DIYP reader Chaval Brasil came up with an ingenious way to create a ring flash. By routing the light from a hot shoe flash to a CD spindle, Chaval was able to surround his lens with light. Chaval joins a long tradition of readers projects that we had here on DIYP (see The Food Saver Omnibounce, Thomas Schwenger Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit, and The Christmas Tree Ring Light for more readers projects).
If 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.
deth2all from DIYP Instractables group came up with an ingenious way to combine the two. By using the famous Lee filters (They will ship them free to your door), deth2all was able to add the color transformation "feature" to the bare bulb film container flash. See the full tutorial here.
There are two nice things with this trick: The first is that you are not limited to the handful of colors the original Lomo had built in. The other niceness (can I say that ????) is that you do not need to buy a Colorsplash Lomo (though I highly recommend getting any Lomo you can put your hands on), you can use this on top of your DSLR.
Starting with an ordinary food bag, and adding some tinfoil and magic, Simon created an omnibounce. To learn more about the merits of bare bulb diffusers and see a different implementation of this great idea see here.
Have more ideas for wacky things to put on your flash? Hit me in the comments.
More Reader Projects:
- Strap it on Baby
- Thomas Schwenger Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit
- Christmas Tree Ring Light
- Got a Light?
A snoot is something you use to constrain the light coming from a flash, you can use it to tight a beam of light, or you can use it to flag light so it will not hit your lens and cause flare.
Scott Campbell came up with this 30 seconds, 2 Dollars snoot that will do just that - snoot your flash. In the process he nuked a catch all sack, but hey! It was worth it. (Kill me if I know how I missed it up till now)
Not too long ago, I have posted an article about making a strobe from a disposable camera. I was soon after that I called out to the great community of DIY photographers to make a disposable ringlight from such disposable camera strobes. And why not - they are cheap, available and do not require too much power.
In my mind there were three main challenges in making this project work: 1. Chaining the camera flash units; 2. Triggering the ringflash remotely; and 3. Powering the individual flash units.
Dave Ajax (Divet) from the DIYP Instructables group has risen to the challenge. Dave was also kind enough to allow me to post the full tutorial on this site, keeping the great tradition on DIYP Instructable projects like the Time Lapse Photography project, the Ingenious Camera Stabilizer and the Muslin Backdrop project.
Intro - Disposable Camera Ring Flash
Build a disposable camera ring flash. Disposable cameras are discarded after the film has been removed. Photo labs often have boxes of them under the counter, waiting to be recycled. If you ask nicely, you can often get more than enough to experiment with. Try to get at least six for this project, all of the same type.
Nick 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.
I said it before, and I'll say it again. The reason why bloggin' about DIY and Photography makes me a happy person it because I get to tap into a great stream of creativity fro mother great photographers out there.
Take Thomas Schwenger for example. After getting some from the Strobist and DIY community Thomas now gives back one of the lightest and easiest lighting kits for portables strobes. With a single page snoot, a mini GOBO and a filter holder, Thomas wins the DIYP kit of the year award. (Of course, like a being a warded a knighthood, there mostly honor in the title, no dough at all.
In this short video, Don Giannatti really packs in some stuff. The first setup is shows how to do a single strobe glamour portrait.
The second setup is an upgrade to the Three Dollar Beauty Dish by Just Fab (you may remember her from the Ghetto Studio post). Just Fab has gone from one time aluminum pans to more sturdy IKEA pans. Don also uses foam core and window sun shield (My guess is five more dollars to the setup).
The last setup is has another mode from a lightshere, an old reflector and some tissue.
It is mighty kind of Don Giannatti to share his unique lighting in this video. You can see the picture and some more explanations on lighting essentials.
The idea is very simple - take 6 super-duper Nikon SBs and mount them on a cut coffee can. You can use duct tape to hold them on.
Connect 3 pocket wizards with splitters to the flashes and fire away.