like Home Depot). Ripstop Nylon is Item number 263-7783 at Jo-Ann Fabrics, 60" width @ 5.99/yard. Or maybe from looking at what I have done, you might come up with a better design to fit your own needs. I'd enjoy hearing about your own endeavors to use a home-made lighting setup.
Dean Collin's Tinker Tubes:
Todd Asher's Backdrop Stand:
Todd's Instructions:

Home studio by Brian L. Zimmerman

© 2002-2005 Brian L. Zimmerman,