Monday, November 24, 2008

DIY Striplights and Foodshots

I shot a food-assignment for a really nice restaurant here on the Costa del Sol, Tiki Tano. Their German Top-Chef prepared some dishes for us to photograph (not to eat unfortunately, bugger).
I started by setting up my 'big' multiblitz monohead (600 w/s) but I found it actually too big/much light and since we had to move around to different locations in the restaurant. I decided on the minimalist strobist approach, which I came to love over the last year. Meaning: I set up a sb-800 in the back, camera-right, 1/2 cto (to warm up a bit), shot through 1/4 spun (sort of a loosely knitted type diffusing material), set at 1/16th power. They other sb-800 was covered with a DIY striplight. I made the striplight (softbox that brings out a thin strip of light) myself out of a half umbrellabox (so I got 2 striplights), made a hole in the back for my sb-800 to fit in and made a large opening opposite. Covered the inside with alu foil and filled it loosely with some spun to spread the light more and closed the opening with 3 layers of tracingpaper, voila striplight as invented by Bert Stephani of Confessions of a Photographer (It really works Bert). The striplight was also on 1/16th power. Both flashes were triggered by Elinchrome Skyports. I attached the set up sketch as well...


  1. Ugh! Don't you hate it when you get to shoot food assignments and the food looks so yummy but you can't eat it!!

    Thanks for all the tech info. I have never (in my whole career) ever used speed lights for a job! But I sure am learning a lot about them recently from all the posts on them! Very informative!!

  2. Vincent,

    I will try to build your striplight. Looks like a great way of creating controlled light. I have been using strobist techniques, and I agree, they are great, portable, flexibe and effective. I also used it for some food shots.