Saturday April 3rd 2010 22:56
DIY Photography Lighting
Given the price of photographic lights, I've often wondered if something like this:
would do a similar job?
Maplin sell a 500W Halogen lamp for £4.99. This is so cheap compared to proper lights that even if the experiment failed, I'd have some handy lights for illuminating the garage.
Not wanting to do things by halves I purchased two lamps and found that they're much larger than the lamp pictured above. They also came sans-wiring and plug so I made a lunchtime visit to the local DIY store to purchase the required remaining items:
|2x 500W Halogen Lamp||£9.98|
|8m power cable||£5.52|
The above table shows 8m of power cable, whereas in reality I have closer to 10m. Having watched the sales assistant's rather liberal approach to measuring the first few metres of cable, I said: "Actually, I think 8m will be enough."
Note the newly hoovered lawn (the house we're renting comes with a Flymo):
Maplin's description states "500W", though the supplied bulb is rated at 350W. A pictorial on the box states that 350W bulb = 500W of light!?
Of course photographic lights come with stands which would normally increase the bill for the DIY project. Being a percussionist means I already have some stands that don't require any modifications. The addition of a large washer was all that was required to press a pair of cymbal stands into service as photographic light stands:
The head of the cymbal stand makes adjusting the angle of the lamp very easy!
So, do they work? Here are some handheld results:
Normally I'd do this sort of thing on a tripod, but following the move I can't find the flash extension arm which has the tripod mounting bracket attached to it!
Proper photographic lights with a domed reflector provide a smoother output than the halogen security lamp's rather angular reflector.
I also need to look into the 350W bulb situation, as I don't think the lights are bright enough.
The camera appeared to consistently underexpose by 1.5 stops and autowhite balance was way off.
That said, for under £20 I think the above results are very reasonable.