If you count how long I’ve been working wood by my oldest machine that would be my 28 year old ShopSmith. But truth to tell, it all started when we moved into this house which we believe was built around 1804. Even new houses need care, but when they’re more than two centuries old, they’re REALLY needy.
An even older habit with me is photography. I’ve been in and around photography since I worked in a large photo developing plant at the age of 18. Turn those numbers around and you have my present age – 81. So That old occupation still looms large in my life.
Awhile back I decided to build a camera room where I could make portraits and product photography. The room was available, and I have a decent camera and other gadgets, but what was lacking was actual studio lighting. I’m a tight as the paint on the wall and professional gear is costly, so I decided to build my own lights. The following is the result of the design and production of the first unit.
My criteria were as follows. I wanted real lighting, not strobes and I wanted it to but adjustable in intensity. It should also be either direct or soft light as needed and be able to be adjusted for height. Not too heavy, either. I knew I’d have to use the lightest materials and make the design result in a device I could move myself without help. So here’s what I did:
The lamp head is a box made of .25” plywood and has four lamp sockets, each independently switched. The box is lined with mirror mylar film and a muslin diffuser slides in front of the box. The stand is a tripod with adjustable feet and the center column is made with .25 plywood that I drilled out for lightness.
This is my main light, now to get the fill light built.
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