As most photographer will tell you, if you want to take good portraits, dont invest in lenses, invest in lights! The proof is, even with a crappy iPhone camera, it is possible to get pro level pictures if you get awesome lights (proof). The thing is, getting a good set of lights is not cheap, especially when you realize how many modifier you need to satisfy your creativity.
This is where my friend Udi, from DIY Photography, steps in. His popular blog presents various DIY strategies to achieve the pro look using much cheaper DIY alternatives. While his blog usually only presents the end results with a quick description, he recently published an eBook that goes into every single steps of the building process.
You maybe thinking ‘why do I need instructions? Building a softbox is easy‘ and you would be almost right. It is easy once you have done all the mistakes and that is, according to me, the greatest value of the ebook: having someone else figure out the complicated stuff for you.
The book presents the building instructions for:
- Light restricters
- Light supports
- Ghetto set-ups (I loved the underlight section, great idea!)
As you can see, it covers pretty much anything you may want to build/need.
Are these DIY lights as good as pro ones?
As good, no. Nearly as good? Nearly. The biggest difference between the two is usually in the materials. Pro gear will reflect or diffuse the light better because the manufacturer has access to better materials to manage light. The difference is usually minimal and can often be solved by adjusting the strobe power or zoom level.
Should you get the book?
If you are thinking about building a home studio and you value your time, I strongly suggest you do. It is cheap and will worth many times its price in time saved!
You can get the book here.