Two Infinities

Sat, 10 Jan 2009

Surround Soft Box
Providing diffused light for small reflective objects (mostly belt buckles for me) was a difficult photographic problem for me. My friend Ben B. recommended a cloud dome, but they list at $200. I finally hit on an inexpensive construction suggested by D. Montizambert in Creative Lighting Techniques.

I cut a 40% sector of a 32 inch radius circle from a sheet of white woven nylon. Sewing the sector along the two radii forms a cone, and sewing a piece of clothes-line wire along the 72 inch circumference provides a frame for the cone. Cutting the tip provides a hole for the camera lense. Usually, I hold it on the lense body by hand, but with a rubber band, one can free his hands. Mounting the camera on a tripod as shown, while not necessary, is also useful for maintaining fine control.

I use two monolights, one one either side of the cone. The flexibility of the cone lets me place the reflection of the lense from a convex mirror pretty much where I please.
nylon light cone
The buckle below illustrates the diffusion of light from the set-up above. While not hard to do in this case, the lense reflection is hidden by the buckle inlay.
reflective buckle

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