15 Feb 2014

First photography DIY project of 2014 accomplished

Recently I have started the DIY project, which should end in the big (1x2m), sturdy  frame with detachable light diffuser or reflector, depending on the used fabric. The project is finished, and the result looks quite nice:
Front side

Back side
To check the quality I took several shoots using different materials: a shoot-through umbrella, a diffuser and the combination of two. All shots have been taken with the light source placed 1 meter from my face. I have used one SB-900 speed light flash, working in iTTL mode. I have compensated the light strength of the iTTL by -2 stops. The photos are not super sharp, because I had to operate the setup alone, using the remote trigger. So the lens focus was locked and I tried to keep the same distance from the camera during consecutive shots:
Shoot-through umbrella
Diffusser

Shoot-through umbrella + diffuser
First photo is the least successful in my opinion (let's not discuss quality of the model :-)). Note the blemishes on the chick and relatively high contrast around the ears. Second picture, taken with the screen only improves the blemishes.
The combination (putting the speed light behind the umbrella and the screen) produces the results which are to me most pleasant with respect to the softness of light. The idea of combining both light modifiers comes from Joe McNally (one of his online courses). Just to give an idea of the setup:


The diffuser gives a slightly warm color cast comparing to the umbrella, but it is not a big problem.
I have ended up with the budget for the whole project of about 70 EUR. Not bad, I'd say, considering the final effect.