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Mother of all softboxes…

David Hobby of the Strobist web page posted recently about assembling a large softbox on location using two backdrop stand kits and two extra cross members, hanging rip-stop nylon in black and white to block and diffuse the light where he wanted.

In the comments of that post, there were mentions of using EZ-UP canopies in white to the same effect but a little more inexpensively.  Further down in the comments, RocketRick states that buying canopy fittings is cheaper and more flexible than buying a canopy.  As he mentioned, Yuma’s Bargain Warehouse does indeed seem to have the best prices on the fittings when shipping is also included.

That all got me to thinking, since we are planning on having a photo booth at a youth conference next January, getting the canopy hardware could serve more purpose than just an outdoor humongous soft box.  With a good mixture of fittings and half length EMT (5 feet), a number of free standing walls of adjustable size as well as a complete cube can be easily constructed.

I made a posting mentioning the parts list I think I want to buy.  I was not able to include a diagram but now do so here:

While using sliding fittings will certainly be a little less convenient at times than the regular closed fittings, the sliding fittings are more flexible in that it does not fully constrain one to using integral lengths of the EMT.  Adjusting the dimensions of the panels and fixtures created is possible with the sliding fittings.

The sign holders allows the height of the top to be adjusted.  Since I wanted to be able to use these pieces indoors, possibly even in my own living room, a full 10 feet is not always going to be possible.  By putting the vertical EMT of the tops in one side of the four sign holders, and the bottoms into the other, the height can be changed without leaving EMT sticking out over the top and hitting the ceiling.

After drawing the picture and thinking on it, adding four more couplers and four more feet will allow two complete and independent structures to be built, provided there is enough EMT available.  Then again, that’s more to store and more expense for maybe not so much usage.  It is a starting point, though…


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Posted in diy by david on August 10th, 2012 at 6:56 pm.

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