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Tips & Tricks

5 Inexpensive & Creative DIY Lighting Setups To Help You Save Money | DigitalRev

By Hanssie on May 1st 2015

Here at SLR Lounge, we are currently eating, breathing, sleeping and dreaming about light. With the release of Lighting 101, you’d think we would get a small break, but actually, our video editors are just finishing up Lighting 201. Lighting 301 is in the queue and Pye is filming Lighting 401 as we speak!

So, when I saw DigitalRev post a video about DIY lighting, I had to share. I just want to preface this by saying that I love Kai and Lok at DigitalRev and their lighthearted, slapstick videos make me laugh. They can get a bit over the top with the language and bawdiness (did I just use that word?), so if that is not your cup of tea, then I’d recommend you skip the video below.

[REWIND: DIY: HOW TO CREATE AN AWESOME PRODUCT SHOT WITH ONE LIGHT AND FOIL]

In the video, 5 DIY Lighting Setups You Can Do At Home, Kai and Lok show five different DIY projects that can be done inexpensively and creatively. Using Pringles cans, picture frames, and more, they give you ideas for lighting and light modifiers using items you can find around your home.

The first DIY project is the hot light. Using any lamp you have, and some diffusion, you have an easy, continuous light that didn’t cost you any extra money. Then they make a diffuser using a picture frame and diffusion paper (it looks a bit like wax paper, but they do not specify what it was).

DIY-lighting-setups

Sometimes, you need more directional light, and, in that case, grab a can of Pringles in your pantry, empty it out, cut off the bottom and voila, you have a snoot. The fourth project is called a “Swedish Softbox,” which is basically any type of fabric that is white and lets soft light through. And finally, with the “Deep Dish Beauty Dish,” using a foil take out container, you can get a flat light similar to a beauty dish.

Watch the video and get some ideas of the items you can use around the house for your DIY “lighting studio”:

Obviously, these are just ramshackle solutions that are not quite as nice as the real deal, but if you ever find yourself in a pinch (either on your pocketbook or if you’re unprepared), look around the house and get creative. You might find something usable to give you the look you need for your image.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    I need to find the Swedish box. Is that available at IKEA? It looks like it’s a two-for!

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  2. Max C

    DigitalRev is just the worst reviewers. Every time I watch one of their videos thinking I will learn something about what they are reviewing, I come away with nothing. I don’t know how they got so popular and blogs like this always feature them. The main guy is very obnoxious and unpleasant. They are a total waste of time.

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    • John Cavan

      That seems pretty harsh, but to each their own. In any event, this isn’t a review, it’s lighting hacks for when you don’t have the right gear handy.

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    • Dustin Baugh

      I’m not a fan of the reviews either but for casual stuff like this they’re good.

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    • Max C

      It not harsh, it’s the truth. Just go and watch some of their reviews. Even the author of this article was giving a disclaimer “They can get a bit over the top with the language and bawdiness”. The lead guy is always swearing and using sexual innuendos. You will rarely learn anything from watching their videos and will come away feeling you just wasted 5 minutes. I will never watch them again and I wish these blogs will stop promoting them.

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    • Thomas Horton

      I think the intent is to be more humourous than factual. There are tons of websites that will show you the exact same thing in dry detail.

      People should watch DRTV to be entertained.

      It would be like watching Top Gear for serious car buying advice.

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  3. Jake Stifler

    amazing tricks

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  4. J D

    Love little DIY vids like this. For how little I would use them, I don’t spend a lot on expensive modifiers so ideas like this are great for me. I might only need to use something once or twice in a year so spending hundreds on a softbox that’s going to sit on a shelf isn’t the best use of my money.

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  5. Frank Nazario

    I’ve used the Pringles solution MANY times and I have taken it a step further… use the clear cap place some tracing paper in front of it and it works beautifully … want to increase the area of transition between light and shadow? cut the tube in half and the grading takes a beautiful shape… the Pringles trick is really cool i even use the cap as a gel holder when i need to color the light.

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