Has anyone ever softened a Home Depot work light like this? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

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Old December 31st, 2006, 08:07 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce
Looks good to me!

Oh, and the tutorial was nice as well...

Wouldn't it be easier and safer and faster to use clothes pins to attach the parch paper?

How about that big handle bar thingee, can it be removed? looks likes it's in the way.
No thats the base the lights mount to. The bottom portion is just the stand. The top half comes off the stand and can sit flat on the floor also. To be honest after 2 hours plus of shooting with those lights on the tape and foil were still completely touchable not even close to being a hazzard of any sort. The tape I used to just have a more permanent box. Id probably switch to heavier gaffer tape later on though. I slowed it down for the video, but I made all 4 boxes in probably 10 minutes at most using the tape. ;)
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Old January 1st, 2007, 11:19 PM   #32
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Thought Id of gotten more feedback by now :( lol
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Old January 1st, 2007, 11:44 PM   #33
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what type of feed back are you looking for? I plan on keeping tin pans and parchment paper around in my lighting kit from now on. I'm concerned that the paper may brown a bit over the length of a shoot, but 2 hours with no problems is pretty good for a $1 solution :)
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 12:18 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
what type of feed back are you looking for? I plan on keeping tin pans and parchment paper around in my lighting kit from now on. I'm concerned that the paper may brown a bit over the length of a shoot, but 2 hours with no problems is pretty good for a $1 solution :)
The paper doesnt even get warm to be honest hehe. I would guess somewhere in the 30 hour range before you would have to change the paper. Well other than if it gets torn or ripped etc. :) So feedback is sounding positive so far hehe. Thats good. ;)
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 09:31 AM   #35
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Saw the tutorial and I love the idea Ryan!!! I'm one of the people that has been using parchment paper on these Home Depot lights for a while now and I like this much better than just attaching the paper to the light heads with clothes pins because now it is a more "controlled" and neat softlight source. It's probably much closer or similar to having a real softbox light now with this technique versus the sloppy technique of just attaching it with clothes pins. This Idea definitely has a place in my indie light kit. Bravo!!
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 11:03 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Steve Witt
Saw the tutorial and I love the idea Ryan!!! I'm one of the people that has been using parchment paper on these Home Depot lights for a while now and I like this much better than just attaching the paper to the light heads with clothes pins because now it is a more "controlled" and neat softlight source. It's probably much closer or similar to having a real softbox light now with this technique versus the sloppy technique of just attaching it with clothes pins. This Idea definitely has a place in my indie light kit. Bravo!!
Excellent. Its amazing the ideas that come to you while walking around walmart at 2am and trying to figure out how to soften your light setup before a shoot the next day hehe. ;) Whats the saying necessity is the mother of invention? hehe. Hope other people make good use of the idea.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 11:47 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Ryan Kingston
Thought Id of gotten more feedback by now :( lol
I have some feedback. Part of the genius of this solution is its affordability and that if the crew complained about craft services, just remove the soft box, fill with 2 cans of tuna (drained), cover with breadcrumbs and 1/3 cup diced celery, bake for 40 minutes and Presto! Tuna Casserole!

Last edited by Brian Luce; January 2nd, 2007 at 01:59 PM.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 12:21 PM   #38
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It's a fairly elegant solution. My complaint is that the diffusion surface is still way to close to the element. If you look at any of the commercial softboxes, they are anywhere from 12 to 24 inches deep. The further you are from the element, the broader and softer the light. You're still about the same distance as clipping the diffusion onto barndoors, maybe even less. The benefit is that the pan helps controll spill. SO as a spill controll solution plus diffusion for worklights, its pretty good. As a diffusion device only - I rank it fair... needing more distance between source and diffusion material.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 12:46 PM   #39
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Interesting!

I love DIY... made some mic clips and sound reflectors for my sax, and in the past few days found I needed to soften the light, and viola! here is your tutorial. checked the cabinet and my wife has a roll of parchment paper, so I'm good to go.

I was test shooting in my small office for a project, and using a 500 watt Lights of America flourescent work light (daylight balanced, something that I forgot in the test) and it was a bit harsh, and a bit blue..DOH!

now once I get over this cold and laryngitis I can get back into production..

Thanks! this lamp is larger than the lights you used, so the roasting pan might not be large enough. I also need to work up a support since it only has the floor stand, and my office is small.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 02:01 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
It's a fairly elegant solution. My complaint is that the diffusion surface is still way to close to the element. I.
I had the same though and am wondering if what this solution REALLY does is merely dim the work lights and not really soften it.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 02:16 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
It's a fairly elegant solution. My complaint is that the diffusion surface is still way to close to the element. If you look at any of the commercial softboxes, they are anywhere from 12 to 24 inches deep. The further you are from the element, the broader and softer the light. You're still about the same distance as clipping the diffusion onto barndoors, maybe even less. The benefit is that the pan helps controll spill. SO as a spill controll solution plus diffusion for worklights, its pretty good. As a diffusion device only - I rank it fair... needing more distance between source and diffusion material.
They do make deeper pans. I had a fairly good distance I could pull back the lights too, which also helped diffuse it. Though its not perfect, and not near the result you would get from a 5 or 600.00 commercial light setup, two sets of lights and the items I used in the tutorial cost me less than 70.00 I know it made a huge difference between no diffuser, and the solution I made. I have a professional still photographer as a partner, and he thought the results were excellent considering the solution. ;)
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 02:56 PM   #42
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That's a great solution. I think a Turkey baking tin would solve the distance issue, those things are about 10 or so inches deep. i think i'll try this myself on my next shoot to soften the light.

Thanks for the great tutorial! I think that to get rid of the wrinkles in the paper you could just quickly dry-iron them out. another option is that there is parchment paper available in a roll rather then the folded version.

I use the small yellow lights like you have, and also the larger red ones so i can get 1000W light. One thing I did that made my "cheap kit" more usable was to buy an extra extension cord and split the lights so that i could use them separately on individual stands as well as hook them up to the original dual stand. Just gives a little more leeway with the individual lights.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 04:12 PM   #43
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I think you should aim for a minimum of 12 inches from the element to the diffusion. Remember, you want the widest possible 'hot spot' on the diffusion to get the maximum 'softness'.

I understand that it's a cheap solution. ANd well done. There have been others who posted their diffusion material stretched on an independent frame, and them moved the worklights. (Which is how it's done on a set for large volume lights anyway.) Again, just a thought. My point was simply that it's strongest assett was its ability to eliminate spill. One of the best solutions I've seen at that price point.

Also, keep in mind, when one's home-made solutions start reaching the fifty to seventy five dollar range, you can start looking for used lowel lights and such as well. Just another thought.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 04:30 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
I think you should aim for a minimum of 12 inches from the element to the diffusion. Remember, you want the widest possible 'hot spot' on the diffusion to get the maximum 'softness'.

I understand that it's a cheap solution. ANd well done. There have been others who posted their diffusion material stretched on an independent frame, and them moved the worklights. (Which is how it's done on a set for large volume lights anyway.) Again, just a thought. My point was simply that it's strongest assett was its ability to eliminate spill. One of the best solutions I've seen at that price point.

Also, keep in mind, when one's home-made solutions start reaching the fifty to seventy five dollar range, you can start looking for used lowel lights and such as well. Just another thought.
Thats 70.00 for 2 sets of lights though, Each yellow 500w light set is around 26.00. So for one set would be around 35.00 I might hit the store today and see if I can find a deeper solution. The other thing that could be done also is double up on your paper to reduce the light a bit more even. Glad for all the positive responses. Glad if I can help others out in any way!
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 06:30 PM   #45
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Doubling up on the paper won't "Soften" it any more, it will just lower the overall output.

The size of the spread on the diffusion element, is what makes the light "Softer". The further you can get the element from the paper, the broader will be the beam... the softer will be the resultant light. It's why there are 'baffles' INSIDE of softboxes... to dispurse the light. To keep from getting a hot spot in the middle of your big white surface. Ideally, the entire white surface should be as evenly lit as possible.
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