© 2016 Barry Mountford

Fun with DIY light modifiers

October 24, 2014

 

So I have had these homemade flash strip tubes now for about 7 months and thought it was about time I gave them a run out ! and I was super pleased at how they performed. 

    New house equals new things, furniture, curtains , curtain poles etc, now its not the poles which interested me but the 2 metre long cardboard tubes they were posted in.  For the last few years now I have photographed people  on a white sweep with a 3 light setup for the purpose of creating a composite image where I cut the subject out in Photoshop and place them in a background I have shot.  My main setup up is two 7ft umbrellas as my rim lights and one over head 80cm octo for the main, now this is great in a studio setup but I wanted something I could take on location where I can create a similar look without  the need for cutting out and placing them in a new background, something light and portable, something which wouldn't  blow over in the wind......the cardboard tubes where the perfect substitute.

      Roughly a metre long, I cut out two inch strips down the  centre of  the cardboard tubes leaving three inches of solid tube top and bottom, then added strips of double sided sticky tape  to the insde of the tube.  Good old tin foil was then added to the whole of the inside of the tubes to allow the light to bounce around the full length, using a shower curtain for the diffusion panel down the centre and some black material from some old curtains for the covering fabric that I had made into two removable covers by a local seamstress. The final piece I bought two round to square drain pipe connectors for the base of the strip which I modified to house the flashes. Here is the first test results, all be it in a studio environment but you can gauge how well they perform, I was super pleased !!

 

 

This was the first one out of the bag, Hannah was standing roughly 5 inches in front of the light strips 1/200 sec f8 iso 320. This was shot in my living room against a roller blind with a third light behind Hannah creating a gradiated light to give a little seperation, not bad I thought.

 

The second image out I really like, this time i used a big reflector to open up the shadows on her face by boucning the light back from the strip tubes. I forgot to mention I had the seamstress make some velcro gobos/flags which I can add and remove to help control the spill light.

 

 

 

The third shot from this session is one of my favourites, we were just messing around and having fun and this image reflects that I think, same settings as the first image using a reflector as fill.

 

 

The image above, Hannah is standing in the same position, the image below I asked her to stand a couple of inches forward. You can see how much of a difference just an inch or two makes by how the light raps around her arms and cheeks.

 

 

Will be looking for some backgrounds for these images and looking forward to trying these lights out on location !!

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