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.

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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.

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Printing The Flash Mounted homemade DIY Softbox

Studio Lighting - Flash Mounted homemade DIY SoftboxI got lots of comments and question asking how to print the flash mounted homemade diy softbox. Some readers have had trouble printing the diagram on multiple pages.

One of DIYPhotography.net readers was kind enough to help me figure out why it was not printing on some computers. Are you having the same troubles? Do not despair.

It appears that the driver for the mdi format I was using to span the print over several pages is not installed by default when you install office. Look at this Microsoft article to learn how to install the driver for this file. [Read more…]

Studio DIY – Softboxing The World – A Home Grown Softbox

DIY studio softboxA softbox is a studio thingy that professional photographers use on their studios. Why? for a couple of reasons.

For one thing, softboxes create a smoother light – less hotspots (yea – those are the bright, burnt our noses in your photos), anther is smoother shadows. Most professional models are shot with softboxes to get that glamorous, look. Softboxes are also great for macro shots – they produce even diffused light.

The only trouble starts when you head down the road to the store and want to get one of them nice wonders. They usually cost something like a small county side house. In this article I will demonstrate how to build a homemade studio softbox for just a few $$. [Read more…]

Studio Lighting – Flash Mounted homemade DIY Softbox

Studio Lighting - Flash Mounted homemade DIY SoftboxIf you are a photographer and using flash (either for studio pictures or for outdoor shooting), you are probably aware of the problems that a hot-shoe flash introduces: the shadows of an object are crisp-sharp, creating an artificial look to the object. When dealing with studio lighting, you can use a softbox to diffuse your shadows and this is an acceptable solution, but for the amateur photographer it does have some disadvantages:

1. A softbox is very expensive. A simple softbox like this softbox from Arri, can cost several hundreds of dollars. (See our big DIY softbox version)
2. A softbox is big, and can not be carried around.

The amateur photographer can compromise and us a flash mounted softbox like this softbox from Lumiquest, or a stoffen box. The problem with this one (although a minor one compared to the “big” Softboxes), is the cost, nearing 30 dollars. Well, I guess that for some 30 bucks is no big deal (and especially no big deal for photography equipment), but I am going to try and do even better.

In the following tutorial, I will demonstrate how to make your own flash mounted, homemade softbox (view results).

You will need two good hands, and some patience, but your reward will be a nice softbox for the cost of only 3-4 dollars. (Not to mention that wonderful feeling of cutting and gluing, like you are small kids again).

you might also want to check out the DIY Mini Flash Bouncer Guide or the DIY Mini Flash Diffuser Guide as alternate diffusing solutions. [Read more…]