Light diffusion panels cost very little when you make them yourself, and to do so is very simple. I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked about diffusion panels and where I am getting them from. The ones I use in my studio have all been custom-made to fit my needs, and I’ll show you just how to make your own one below.
If you want to get soft flattering light, you would need to diffuse it. This video by Todd Blankenship, covers three ways to diffuse your point light source.
Of course, the first thing that Todd does is showing you how not to diffuse your light. As you may have guessed, simply throwing some baking paper on a light source will not diffuse it. If you clip the backing paper directly to the diffuser it just does not make your light source bigger.
Most large modifiers come with two diffusers. A big one for the outer rim and a smaller one that fits between the source of light and the big diffuser, right in the middle of the modifier. Of course, this begs the question how may diffusion layers do you actually need.
Focusable parabolic reflectors may not be your first lighting modifier as they are big and require a lot (A LOT) of power, but once you start using them it is pretty hard to go back. To top that, they are also pretty expensive. The medium branded ones are around $800 while a top brand like Broncolor will set you back about $2,400.
If you still want to drive test one of those and at the stage where you have more time than money, Dennis Christian put a tutorial together on building one from scratch (or almost scratch….).
Defining the problem: While shooting a portrait outdoors, I usually add a fill flash to eliminate any “racoon eyes” and dark shadows on the face. The fill flash is set set at 1.7 stops under exposed for a light touch. My setup is a Nikon D600 with Nikon SB700 flash (mounted on the camera’s hotshoe) using TTL metering at -1.7 EV. In the example the lighting on the face is good (soft & directional) but you can see a hard shadow on the right side of the subject.
We have options…
There are a few options available, and in this test case I wanted to compare them
When it comes to portrait lighting, Joel Grimes abides by some basic principles to achieve just the look he is going for. But, while those principles are basic, they may not necessarily be obvious. Fortunately, Grimes is a great educator and has made this quick video tutorial to share some of his pro advice and deliver us with a very simple way to get several different lighting looks using just one strobe, a reflector, and an octobox.[Read More…]
Diffusion blades (or panels) are incredibly useful things to have laying around a photography studio. Why pay over $100 each for a blade when you can build them yourself quickly and easily for a 1/3 of the price? In this video tutorial, Tony Roslund shows us how he makes his own blades using easily resourced materials.[Read More…]
Multi flash mounts are cool. I have discussed them before when we did a DIY on a dual flash mount. Just a quick recap: Using multiple flashed allows you to either drive more light or to remain on the same light level, while recycling faster. You can read it all here.
Using some objects that my wife will call junk elements smartly scattered around the house, photographer Brent Pennington made a three-way flash mount. Ha! Three is better than two. It will drive a stop and a half more.
Of course, you could always sin and get the one made by Lastolite, but then where would all the fun (and your 70 greens) would be?
Photographer Peter Karlsson has it all worked out when it comes to travel light. Peter is a Strobist at heart and as such he is using small flashes quite a bit. The coolness comes in when you see how he places his flashes in space.
Instead of your orthodox light stand solution Peter uses a home brewed light stand made of tent poles. Those are great for travel for several reasons: There are super light-weight, they fold small and they will definitely make your subject go WOW! Luckily for photographers wold wide there are two vids available that shows how those light stands were made. [Read More…]