All posts in Do It Yourself

  • Renovating the Photography Studio

    Since moving to our new house here in LA I have been not only renovating our house but have had the great pleasure of renovating the small, but useful studio on the property. The renovations to the house are massive and costly but the changes to the studio are merely cosmetic and much, much easier... thankfully!  Over the course of a couple of weeks I was able to put in a new floor, re-paint the entire studio and add some great lighting modifiers and features.  Here are some pics of the great new flooring:
    Model and Actress Ashely Nedd

    Ashley sitting on the OLD floor

    Studio Photography, Maria Breese Seth Hancock Photography Los Angeles

    Wilhelmina Model, Maria Breese posing on the NEW floor in the studio.

    One other big deal (at least to me) is that I was also able to get my old, broken down and beaten up fan fixed.  I was able to buy a Mole Richardson Wind Machine for $25.00 at Hollywood Rental's yearly sale of old equipment.  They sell C-Stands, Apple Boxes, Scrims, Lights and many other goodies.  While waiting in line to check out I asked one of the workers if they had any Wind Machines.  I was happy to learn they had one left but the blades were broken and the Wind Machine needed some love.  So, I gladly bought it for $25.00 and took it to Mole Richardson for repairs.  After waiting about a month and $1700.00 later, I had a completely new Wind Machine.  They re-painted it, cleaned off all the gunk, put on and calibrated new blades and replaced the motor.  Check it out -
    Mole Richardson Wind Machine Repair and Purchase

    Here's my newly refurbished Mole Richardson Wind Machine

    Now while you may think that's A LOT of  money to spend on a wind machine you have to understand the new ones sell for over $9500.00 and the older ones (like I have) sell for about $4000.00.  I think spending $1725.00 for a (essentially) brand new Wind Machine is pretty dope.  I am happy to have it and it makes a really nice addition to the studio and the overall renovations! 🙂  And, I added the best studio fridge I could find... and it goes up to 11!
    Marshall Amp Fridge

    The best damn studio fridge I could find. I love this!

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  • DIY – Profoto Pro Globe (complete with testing)

    I just made my very own DIY Profoto Pro Globe.  Here I talk about HOW I did it, TESTING it to light a large room and WHAT I found out about the overall light color and usage. I love my Profoto lights as well as my Broncolor lights.  But, one of the biggest issues I have found is that I am always balking at spending what seems to be outrageous money for some of their great modifiers.  For instance, I have wanted to use/own the Profoto Pro Globe for a couple of years now but I am often taken aback by the nearly $700 price tag.  Sure I can get it without the mounting ring for $370.00 but, really, what's the point.  I would still have to affix it to a light and the globe is glass so that's certainly not a DIY project.  And, forget about getting the Broncolor Balloon Lamp.  That modifier costs a WHOPPING $1481.05.  Why the extra $0.05?  Because it's Broncolor... oooooh! Profoto Pro Globe Broncolor Balloon Lamp With those outrageous prices looming over me I started looking at how I can create a Profoto Pro Globe without spending almost $700.  I went online and saw this guy making an DIY Pro Globe and I thought, "Hey! I can do this too!"  Here's his video on Vimeo - Pro GLobe DIY.  So I went to Home Depot, got all the pieces and parts, disassembled one of my Profoto Speed Rings and started the project.  I am specifically creating this Pro Globe to work with my Profoto Acute B600 R pack.  I set aside some time today to create this Pro Globe and use a product I have been coveting for quite some time now. The Set Up At Home Depot I bought the acrylic globe, some bolts, nuts and washers.  I already had the drill and drill bits.

    All the pieces and parts needed to make my own Pro Globe

    Then I disassembled the speed ring so that just the base of the ring was ready for usage.  I then realized that the speed ring and bolts would fit inside the opening of the acrylic globe and I would use the bolts and washers as a way to secure the globe.  Here's the image after I drilled the holes in the speed ring base and began to screw in the bolts.

    Profoto speed ring with bolts already in place for mounting to the DIY Globe

    Once I screwed all the bolts into the speed ring (flush with the speed ring but not tight - that will be done later), I placed the ring onto the globe and started to put the washer and nuts onto the full assembly.  In all honesty, I had to have my wife help me put the nuts and washers on since my hands are a little too big to do that process.  Here's what it looks like assembled.

    Here's the Pro Globe with the Profoto speed ring attached

    And, now, with the Acute B head in place.

    Profoto head in the DIY Pro Globe

    Here it is with the modeling light illuminated.

    Here you can see the globe illuminated by the Acute B 600R modeling light for my DIY Profoto Pro Globe

    The Test So for the test I wanted to put this thing to quick use and see what I could illuminate.  Our bedroom is the perfect place to test this light.  Since our bedroom faces southwest we get a tremendous amount of light in the bedroom.  In order for my wife to take her occasional (well, almost daily) naps she bought these curtains that block about 95% of the outside ambient light.  I wanted to show how dark it is in our bedroom at 3:30pm here in ALWAYS SUNNY SoCal.  The first shot is what I normally like to set the camera for studio shoots and the second image is opening up the camera by five total stops to show there is ZERO difference in light getting into the camera.

    Camera - Nikon D3s, 1/250, f8.0, ISO 200

    Camera Nikon D3s, 1/60, f2.8, ISO 200 - increased the ambient by two full stops and aperture by three full stops.

    As you can see, it's SUPER DARK at 3:30pm in our bedroom that faces directly where the sun is shining into our bedroom.  That done, I turned on the Profoto Acute B 600R and set the flash power to half (300w/s).  And started firing away just to get a couple of shots.  The first I purposely framed so that the light would not be seen in the image.  All of the following three shots are SOOC (Straight out of Camera).  The camera settings are like the original black photo (Nikon D3s, 1/250, f8.0, ISO 200).

    First shot of the Pro Globe. No other lights were used and the Acute B600 was set at half (300w/s) power.

    Next I wanted to do a really wide shot (Nikon 24-70mm lens set to 24mm) to see what the overall light looks like in the room.  Again, this Pro Globe is the ONLY light being used as the Acute B 600 pack allows for only one light.

    The second shot is much wider (24mm) to show the coverage the DIY Profoto Pro Globe has in a large room.

    The final shot is, once again, a tighter shot.  I believe the 24-70mm lens is somewhere around 55mm.

    The dogs are playing and completely oblivious they are my test subjects for the DIY Pro Globe.

    The Takeaway The overall assembly time took less than I had imagined and was pretty easy once the screw holes were created AND I saved over $500.00.  The light is great and does an amazing job in illuminating a room. I am so happy I finally took the time to do this. My biggest concern going into this was more about light color/temperature and how this acrylic globe would affect the overall color temperature.  I do understand that the overall light color is going to come from the Profoto Acute Head but I was hopeful the acrylic globe wouldn't alter the temperature. The images above from the test were taken straight out of camera and when I brought them into Capture One Pro after the quick test I wanted to instantly look at the temperature.  It should be noted that I shot these three test shoots with the White Balance set to AUTO.  The result is all three images came in at 5200k in color temperature and was without any custom white balance.  For a straight test shoot I think this color temperature is pretty satisfactory. The next step is to put it to the test in a real world shoot and that will take place next week!  If you want me to make one for you then please don't hesitate to contact me.  I can make one for most lights on the market. Until next time. Seth  

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