Introduction: Black Straw Snoot

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In this instructable, you'll see how to make a flash modifier to focus the light into a narrow beam to add emphasis to your photo

Step 1: Cut the Soda Straws

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Visit your local "Party Supply Store" and ask for black straws. Two packs of 50 costs about 3 Dollars US. Also visit a local hardware store and pick up a section of vinyl drain pipe. (Hint: these are sold in 10-foot lengths, so look for elbows or have these cut in the store so they'll fit in your car)

Mosey on home, after paying for your purchases of course, and cut the straws in equal lengths. Load these into the drain pipe section for a tight fit.

Step 2: Load Them Tightly Into the Drain Pipe

Picture of Load Them Tightly Into the Drain Pipe

Once you get most of these straw segments jammed into to drain pipe it should look something like this.

Use a bit of spray adhesive to hold them in place.

Step 3: Attach It to Your Flash

Picture of Attach It to Your Flash

Now attach it to your flash. I used a bit of black foam to help hold it in place.

Step 4: Ready-Aim-Fire!

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The finished result can focus the beam into a fairly small spot. Keep in mind that longer straws make a tighter beam. Its all about the aspect ratio.



J@50n (author)2010-02-06


Bubz.TH (author)2009-10-22

Awesome! I'm totally doing this! Thanks!

dalbyman (author)2009-09-24

Made my own with straws liberated from a pub and some black duct tape - held in place with a rubber band.
Really effective. =)

agis68 (author)2009-07-23

cool but there's any danger form the flash high temperature to melt these starws???????

timalot (author)agis682009-07-23

I haven't noticed any melting yet, but I haven't done rapid shooting with it either.

rast3r (author)2009-05-28

That looks awesome! And cheap too. Did you just use the foam to fill in the space between the flash head and the drain pipe? If so, does it stay snug? Alex

timalot (author)rast3r2009-05-28

The straws are cut about 1/2 inch shorter than the drain pipe. In that space, I used black foam weather stripping around the inside edge. You'll have to experiment a bit because each flash model is a slightly different size.

Goodhart (author)2009-05-28

Very fit my camera's flash though, it would have to be the size of a Matchbox car (in width) and have a way to attach it to the camera...since the flash is built in and flush with the camera body.

jeoncs (author)2009-05-28

this is awesome great job

The Wanderer (author)2009-05-28

Nice tutorial! FWIW this item is usually referred to as a Grid Spot rather than a Snoot. A snoot is just a tube you shoot through that helps shape the light into a tighter beam. A grid spot provides the nice soft edge transition that makes it useful for dramatic portrait photography.

pindalanderz (author)2009-05-23

you published this instructable on my birthday.

mwwdesign (author)pindalanderz2009-05-25

Open it, open it! Surprise!

rosquillo (author)2009-05-22

Why black? Isn`t reflective index of white higher?

toogers (author)rosquillo2009-05-24

reflectiveness would throw the beam off.

robotguy4 (author)2009-05-21

Reminds me of this for some reason.

tacomamactech (author)robotguy42009-05-22

That's translucent concrete!

robotguy4 (author)tacomamactech2009-05-22

You are correct!

sleebus.jones (author)2009-05-21

Really nice work. Simple and effective. Bravo!

timalot (author)sleebus.jones2009-05-21

Thank you.

tammasus (author)2009-05-20

hahaha now that's a really funny photograph. Great tutorial!

MrL33TPenguin (author)2009-05-20

Dude, that is a awsome Mario shirt!!

LordBug (author)2009-05-20

I'd suggest painting the end of the straws with a matte black paint, to cut down on light spill from the reflective plastic :) Other than that, damn I need to save up for a flash :(

gmoon (author)2009-05-20

Outstanding! I had to MacGyver-up a snoot on the job a month or two ago. This is a great way to make a light-weight version.

(Of course, this wouldn't work with a strobe that has modeling lights, they'd melt the plastic. But for a small handheld portable it's great!)

ve2vfd (author)2009-05-20

Thats pretty snooty! :D Good job, I'm going to have to make one now :)

About This Instructable




More by timalot:Black Straw SnootSoften your Flash with a DIY Skylight PanelMake a flash filter to add drama to your photos
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