Even Better Softbox Part Two – The Test Results

Softbox Article Part One - The Build ProcessNick rocks again with a follow up on the Better Softbox – a comparison of softbox lining materials.

One of the questions asked in the comments when I built my first large softbox was “would a matte white finish on the interior give a more efficient output?” I had to admit, it had never crossed my mind to use anything other than aluminium foil as the lining material as I had just assumed this would be very efficient. After doing a bit of research on the internet I found a table with the following values listed for the reflective efficiency of various materials and finishes: [Read more...]

Even Better Softbox Part One – The Build Process

Softbox Article Part One - The Build ProcessAnybody who’s read this blog for a while knows that I am a big fan of Nick Wheeler. Not only he creates great imagery and photographs, but he also shares his setups, and creative process. If you did not visit his stream so far, you are in for a treat.

Last time Nick guest posted on DIYP, he showed how with a little time, two good hands and ingenuity you can create a professional grade softbox. But Nick was not happy and promised to return with a better design. And Nick is the kind of guy that keeps his word. Read on to see how Nick created an even better softbox (who would have thought this is possible) with interchanging lining and a truly genius flash holder.

[Read more...]

Studio Photography – The Best Softbox Ever

studio_photography_best_softbox_ever.jpgIf you did not meet Nick Wheeler (Flickr Stream – a must) until now, you are in for a treat. Nick is what I call a Lean Mean Studio DIY Machine. Unlike the softbox for a hot shoe flash and the softbox made from a well…. a box, this softbox design by Nick is as close to a real life studio softbox design as a softbox can be. As always, Nick has done great job of documenting his work so all the DIYP community can benefit. Making this studio grade softbox takes some time and effort, but well worth the investment.

While this project is great, Nick calls it a prototype and plans on a follow up. Keep tuned to Nick’s Flickr stream – you’ll soon realize that you came for the DIY projects but stayed for the great photography. It all Nick from here on.

This is a DIY project I have had in mind for a while now. When I purchased my studio flash heads, they came with a couple of small softboxes. Although I prefer to use translucent umbrellas whenever I can (small, light, easy to transport), there are times when a softbox is a better solution. While I could use the studio head softboxes in some circumstances with my small strobes, there was no way of effectively holding the flash in place without a lot of jerry rigging. To this end, I wanted to design a softbox that would be light, reasonably strong and durable, adaptable (double diffuser, grid attachment, barn doors etc.) at a later date and have a quick and easy way to mount the flash.

While I achieved most of these goals, the finished softbox was a bit heavier than I would have liked and as is usually the case with these projects I figured out a number of modifications I would like to incorporate into my next attempt after it was finished. For now, I think I will label this as a ‘prototype’ and hopefully come up with something better for the mark II version.

[Read more...]

DIY Studio – The Square Ring Flash

nicks_ringflash.jpgNick Wheeler the photographer who brought you the DIY Strip Light and the Floor Lit Table Top Studio is playing with card board boxes again.

Answering to strobist’s ringflash call, Nick created a simple softbox ringflash thingy that uses one strobe to create an awesome ring light effect. (If you really like ringlights, take a look at the huge ringlight collection).

If you did not visit Nick’s stream lately, you should definitely head over there. Nick has some new shots from the previous projects (strip light and floor lit studio) with great setup shots. I tell you, sometimes I don’t know whether to stare at the pictures or drool over the setup shots.

Nick has done a great job for this tutorial, packing it is great images to explain every little step. You can see how thinking of every aspect of the construction gives professional results.

[Read more...]

The DIY Strip Light

Tina_in_Sunglasses.jpgNick Wheeler is becoming a dangerous guy to leave your boxes by. It looks like whenever a box is around, nick DIYs it into a lighting modifier. This is what I like about Nick, he is never afraid to experiment, be it a mission impossible image or a floor lit lighting setup, Nicks investments in setups pays up big time. I heartedly recommend to check Nick’s flickr stream for more inspiration.

This is also my message to you. Go out and try something new. I bet that four times out of five you, like me, will end up with just another glued box. But the fifth time is the one that makes all the difference. This is the time where you put what you have learned by ruining the other four boxes into use and build a really nice piece of studio equipment and saving money for more lenses.

[Read more...]

Readers Projects – Got a Light?

diy_project_03.jpgThis is the second part of the Readers Projects series, my way to show my love and appreciation to DIYP readers.

In this series, I’ll be posting some of the great projects DIYP readers brought to life. I learned about those projects either from DIYP flickr group (thanks you all for sharing) or from DIYP readers mails. The first project was the Christmas Tree Ring Light, a cold and snowy project. This project is all about fire – to even the temperature. If you’ve ever watched the legendary mission impossible show, you’ll remember that unforgettable starting frame where a match is being lit from nowhere and this match starts a fuse and eventfully… “This message was self destructed after ten seconds“.

Photographer Nick Wheeler recreates the magic of MI in his “How to Light a Match” setup. (Yap, it is the same Nick who invented the Floor Lit Table Top Studio Project.

[Read more...]

Light up the Floor – A Floor Lit Table Top Studio Project

floor_lightI always keep my eye on the strobist flickr pool. It is one of the best places to get your lighting ideas. The other day, I saw a cool Corona shot there made by Nick Wheeler. Nick was so kind to share his lighting technique with DIYP readers. So, the following article is a guest post by Nick Wheeler, If you like this tutorial as much as I did stop by Nick’s flickr stream and say “Hi” (You’ll also get a nice dose of fine images).

Just recently, I became the proud owner of a new dining room table. Not a massively exciting announcement you might think (and you would be right), but what was getting me excited was the fact that it had a frosted glass top. While my significant other was wondering where to put it and what to do with the old table, I was thinking “I wonder what would happen if I stuck a flash underneath it?”

The answer at first was a little disappointing but after a while I was getting some pretty good results, particularly with bottles and containers of liquid. I was finding that with light coming from underneath it was helping light up the liquid and giving it a nice glow. The only problem I was having was the table top itself. The glass was dimpled, not smooth, and while that gave a nice effect, it was not ideal for every shot. The answer of course was a spot of DIY!

floor_light_00.jpg

[Read more...]