Testing My DIY Grid Spot
edit: I’ve replaced these grids with more aesthetically pleasing versions. The new grids function exactly the same – I simply transplanted the innards (the straws) into a better-looking exterior. It’s still a DIY project, but it doesn’t look cheap anymore.
In the whole Strobist spirit of finding inexpensive ways of playing with light, I made some grid spots for my flash. So far, I’ve seen two versions of the DIY grid spots – the cardboard or coroplast version, and the drinking straw version. As you can see from the image off to the left, I opted for the straws.
If you’re looking for instructions on making these little babies, stop right now. Look back up and click on some of the links in the first paragraph. On the other hand, if you’re looking for examples of how these grids work, read on.
The three shots below show how the beam from your flash spreads out. These examples show from left to right, a bare flash, a flash with a 2cm grid, and one with a 5cm grid. I’ve included the disc off to the right as a reference – those flashes are roughly five inches away from the wall.
Notice how the light comes out as a nice little circle with virtually no spill. If you want to light your subject and nothing else, these gridspots are great for that.
I’ve got another example for you – this time with a model. Our model in this set is somebody most of you probably know: Street Fighter‘s Ryu – or at least a 6″ version of him. Again, the examples show a bare flash, a 2cm grid, and a 5cm grid.
You can see the setup for these shots here, but the basic idea is that Ryu was lit from roughly a 45 degree angle off camera right.
If you’ve noticed, the gridded lights pretty much focused all the light where they were pointed. There’s no light bouncing all over the place – only light on the subject. Want to add a rim light or back light that won’t flare into the camera, put a grid on it. Want to light your subject while keeping the background dark, grid your light.
Now, if only I could make a larger grid…
• Luis • 19 November 2007 •