Ben Kuhns  |  View Profile

Submitted on August 16, 2010

1 Comment | Favored by 7 | Views 1392

Comments:

Lelaki JaLank

this is Manual menu? i like your photo Ben!!
this picture is edited with photoshop?

Posted 6 years ago   

1/250

8.0

ISO: 100

Focal Length

85

Exposure Bias

0

Camera

Nikon D3x

Lights Used

Regular Flash
Diffuser
Strobe

Category

Portrait

Additional Notes

Copied from the Flickr page (http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanpirate/4899512686/):

Dear Strobist,

I must apologize for placing such an ugly photo in your Group Pool. It isn't anything personal, but I want to show you this little toy I made.

Long have I sworn by the many uses of a simple white (or black for that matter) bed sheet in the photo world. A backdrop? Check. Prop? Check. Diffusion stock? Check. Toga? Check and a beer please.

Big ol' collapsible frames with diffusers and reflectors are all the rage at the camera store I work at. They carry a price tag to match unfortunately, so why not make it yourself? What you see back behind all the mess is a finished prototype. Dead simple to make, and equally inexpensive.

Four PVC sections joined by 90 degree elbows form a basic rectangular frame. The frame is about six inches longer on each side than the sheet that will be used within it. So for this 75" x 95" sheet the frame would be roughly 87" x 107". This gives some room for the fabric to stretch while under tension.

With the frame built, time to anchor the sheet. I placed a .5" metal grommet in each corner to allow me to hook a bungie cord onto the sheet. The "top" side of the sheet is sewn over to create a double thick strip of fabric; this side held the grommets just fine. The opposite side grommets tore out immediately. No worries though, the holes where the grommets should have been work just fine to anchor the bungie cords.

The bungie cord gets hooked into the grommet/hole and wrapped around the corner joint of the frame; the more times you wrap around the frame, the more tension on the cord and by association the sheet. Wrap around and hook the other end onto the same grommet that you started with and repeat for each corner. The whole things breaks down rather nice too.

BAM! Huge diffuser. Is it perfect? No. But it sure does work.

In the photo above you'll see the panel held upright by two 9' Manfrotto stands weighted down with Vagabond 2 battery packs. The top of each stand carries the Jaws of Death, aka a Super Clamp. Behind the sheet are a pair of AB1600's spitting light all over my otherwise dark and quiet neighborhood street.

The softness from the panel is fantastic and provides plenty of wrap for shooting a portrait. It might be the Razor scooter to the Elinchrom Octabank's Ferrari, but the price point is a little more attractive.

So Strobist, forgive the crappy photograph but I wanted to show off this thing. Hopefully we'll get a real shoot going with it so I can bring a little beauty back to the Group Pool. And dear Moderators, don't shoot me down for a lack of lighting info in this one; I really don't remember (plus would you really want to emulate this?).

Regards,

Ben

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