Step 3: Cut 154 Lengths of Straw (And Then a Lot Extra)

Each grid will take exactly 154 lengths of straw, unless your drinking straws are some weird non-standard size. I made 2" and 3/4" grids, so that's what I'll describe here.

The 2" long grid casts about a 1 1/2' spot at 6', the 3/4" long grid's spot is a bit over twice that size at the same distance. I haven't exactly measured. Just to be clear, by length I mean how far the light has to travel to pass through the grid, or the length of the straws that make up the grid!

If you have a friend around, have him do the chopping while you hold the straws, that way you can easily cut a bunch at the same time! Hold the straws on both sides of the blade while your volunteer works it, letting you keep them straight and under control. Watch your fingers, kids!

Voila! Square cuts, fast. You'll pile up the cut straws like crazy at this rate. You may actually want to cut the straws into 1/4 straw and 1/10 straw lengths to be frugal and not waste anything, but I wanted any math I had to do later on to be as simple as possible.

Exellent, thanks!<br />
Nice job, well planned and explained. I think the results (and talent of the photographer) say it all.
Very Nice instructable!
Just made one and its drying. I used your idea with the straws but i used silver foam board and i'm using foam sheets that you get at crafts stores to attach it to my flash. i cant wait to use it
Thanks much for this instructable, I just made one of these and works fine. :)
i like this instrtble hoping to try it soon congrats on this one i give this a +4 just for you
dangit i have a bunch of straws, but none are right. I have skinny bendy straws, coffee stirring starws, and red coffee stirring straws. Where do i get those darned black straws? I love DIY photo instructables because they always have great quality pictures :D
I must admit I caught myself wondering why I would ever want to use a spot flash.... until I saw your last picture. Now I know. Thanks. :)
What an awesome Instructable! This got my monkey brain rolling for problems I always seem to have with artificial light. Usually I wait for the light to get just right on its own, Ansel Adams style (I was taught by a student of his...), but now I'm going to keep one eye out for great "cheats" like this as I continue my foray into digi. Thanks again, and I dig the rat-personal friend of yours?
I shied away from 'artificial' light in my photography for a long time, having been swayed by the opinion of some ambient light purists early on. It's taken me a while to realize that the look I want IS artificial, mostly thanks to Jill Greenburg. Her work is so sterile, I love it! And yes, that rat is an old friend, no longer with us. Fortunatel, my partner and I have three new ratties to keep our pug & us company. :)
Very nice job. Love the pics.
Thanks muchly!
Wow, amazing photos! This is a great job too, it's amazing, very well done, great job, I hope I can try this. +1 rating. (added to favorites)
Thanks a lot, GM! It's comments like yours that keep me going. :)
No problem. :-) This is a really good Instructable, do you have anymore great ideas? I really like this one.
This came out really well! I still think you should throw up a lighting set-up shot for the lighting for this.
But the lighting set-up was so uninspired! :D

About This Instructable


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Bio: Hey folks! I'm Peter! I'm an avid amateur photographer, gamer, programmer, and wannabe artist. Of course, to be a real artist you need ... More »
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