How To Build a Photography Light-Diffuser Box

Any good photography studio has a lot of equipment designed for the professional that will cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, and for the budget challenged photographer, these expenses are disheartening. They don't need to be though, there are ways to "invent" the equipment. You may need to use things already around the house, or are at the very least, affordable. This instruction on building a light diffuser box can be expanded on to fill and fit to any situation, and will look completely professional, no matter the location.

Gather your materials, for this article I will use 1/2" PVC plastic pipe.

4 10' sticks of schedule 40 plastic PVC pipe, 1/2" dia.
8 combination elbow/tee connector fittings, these need to have both a 90 degree elbow, and a 90 degree tee.
Diffuser material, white sheets work well, if extra softening is desired, extras can be added.
A hacksaw, or a method to cut the pipe.
Tape measure, scissors, plastic tie straps, and white out.

Step 1.
Cut PVC pipe into 3 foot lengths, or any length you would like, you will need 12 in total, all the same length. Set 4 of these pieces aside, and position the remaining 8 to make 2 rough squares.

Step 2.

Using the elbow/tee's to connect the pipes, create 2 completely connected squares. When you do this make sure that the tee part of the connectors all point in the same direction. Set one of the squares aside, and place the other in front of you.

Step 3.
Take the 4 pieces you set aside earlier, and insert them into the tee connections on one of the squares, pointing up, then position the remaining square in top of the assembly, inserting the 4 upright posts into the corners of the remaining square. This completes the box framework that will support the light-diffuser you are building.

Step 4
Cut the sheets into 5 squares that measure 4'x4', and using the tie straps, connect the diffuser sheets to the framework, choosing 4 sides and a back. When closing the tie straps, close them a little loose around the pipe, so the framework can be removed when disassembled. If desired, 4 sides can be tightly connected permanently, and treated as a "tent" and carried as one assembly. This also assists in quick assembly and dis-assembly.

Step 5.
Use the white out (or another white marker) to paint any colors that may show. Your light diffuser is now complete, easy to afford, easy to build, and even better, there are more than a few variations to the above instruction. For example if a colored light is needed, you could use colored sheets, or colored shower curtains.


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