For that crisp edge light...
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If you have been watching Lindsay Adler's recent classes on CreativeLive** you have seen the results of using barn doors on your lights. When used on kicker lights from the back they give a nice crisp edge to your subject and let the rest of the image go dark. On the last show, Seeing and Shaping Light, we briefly mentioned making your own barn doors because there might not be specific barn doors made for your brand of lights or you might not want to spend a lot of cash on a set of barn doors that you won't be using every day.
My solution involves a pair of relatively inexpensive Manfrotto Multi-Clips** and some black cardboard, heavy cardstock, or foamcore cut to around 8"x10".
Below you can see some photographs of commercially made barn doors (with 4 doors and with 2 doors) and you can see the DIY version using the Multi-Clips and black cardboard. Below these photos is the lighting diagram for the above image.
PS: another option mentioned is forming barn doors (or snoots or flags or gobos) out of Cinefoil**, which is a heavy duty black aluminum foil that you can bend into the shape you want.
Part 2 and and part 3 of home-made lighting solutions are available now, too. As the barn doors are mounted right at the light, the shadow edges they project are soft edged and not very controllable. The next couple of posts will show two ways to simulate spotlight effects with harder shadow edges using one strobe head and modifiers made of items you might already have available around your house or studio.