Forums > Photography Talk > Weekend project: DIY $36 4'x6' diffusion panel.
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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Top of the Page!

The size was pretty perfect too. Emma is a tall girl, and angled right, it completely shaded her. No problems shooting 3/4 at all. AND, with a simple switch of where the angles are, I can have it 6' wide, and 4' tall (sideways) for family portraits.

http://www.jayleavitt.com/links/diffuser_9.jpg

Nov 25 12 05:36 pm Link

Photographer

In Balance Photography

Posts: 3372

Boston, Massachusetts, US

-JAY- wrote:
Top of the Page!

The size was pretty perfect too. Emma is a tall girl, and angled right, it completely shaded her. No problems shooting 3/4 at all. AND, with a simple switch of where the angles are, I can have it 6' wide, and 4' tall (sideways) for family portraits.

http://www.jayleavitt.com/links/diffuser_9.jpg

That's real nice work!

Nov 25 12 05:40 pm Link

Photographer

Paolo Diavolo

Posts: 8893

Martinez, California, US

Great results!! Photos look awesome.

Nov 25 12 05:41 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Paolo Diavolo wrote:
Great results!! Photos look awesome.

I appreciate it. The blog I am writing this for is geared towards newbies. Maybe you can't afford lights yet, so you have to make due with what you've got. Many of us started out shooting in the shade. It's easier to learn, but carries its own limitations, having to book shoots around particular times, etc... This way, a newbie can bring the shade with him.

A $40 panel (plus a couple stands) with a rebel and prime lens = you're set.

Nov 25 12 05:47 pm Link

Photographer

GH-Photography

Posts: 9424

Jacksonville, Florida, US

Very nice build Jay,

You may want to look at Dean Collins Tinker Tubes, it looks like you use your build with some of his designs with little to no modifications.

http://www.software-cinema.com/page/13/tinkertubes

Edit: just went back through reading others replies.

Yay, for all the Collins fans out there...

Nov 25 12 05:47 pm Link

Photographer

Pixsrbious Productions

Posts: 91

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Great Job....  I use these all the time but this one look lite enough to use anywhere

Nov 25 12 05:55 pm Link

Photographer

Douglas_Elgenor

Posts: 305

Jackson, Tennessee, US

This is great. What is the name of your blog? I should have some wonderful tips.

Nov 25 12 06:35 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Douglas_Elgenor wrote:
This is great. What is the name of your blog? I should have some wonderful tips.

http://www.shootingonabudget.com/ - it's been on hiatus for a while, and I'm just now getting it back on track.

Nov 25 12 06:57 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:
I'd love to see a close-up shot of where it attaches to the lightstands.

It's just a one foot section of 3/4" pvc. I picked 3/4" cause it slides right onto the top portion of my light stands, and with how snug it is, there's no wiggle, and it's very secure.

The attachment is a threaded T with a threaded elbow. Those are also snug to the point where I can position it any which way, and the tension will keep it in place.

http://www.jayleavitt.com/links/foot.jpg

Also, I can move the T to where the coupler is on the short end and make a wide panel rather than a tall one.

Nov 27 12 05:53 pm Link

Photographer

AG_Boston

Posts: 354

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Your shots came out just as good as I knew they were going to!

Did you happen to take any with the unmodified sunlight to show how awesome this thing is?

Nov 27 12 07:03 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

AG_Boston wrote:
Your shots came out just as good as I knew they were going to!

Did you happen to take any with the unmodified sunlight to show how awesome this thing is?

Meant to... kinda got distracted, stupid one-track mind.

I may be going out there this weekend, if so, I'll post an example.

Nov 27 12 07:59 pm Link

Photographer

pacman829

Posts: 301

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Damn... you beat me to it lol ... I was in Joanns Fabrics picking some nylon up a couple of days ago ..

Was going to build something more similar to the way Kubota makes his, but this might be better for me do to the lightstand mod ..

Good stuff

Nov 27 12 08:31 pm Link

Photographer

BareLight

Posts: 510

Kansas City, Kansas, US

Very nice!  Thank you for sharing.

Nov 27 12 09:36 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

BareLight Photography wrote:
Very nice!  Thank you for sharing.

Thanks.


And since putting a couple images on FB, including this one: http://www.jayleavitt.com/links/couple_fb.jpg (the model is my cousin MM#1152306, and her BF picked her up from the shoot, grabbed a candid "couple" style shot) I have gotten quite a bit of interest through my family portraits page. This thing will be going with me on family/kids/seniors/engagements from now on.

Nov 27 12 10:40 pm Link

Photographer

rickspix_uk

Posts: 113

Southend-on-Sea, England, United Kingdom

Great post jay... I was going to ask how you managed to get a model to test your panel at short notice but i think that you clearly cheated by having a cousin who is also a MM model

Nov 27 12 11:19 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

rickspix_uk wrote:
Great post jay... I was going to ask how you managed to get a model to test your panel at short notice but i think that you clearly cheated by having a cousin who is also a MM model

tongue She's also one of my favorites. I posted on FB that I had a new toy I needed to test out, and she texted me.

Nov 27 12 11:21 pm Link

Photographer

HWM Photography

Posts: 1399

Chicago, Illinois, US

I may have to try this over Christmas Break.  Thanks so much for this.  Excellent work.

Nov 27 12 11:24 pm Link

Photographer

Tom Nguyen Studio

Posts: 416

Shakopee, Minnesota, US

Thanks for the contribution, Jay!

Nov 27 12 11:37 pm Link

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 9269

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

-JAY- wrote:

tongue She's also one of my favorites. I posted on FB that I had a new toy I needed to test out, and she texted me.

Almost as big a cheat, as a photographer out here who's wife is absolutely stunning, and models.

Nov 27 12 11:54 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Herman Surkis wrote:

Almost as big a cheat, as a photographer out here who's wife is absolutely stunning, and models.

You talking about my wife, or someone else? Mine was at work sad

Nov 28 12 07:22 am Link

Photographer

Ezhini

Posts: 1615

Wichita, Kansas, US

Make one for moi. smile

Nov 28 12 07:32 am Link

Photographer

Studio Still

Posts: 226

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Very nice.

One thing, from the perspective of a guy with long hair who has used hair ties for years, they are very weak and do not last.  You might find that they are the weak part of the system when the wind picks up.  The thicker style ties might last better.

Nov 28 12 07:44 am Link

Photographer

pacman829

Posts: 301

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Lets see some samples

Dec 07 12 12:25 pm Link

Photographer

Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11666

Wilmington, Delaware, US

Awesome! Thanks for posting this. I love DIY projects that turn out great.

Dec 07 12 06:08 pm Link

Photographer

photo212grapher

Posts: 1590

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

I used this:
http://www.adorama.com/PFLP7777WT.html
with tent poles with 90 deg corners and shockcord:
http://www.questoutfitters.com/tent_pol … POLE%20SET
Collapses and set-ups fast. A bit flexible in the wind but an assistant or two stands with sandbags solves the problem.

Dec 07 12 11:06 pm Link

Photographer

Hero Foto

Posts: 878

Phoenix, Arizona, US

photo212grapher wrote:
I used this:
http://www.adorama.com/PFLP7777WT.html
with tent poles with 90 deg corners and shockcord:
http://www.questoutfitters.com/tent_pol … POLE%20SET
Collapses and set-ups fast. A bit flexible in the wind but an assistant or two stands with sandbags solves the problem.

SWEET ... thanks for sharing those links

Dec 08 12 05:38 am Link

Photographer

D-Light

Posts: 622

Newcastle, Limerick, Ireland

Thanks for sharing. Was thinking of doing something similar and now I can copy your's, great!

Dec 08 12 06:05 am Link

Photographer

Steinberg Photo

Posts: 1164

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Cool.

If you can post a 2nd photo of how it is positioned relative to the model, that would also be of interest.

Dec 08 12 06:09 am Link

Photographer

photo212grapher

Posts: 1590

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

photo212grapher wrote:
I used this:
http://www.adorama.com/PFLP7777WT.html
with tent poles with 90 deg corners and shockcord:
http://www.questoutfitters.com/tent_pol … POLE%20SET
Collapses and set-ups fast. A bit flexible in the wind but an assistant or two stands with sandbags solves the problem.

Hero Foto wrote:
SWEET ... thanks for sharing those links

No problem. The translucent sheets come in various sizes.
Adorama also sells a square tube frame that is a bit more sturdy, but still quite light:
http://www.adorama.com/PFLP7777FRA.html
for those not wanting to mess with a DIY approach.
Tent poles are inexpensive, but photography poles are not. go figure.

Dec 08 12 06:12 am Link

Photographer

pacman829

Posts: 301

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I meant samples of the videos you shot btw

Dec 08 12 06:51 pm Link

Photographer

Glenn Liam Kelly

Posts: 41

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Thanks for posting this. I was thinking about doing this with a Hula Hoop but this seems a lot better option.

Dec 08 12 07:13 pm Link

Photographer

Mike Collins

Posts: 2036

Orlando, Florida, US

Another thing people may want to consider is to buy some thin bungee cord and run it through the entire frame with a small amount of tension.  Does two things.  Keeps tension on the frame while its up; keeps all the pipes together when taken down.  Buy some velcro straps and wrap all the tubes/pipes up to keep them together.  All sold at Home Depot type places.

Still got several of my P-22s, and P-15s from Dean's Lightform line of pvc panels and use them all the time.  His were 6 1/2 by 3 1/2 (p-22) and 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 (P-15)

Shot using a P-22 panel
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/081205/12/49395fafe0a63.jpg

Dec 09 12 05:22 am Link

Photographer

Dan Howell

Posts: 2480

New York, New York, US

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1 … Frame.html

Not sure why you were comparing to the cost of the Photoflex. The above Chimera product is superior for a fraction of the cost and integrates to existing Matthews grip standards and folds down to very compact form factor--far more compact than your arrangement. It has proven to be far more durable than PVC panels like the Liteform and has a variety of pre-made fabrics that more easy interchange.

I'm not opposed to DIY, but this product more than justifies the cost in my opinion.

Dec 09 12 06:03 am Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Dan Howell wrote:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1 … Frame.html

The above Chimera product is superior for a fraction of the cost and integrates to existing Matthews grip standards and folds down to very compact form factor--far more compact than your arrangement.

$172 for the frame
$85+ for the diffusion fabric
$40 for stand brackets

Still $300 vs $36.... I don't have $300 to spend on something like this.

Dec 09 12 10:59 am Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Update:

After quite a few shoots this fall (shot mainly indoors over the winter) it's time to bring it out for spring (hit 82 degrees today, it's time to get back outside!)

My goal for this spring is to work on natural lighting with reflectors... so I made Budget Diffuser v2.0 - well, I bought an emergency blanket and some self adhesive velcro.

The emergency blanket fit perfectly (trimmed like 2" off one end) - the self adhesive velcro strips attached firmly to both the PVC and the blanket. $5 added to the total cost, for a 4x6 silver reflector added to the mix.

http://jayleavitt.com/links/diffusion_8.jpg


http://jayleavitt.com/links/diffusion_9.jpg


Have a shoot planned for next weekend, cannot wait to go out and play with it.

Mar 11 13 07:42 pm Link

Photographer

Hero Foto

Posts: 878

Phoenix, Arizona, US

I've used those emergency blankets ...
gaffers taped them ...

they work pretty darn good

Mar 11 13 08:25 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Hero Foto wrote:
I've used those emergency blankets ...
gaffers taped them ...

they work pretty darn good

I'd expect them to work well.

I've been meaning to learn how to effectively use reflectors in the sun, and after seeing an article on FStoppers about someone coming to Vegas (red rock - it was an interesting article) to shoot and issues that arose. But anyways... the article says he went out with just reflectors, and the images are among the best I've ever seen from the location.

As it so happens, the llama he shot for that series and I have been wanting to shoot. Gonna practice trying not to blind her with shiny stuff next weekend.


Found the FStoppers article that got me wanting to learn reflectors. http://fstoppers.com/photographer-gets- … own-notice

Mar 12 13 12:59 am Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 39044

Portland, Oregon, US

-JAY- wrote:

I'd expect them to work well.

I've been meaning to learn how to effectively use reflectors in the sun, and after seeing an article on FStoppers about someone coming to Vegas (red rock - it was an interesting article) to shoot and issues that arose. But anyways... the article says he went out with just reflectors, and the images are among the best I've ever seen from the location.

As it so happens, the model he shot for that series and I have been wanting to shoot. Gonna practice trying not to blind her with shiny stuff next weekend.


Found the FStoppers article that got me wanting to learn reflectors. http://fstoppers.com/photographer-gets- … own-notice

I find the article more curious than the reflectors

Mar 12 13 08:50 am Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

DougBPhoto wrote:

I find the article more curious than the reflectors

True, a very interesting situation. At the same time though, fantastic images of Autum.

Mar 12 13 09:01 am Link

Photographer

Hero Foto

Posts: 878

Phoenix, Arizona, US

the last time I shot with them, at approx. 30-40' from subject, they were still pretty blinding ...

Mar 12 13 10:28 am Link