Having recently looked at snoot making sites I came across a few that suggested using a Pringles tube, so I bought some potato chips in a tube and tried it out. It is an easy solution and works fine, but as a friend asked me what client would hire me if I used a Pringles tube for a snoot. The answer is simple, no one would . But this is rarely the point in utilizing these sorts of things to make photos. The benefits from trying such things are many, to list just few.
You will quickly see if you like or want these sorts of light modifiers before you spend hard earned money without ever using them.
The practice of making things work for you is never wasted, you may one day have to substitute a Pringles box for a snoot because it’s the only thing available, and being able to improvise and think problems out is what separates the best from the rest.
As a case in point, about six months ago a friend who collects antiques retired. Lost for something to do he decided to catalogue his extensive collection of lamps and curios.
His question to me was what camera should he buy to do this. His preference was for a Canon 7D kit that he had looked at the day before.
My question was, did he want to buy a new camera or take good photo’s? When he answered that the images were more important I explained that he could get the results he wanted if he spent around $100 and used his current 5year old Canon G9 pocket camera.
He would need;
A bottom of the line Yongnuo YN560 speed light $50
I Yongnuo radio trigger and receiver $25
1, 2.5 meter piece of foam board $10
A very cheap plastic tripod $12
A pack of batteries $ 2
I cheated a little because he had a very old speed light, which was also pressed into service.
After an initial trial with me he was left to work it out himself. When I visited him a week later he was producing images like the one above. The system is very simple. Cut the foam board into half meter lengths, build a square white box configuration without front or back, but build it so that it can be varied (I use long pins), place the flash(s) in the box with the flash head pointed at the roof of the box, take a few shots to get the exposures right, then do more experiments to get the light you want and that’s it.
In this photo he hung a piece of black cloth about a meter away from the back of the box. Look at the technical data and you will see that the system works no matter what you’re doing.
The image was not post processed.
f/5.6, 1/500 sec, ISO100, Canon G9