Scrim jims, butterflies, overheads, 4×4 frames, whatever you want to call them, are a staple on most film sets – and for good reason. They can be used to turn almost any light into a large soft light source; they can be used to even out the light during outdoor shoots; and you can use them, with a dark fabric, as large flags. They’re versatile, they’re sturdy, they’re portable, and by building them ourselves, they’re certainly worth having one or two in your kit. Matthews and Westcott, among others, make these that you can pick up for $150 – 200, but today we’re going to make our own for around $80.
Last year I made an article about getting good gradient reflections on surfaces, but after a while of using this that I’ve come to realize that I actually get slightly better (and easier) results with a different technique.
You can consider this as he second part of the How To Get Gradient Reflection On Surfaces tutorial.
Cosmetic products are some of the hardest things to photograph. The combination of reflective, translucent, opaque and shiny surfaces makes it an absolute nightmare. Below you will find my quick and dirty method for dealing with those hard to shoot subjects.
I have been planning around trying to build a DIY scrim for about a month now but couldn’t think of a frame where I could start my project. First thing I thought of was making it out of PVC pipes (sadly PVC pipes are not as easy to get here), then thought of using wood for the frame. I put it aside for a while until I found the perfect frame for my new project.
A scrim is not a stand alone unit and you want a light source behind it – either a strobe, a strong continuous light or even the sun. The scrim will diffuse that light (and eat quite a bit of it during the process) into a beautiful soft light.
Normally when I go to the local mall I visit the Japan Store because almost everything there is for P88 ($2USD) and there is a LOT of stuff to choose from, so I was looking around the other day and found a portable clothes hanger for around $5.50 USD. WIN! This would be the perfect frame for my next project. (If you don’t live in the Philippines, fret not, they are pretty cheap in the US too)