DIY Stuff

Soft-Box Lighting Look At A Fraction Of The Cost

I have what I consider to be a “micro studio”.  I primarily shoot headshots there.  Space being at  premium, I sometimes have difficulty using soft boxes due to the size of the light modifiers.  I typically use 3 and as many as 6 strobes.  Imagine setting up 4 or 5 soft boxes in a camera room that’s roughly 10×20 feet, it’s pretty tight.

So in an effort to streamline things, thinking about it, I realized that if I could concentrate light into a diffusion panel, I could create the same soft-box effect but without the bulk.  So I purchased some half inch pvc pipe, a length of aluminum rod, and a couple of feet of rip-stop nylon.

After fashioning a rectangular frame, threading the aluminum rod, and fabricating the diffusion screen to attach, I came up with design you see in this photo.  As you could see, I am using this screen with an Alien Bee 800.  You can also see the effect of the light in the still life of the glass bowl.

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If you’re challenged with space limitations or are on a tight budget, this is a great way to solve either of those obstacles and get that softball look from your lighting. If you want more details on how to build one of these screens, email me for the directions (I’m in the process of creating a short instructional video too).  Since I already had the tools to work with, this sofbox screen cost me about $15.00 to build.