So this week has been a stressful one to say the least. The weather has been dreadful from snow to sleet, freezing ice on the roads to more snow and more ice. The Governor even issued a state of emergency for Kentucky. We have been stuck in our home for the whole week, due to the driveway being snowed in and icy. Fortunately we were only without power for part of day one, while over 200k residents are still without any.
When nature takes her wrath out on our state, what else can you do but wait her out...and do a DIY! DIY you say? Yes! A Do It Yourself Project! I decided to try out a flickr friends DIY Ring Light Flash Modifier Project. As I looked around my house, I was able to find a laptop box from my daughters computer I gave her for Christmas, about the size of a medium pizza box (which will also work) and another moving box that was definitely due to be retired from storing items. I then located my packaging tape, the roll of tin foil from my kitchen, the kids craft glue, a box cutter and my 14" x 17" artists sketch pad.
I sat down and reviewed Nick Wheeler's tutorial and set to work. I looked at my camera and proceeded to measure the size of my lens. I then measured and cut a piece of cardboard big enough to make a square to fit my lens through. I made the square deep enough to make fold down flaps to adhere to the center of my Modifier (2" at each end).
I then took my box and found the center by drawing a big X from corner to corner on both sides of my box. I centered/set my lens frame on this and traced around the inside of the lens frame. Once I lifted this I traced my first circle, I found a salad plate from my kitchen cabinet made a great circle template. A dinner plate then made a perfect outer circle for my light channel.
At this point I cut out my lens hole on each side of my box and attached the lens frame to the inside of my box (the back side only)gluing the flaps with the Elmers. I sat back admiring my work thus far with a childish pleasure!
Pulling out my tin foil, I found the foil just fit inside perfectly width wise, so I spread the Elmers evenly across the entire inside of the back side of my box. I carefully laid in the tin foil smoothing it till it was wrinkle free. I added strips along the sides, overlapping it along the edges so it was seamless, then did the same around the lens frame and the inside of the lid. The whole process didnt take any longer than wrapping a Christmas present and the Elmers glue was pretty forgiving, allowing me to lift it whenever I needed to to reposition it.
After all the internals were done, I closed the lid and folded the flaps of the lens frame down over the top of my box, gluing them down. I used my packaging tape to tape the lid down and sturdy up my framework. Boy this is starting to really look like something!
I looked around and made sure my kids and my kitties weren't anywhere near to get in the way of my mad hacking and set in to cut out my two circles. Nope no kids and no kitties! I took less time than I should have here because I looked at this one to be just a test run project. If you get close to my finished project, it definitely looks like I was hacking vs. carefully cutting clean lines lol!.
I took my cut cardboard circle and used it as a template to then cut out the smaller circle and larger circle/square frame, from the retired box I had sat in my pile of supplies. Before I got to work attaching my white diffuser, I quickly painted these pieces black.
The tutorial I was using suggested fabric, which muslin or a sheet would work, but I opted for what I had on hand since this was just a test run and used a sheet of artists sketch paper (Charcoal grade). I glued this to the entire front of my Modifier box and decided now was a good time to go get a snack from the kitchen!
Ok, no snacks, it seems my kids have eaten everything in the kitchen while we've been stuck inside...so I guess I will finish this project.
I took the two pieces I had cut out and painted black and glued them over the white paper, careful to center them on the box. This looks pretty good! But something is missing...
Oh! I almost forgot, I measured the spot on one corner of my nice little modifier for my flash. Easiest way was to trace around it. I also measured it on some of my scrap cardboard to make a frame around my flash. I made sure it would slide over my flash down to the bend in my flash as well as fit inside the flash hole in the modifier. Once I made sure it would fit together snugly, I pushed it into the flash modifier hole about an inch and a half, then taped it to the modifier.
Nicks tutorial goes into more hardware options to allow you to attach it to a light stand. The costs are pretty cheap from the looks of the items he used, but I wanted to see if I could do it with no cost other than materials I already had.
Below you can see a finished product view of my DIY...
...and a photo of my daughter, using the Ring Flash=)