I thought long and hard about getting a bigger lighting scrim. They are a super versatile tool from the strobist to the natural light shooter. They can block light, diffuse light, reflect light. In short, they rock the set. They are also ridiculously expensive to purchase commercially. I was searching for a DIY version and found Kevin Kubota’s to be about the best one out there. You can watch the informative YouTube vid here.
But I made some upgrades in the design. First of all, I found it was a lot cheaper to purchase the grey conduit rather than PVC for the main frame parts. They are the exact same size so you can still use all the same PVC fittings but the conduit is less money. Wee! 😎 Plus, it looks less distracting than white. And secondly, I found that the design for attaching the ripstop nylon to the frame was a bit lacking. If you only used it inside, it would be fine. But I do loads of outdoor work. So I needed a solution that would hold up to a Saskatchewan wind gust. I thought about it and concluded that the best way was to make basically a “fitted sheet.” I got some of the super awesome seamstress church ladies to sew me a 1 inch seam all the way around the outside edge of the material. Then I simply cut the corners off and fished the nylon elastic cord through it, tying it off to make it fit snuggly on the frame. It works like a charm! It goes together super quick and stays there, even in the wind.
You still have to be careful with it because it is basically a giant kite. But it works flawlessly and only costs a fraction of what the commercially available ones do. This is probably the only DIY thing I’ve ever made that I will continue to use on a long term basis because it’s a super slick design and it works fantastic! 😀
Check out these vids of Joe McNally using the same kind of product. The results are truly awesome!
OK, this one is for the photo geeks out there who are 1) cheap and 2) handy. Like everything in Photography, gear is expensive. Even things that shouldn’t be all too often break the bank. You should spend money on lenses and cameras and save cash on other stuff. Case in point: a triflash bracket. To buy one retail will set you back between $73 to $169. That’s crazy!! You could do that. OR you could spend less than $30 and make one yourself that is on par with the $119 dollar Joe McNally version. It’s a no brainer to me. 😀 Check out the vid.
Here are some sample shots I took using the bracket. They’re in the YouTube vid but I provide them here also to check out the awesome power and options available to you when you gang up your hotshoe flashes. You can overpower the sun or do a nice ambient/flash mix all without taxing the living heck out of one flash unit. Sweet! 😎
My generous friend Kevin lent me yet another light diffusing toy today, an Ezybox from Lastolite. I’ve had my eye on these products for quite a while and I was tickled plum to death to get the chance to play with it today. I made another quick YouTube vid comparing the light quality from one SB-600 speedlight but modified through the Ezybox Softbox, bounced off of a white reflector, shot through a diffuser, shot with a Gary Fong lightsphere, bounce flash off the ceiling and finally for kicks, natural light. It’s 5 different modifications from one flash, with 5 different outcomes when it comes to light quality. Pick which one you like the best! I think if I had to pick, I’d go with the softbox followed by the bounce flash from the white reflector. 🙂