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Low profile hair light

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by Czechman01, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. You can shoot portraits in a 10 x 10 foot room. The problem isn't so much floor space as it is headroom. Most of us are shooting in a spare room or basement where the ceiling can be anywhere from 7 to 9 feet typically, so by the time you get a hairlight up there is little or no chance of shooting full length shots.

    The idea here is based on a simple bounce card and is designed to get the light as close to the ceiling as possible for full length shots. The strobe mounted to the ceiling with a brolly box attached hung down 30 inches. The opening of this unit is 18 inches from the ceiling. The opening is 28 x 18 inches.

    This is the bounce part. The whole thing is made from foam core glued together with a hot glue gun and attached to a wooden bracket that slides into the "C" shaped rail mounted to the ceiling. The rail allows me to position the unit a different distances from the BG.

    This rail is very short for portraits but I can rearrange the studio to shoot down a longer distance and the rail on that side is 10 feet long. The rail is not really part of the hair light. You can permanently attach yours if you want.

    This is the back view showing how the back of the unit is attached to the standard AB reflector with hot glue. The back is intentionally removable by removing the reflector and replacing it with another. This allows the unit to throw some light onto the BG if desired. It's not going to light the BG evenly but I've gotten some interesting coverage in specific situations. It's just a convenient option.
    View attachment 88920

    I may make an improved version with a larger opening and a removable diffusion panel, but we'll see. The quality of the light is surprisingly nice... A little "snappier" than a softbox and works very well on hair
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2007
  2. You have all kinds of cool gadgets Woody, thanks for sharing this one.
  3. Thanks Gordon! A big part of studio photography for me has always been finding ways to get things done. It's fun and a great challenge at times. I once built a pool with 1 x 10's and plastic sheeting and filled it with buckets of water from the sink.

  4. I remember that shot well, it was one of my favorites. I have always wondered how you got the look of rising steam?
  5. It's done with a fog machine. They can be found at most stores that sell party supplies or music stores... I got mine at Guitar World, a national chain store.
  6. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    Thanks for sharing Woody. You are a true engineer of light.
  7. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    This Hairlight is ingenious and works a charm. Here's a shot of it in use last weekend for scale reference. Note how high above the model's head and out of the way it is:

    NIKON D2Xs    ---    28mm    f/5.6    1/250s    ISO 100

    I'm glad you posted this Woody. It really is an excellent idea. You should market a production version.

    Hmmmmm....Archer Lighting.......
  8. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    Awesome play on words Josh.....and never a truer phrase was spoken!
  9. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    It's Guitar Center, but you really shouldn't plug them.:eek:  You do know they try to put me out of business every day right?:mad:  .......:wink:
  10. Potayto, Potahto... whatever

    and maybe if you sold fog machines...

  11. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    You can buy fog machines very cheaply on Nov 1st at most discount retailers.
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