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Old Nov 26, 2003, 12:26 PM   #1
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Default How do I build a light tripod?

Hi folks.
I bought two halogen headlights today in the building-center.
One has 500W, the other one 150W meant for some "softer" light.

I'd like it to be on a kind of tripod to spotlight the things I like to photograph.
The first question is on the how-to concerning the attachement of the two lights. I don't want them to stand on the ground, because they get pretty warm.

The other question is, if I have to use, or when I have to use reflectors for the light, and what I can use for that?

Does anyone have experience with that?
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 1:02 PM   #2
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I know you are an excellent photographer – post some pictures of the things.

For a cheap reflector I would think a sheet of white foam insulation would be the easiest thing to work with in terms of gluing something on the back to secure it with. Of course a big photographer’s umbrella would be the easiest thing to carry and fit to a tripod.
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 2:04 PM   #3
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don't forget to gel those lights for color correction. it will save you from having to do gross corrections later in PS that may not quite work as expected
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 6:14 PM   #4
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foam insulation................Just make sure you don't melt it or set fire to it. I've played around a bit with halogen, as I've got a 2Kw job I use as an inspection lamp. Mine is on an old hairdryer stand, but I've noticed many of these now come with a simple telescopic tripod.

Colour correction is not such a big problem if you use them indoors with no tungsten or daylight around, just use some grey card and white balance for your halogen, if it's the only light source. If you're outside then yes you need blue gel and will lose light.

I have to say though, I found a few things. Even a 2Kw halogen is not as bright to a ccd sensor as you'd expect. Even a small slave flash can do far better, without melting the model! The other problem is these floods have parabolic reflectors which can produce a horizontal hotspot. You don't notice it when the light is on, but shoot a large white wall lit by the light then hover your eyedropper over the pic to see the uneven illumination.

I also played around with a 12volt car driving light , uprated with a 100 watt halogen bulb and small gel acid battery. The light was more tightly focused - but again if I'd put the same effort into discharging a big capacitor across a flash tube the result would have been better.

My conclusion was, there is more to getting a reflector right to produce even illumination for photography, than you first think. Good luck. VOX
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 7:32 PM   #5
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I think voxmagna is exactly correct in what he says.

If those lights are mounted on bits of bent pipe, take a look in a plumbing supply store. You should be able to build a stand out of PVC pipe. One end of the original stand might fit into a PVC pipe, or you should be able to find various kinds of clamps to hold it to your stand.
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