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Making a Soft Light for Virtually Nothing

Thanks so much for the tip! I have also seen the need for a softer flash at tiems and can't afford the luxury of a special flash right now...so i foudn your tip EXTREMELY helpful!

heather M
Mon, 09 Apr 2007 19:18:03 -0700

Hello Chieh, I just bought your "Hacking Digital Cameras", and find it quite intriguing, (haven't read it thoroughly yet, but will). I would like to address two issues pertaining to your "Soft Light" article, but first would like to say that these are by no means meant as criticism. First, taping paper or any other translucent material to a lamp, will in fact work adequately. However, wouldn't it be safer to draw a rectangle on a board, drill four holes in the corners of the rectangle, and insert two semicircular lengths of coat hanger wire on which to drape or attach the material? Then position lights on both sides to further eliminate shadows. Secondly, in order to achieve accurate color rendition, readers should be advised to either use a filter, for film, or lighting adjustments on digital cameras, to compensate for the type of light source, (incandescent, florescent, etc.) Thank you for a great book, an excellent website, and above all, your humanitarian efforts to alleviate one of the greatest maladies known to mankind.
Michael J.

Michael Johnson
Sun, 15 Feb 2009 23:59:16 +0000

You are absolutely right, Michael. It would be safer, and definitely nicer to make a soft light box. Thanks for sharing your idea.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 16 Feb 2009 23:13:41 +0000

However you diffuse the light, you can simplify accurate color reproduction by using so-called "daylight" compact fluorescent bulbs...not too hard to find these days in 5000 or 6500 K. To play safe, set a custom white balance and you'll find that little or no color correction will be needed.

People have told me that this won't work because fluorescent is a discontinuous light source...but I've done this many times and it works well.

Owen Glendower
Wed, 17 Jun 2009 21:10:27 +0000

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