Friday, October 24, 2008

Update and a great DIY project

First, my projects update: I haven't touched my fall series but I really do mean to get around to it this weekend. The self-portrait series is on hold pending inspiration for an image that looks different from the two I already have. My bico shoot did not go anywhere near as well as I had hoped due to several factors. I was off my game, we waited too long and thus had little ambient light, and I didn't quite know how to use my brand new homemade softbox. Despite those, I managed a decent frame of the necklace:

As I was sitting in my room, several hours before the shoot I realized I really wanted to try out some softer light for this series. But how? I've never owned the diffuser that most people put on their flashes and I am far too cheap to spend the money on big lights. I looked up the DIY hot shoe flash softbox on Strobist... but that thing is just so small I can't justify it. Then I noticed a pizza box sitting in the trash. Perfect!
I cut off the top of the box, put a small hole in the back (the sb600 is simply pushed in and held there by the tightness of the hole), grabbed a ream of copy paper and went to work.

Softbox pictured on my desk. left is macbook pro, right is the 22" LG monitor, also my Sony studio headphones and then the softbox, yes it is covered in duct tape.

The inside of the box is lined with copy paper to allow reflectivity. The outside is 4 pieces of paper, with the intersection of all 4 pieces right in the middle in front of the flash head. I put the flash on either 14 or 28mm zoom and let 'er rip!
I don't know the dimensions of the thing, lacking a way to measure it, but I'd guess its about 15" square. Certainly big enough and most definitely soft enough and it cost me next to nothing!
Now my tiny sb600 acts like a much bigger studio light! I've been testing it out after the shoot, learning how to work with light like this. I'll post some pictures later :-)