Friday, January 6, 2017

Small V-Flat Light Modifer DIY

These are plans to make a small, lightweight V-Flat. V-Flats are a very useful light modifier in the photo studio that are generally made from 1/2" to 1" thick 4' x 8' sheets of Gatorboard or other thick foamcore boards that are black on one side and white on the other. You hinge them together with tape and get a large light modifier that can also be used as a background.

They're very useful for standing subjects and the softness of the light can be altered by opening or closing the v-flat so it acts as a larger or smaller light source.

Black and white Gatorboard is difficult to find locally and even then is a bit expensive. I also wanted a smaller v-flat that would work better in my space and I didn't want it to be to thick and bulky.

For my V-Flats I decided to use 5/32" Coroplast that was available locally at Home Depot in 4' x 8' sheets. Coroplast is a brand name or corrugated plastic. It may also be called Twinwall. In these thicknesses they're commonly used for signs, especially lawn signs. It's not as thick or stiff as Gatorboard but when in the V shape it stands up fine.

I was originally going to make it from 1/2" rigid insulation that wasn't too much more but I liked that Coroplast bends easily, which made it easy to transport, unlike rigid insulation which can snap if bent too much.

I cut the Coroplast sheet down to about 6-1/2 feet tall, then I slit it down the middle lengthwise to get 2 24" x 78" pieces. Coroplast cuts easily with a utility knife and I used a drywall square to keep my cuts straight and square. Some white and black duck tape I already had on hand joined the two pieces together.

Both sides were white so I needed to paint one side black to keep light from light from bouncing around where I didn't want it out the back. A 12oz can of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X spray paint in Flat Black did the trick and is sticking well to the plastic Coroplast. Plastic can be tricky to paint so I was happy to find something while at Home Depot that was labeled for plastic use. One coat was all that was needed. Just remember, work in a well ventilated space and follow the other recommendations on the can. The paint dries to the touch in about an hour but give it a couple of days so it fully cures before messing with it.

You can see that hardly any light is coming through in the picture above.

I can't create as large as a light source as I could with a larger V-Flat but I wanted something smaller and I have my large DIY light scrim if I need a larger light source. I do get a nice soft light modifier that I can control to get more defined shadows when I want. The photo below was taken with my

Model: Dominica


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