Home-made lights

I ran across an interesting link describing several lighting hacks for photographers. I’ve spent more than a few hours browsing the hardware lighting section and fantasizing about DIY photo light kits. I’ve re-purposed a space blanket or two but beyond that I’ve not been too successful rolling my own photographic lighting systems.

Part of the problem is I have no patience when building something. I tend to rush which results in a cobbled project at best. Also, when you figure the amount of tinker time and runs to the hardware store I’m not sure you actually save anything. The other factor is I’m a location shooter, not a studio guy. Studios tend to foster innovation when it comes to lighting gear because the studio itself is often built around lighting systems.

Having said all of this, I do believe that equipment hacks in general are an extension of the creative process. The ones I like tend to be serendipitous rather than strategic. One example that comes to mind is former National Geographic editor Wilbur Garrett’s photo of a human skull in Cambodia. To make the shot he bounced his Vivitar 283’s light off of an orange camera bag he’d set on the ground next to the skull. The resulting warm, candle-light side lighting on the skull was in perfect contrast to the blueish, deep-shade ambient light.

It’s the kind of unplanned, MacGyverish solution that I live for.





~ by keithphilpott on February 26, 2008.

One Response to “Home-made lights”

  1. well done, brother

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