Homemade Softbox

Natalie
This weekend I decided it was time to build the homemade softbox featured in my article of Do It Yourself Light Modifiers. With shopping list in hand, Natalie and I went to Michael’s to get everything we needed (and a craft for her to do at the same time).

Once we were at Michael’s, I had to make some substitutions. They want $35 for a piece of mat board, so I opted instead for a 3 pack of white poster board pieces. Also, the staff there had never heard of mylar drafting film. Wasn’t totally sure what to do, but as I was walking down the drafting/ needlepoint supply aisle, I spotted something called “plastic canvas”. I grabbed a couple sheets of varying sizes and hole densities and figured that would work.

Than I got into the construction phase. Cutting the foam was pretty straightforward (the authors tip about using a thin sheet of plywood for a cutting board was perfect). Then I started cutting the posterboard. In the authors revised directions, he indicates you should leave extra around the edges (on the trapezoidal pieces). I did this, but I am not sure what function that serves. As I was finalizing construction, These oversized pieces were difficult to work with and I still don’t see the point. Somehow I managed to get it all together though.

NatalieNatalie, exposure reducedCactus remote trigger, I had to fiddle with the flash settings a few times. The photo at left is still overexposed, but a quick treatment in Lightroom makes it suitable, as you can see in the photo at right.

In the time since I made my original post, I think the author of the instructions for this softbox has made some revisions. I’d love to see more detail on why the trapezoids should be oversized, since it caused me problems. But overall, I am happy with the output from this box. I am actually going to be playing with it later today when I do “class photos” for my daughter’s small preschool class here in Lakewood. I’ll post up another time about how that shoot goes.

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11 Responses to “Homemade Softbox”

  1. […] cool for me to go over there and take some “class pictures” of them. So I took my new Homemade Softbox and went over. I think the pictures came out pretty well. But let me say this about groups of young […]

  2. […] cool for me to go over there and take some “class pictures” of them. So I took my new Homemade Softbox and went over. I think the pictures came out pretty well. But let me say this about groups of young […]

  3. […] Photo by Karl ZemlinEver since I got an external flash for my Canon Powershot G5, I have been researching and building home made light modifiers. Some are more elaborate than others, some look better than others, but they have all had the desired effect. Here is a rundown of the ones I have tried, with links to instructions (some might go to videos). The DIY softbox above is one I have not made yet, but you can get the plans here. [edit – on 12/14/08 I made it and then did a review] […]

  4. ZEMLIN says:

    Don’t know if you had my updated instructions for your build.
    http://www.sonicartistry.net/zemlinphotos/MiniSoftbox/Softbox%202/instructions/softbox_instructions.htm
    Leaving extra material around the edges just has to do with how I worked with the mat board – rather than trying to trim the pieces accuratly from a large piece of mat I simply rough-cut the pieces oversized and then do a final cut to size – before gluing. You misunderstood my intent. Sorry ’bout that.

    Also, I’d be concerned that posterboard is not rigid enough to give the soft box shape. Did it work OK for you? Thin corregated from a smallish express mail box or something like that would be good too, if faced with white paper for reflectivity.

  5. CHESTER says:

    Thanks for the feedback. That whole DIY post where I featured yours
    as the headline image has been the most popular post I have made so
    far.

    The posterboard actually works pretty well. The finished product
    isn’t as professional looking as I would like, but it is in the
    workmanship, not the design. I’ll probably try to make another one in
    the next couple of weeks, and also try a different craft supply place.

  6. […] mylar (I think this might be really similar to the mylar drafting film I couldn’t find for my softbox project). It cuts really easily, and seems to be more durable than tissue paper would be. And it diffuses […]

  7. […] the past I have done a lot of do-it-yourself photography projects. And yes, that included a DIY Softbox. The results were acceptable enough, but after a short time the softbox looked like it had been […]

  8. DOUG TACY says:

    Wow dude, this is extremely helpful info, appreciated.

  9. […] the past I have done a lot of do-it-yourself photography projects. And yes, that included a DIY Softbox. The results were acceptable enough, but after a short time the softbox looked like it had been […]

  10. usually, i buy my craft supplies on the internet because of the cheaper price and countless options ;,;

  11. .;” I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information -”

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