Instructables

DIY Light Scoop Template

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Light scoops work wonders for indoor flash photography by shifting your camera's built in flash from direct to indirect lighting.  The reflector mirror blocks the direct flash and illuminates the ceiling and walls to give a more ambient light fill. It's not dramatic, but it may be that little extra light you need for an amazing indoor shot.  It works best for portraits with close up framing. With just a few tools and materials you can make one in about an hour or less. I have created a template for people to print on their home printer as well as a template for people who may have access to a plotter.
Does the color of the poster board matter? Yes it does. Why? Because I want it to match my camera and not to look like a DIY from 10 feet.  Other than that the color of the Light Scoop is irrelevant as far as I know.

A quick materials list:
Inkjet or Laser Printer
Poster Board - at least 8.5" x 11" (Black if you can get it)
Hobby Knife (& cutting surface) or Scissors
Scotch Tape
Double Sided Tape, or Hot Glue, or Wood Glue (In order of easiest and quickest to apply)
Reflective Material (Aluminum foil, White paper works well too, or mirror vinyl like I used,)
Velcro (Optional)
Sharpie (Optional)
 
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Step 1: Print template

Make sure you print "Actual Size" and not "Fit"  or "Scale to paper" withing your print properties. It should fit perfectly without any cropping when scaled to 100%.

I used a plotter which meant I skipped this step.

Step 2: Tape Template to Poster Board

Picture of Tape Template to Poster Board
Simply tape the template to your poster board. If you roughly cut out the template first and then tape it several areas you will reduce shifting as you cut.

Again, I used a plotter so yours will look different but you get the picture.
spooledup7 (author) 1 year ago
Velcro is the brand name for "hook and loop" fastening system. You have seen it before I'm sure. Here's a photo of exactly what you would need in this instructable
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tvm7771 year ago
Good Idea! the best i ever see on web, but i just wonder one thing, how the Velcro thing work?
as im not familiarized with velcro i cant immagine it in my mind
i hope you can help me out
vadipp1 year ago
Hi! Is it possible to close the flash while this reflector is attached? My camera (Canon EOS 500D) doesn't allow to programmatically turn off the flash, only closing the flash turns it off.
spooledup7 (author)  vadipp1 year ago
No, the flash head will not shut while the scoop is up. You may try looking at Magic Lantern to see if it gives you this kind of control, although I think the flash button on the body (located for left index finger on my T3i just left of the flash hood.) will disable and enable the flash while in a manual mode.
On my camera the flash button does nothing except opening the flash head. Nice to know that Canon fixed this in a later version :)
Also, Magic Lantern is an insight for me, thanks for sharing!
Also thanks for your instructable!
Bill WW1 year ago
Great Instructable! I have te same camera, have been thinking about how to bounce flash with our camera models. Now I can just use your templates, thanks!
Daniel Zf1 year ago
This is cool, now i just have to get some plastic mirrors from a toy and glue 'em in. Thanks mate.
Can't buy this stuff in Mexico, to expensive or companys ship highly or don't ship
spooledup7 (author)  Daniel Zf1 year ago
I did not glue my mirrors in place because I made them double sided, gold on one side and mirror on the other. The wedge shape keeps them in place unless shooting past 90 degrees up.
danzo3211 year ago
Sorry, I don't get this .. what does camera look like without this lightscoop? You're trying to prevent hot reflections? So why make it black, anyway? I've made white oaktag reflectors for my Vivitar 283.
spooledup7 (author)  danzo3211 year ago
You have it correct, to prevent the washed out, sharp shadows and "flash look" while using a flash indoors. This only works indoors FYI.
As for why it is black? Preference. There is a DIY LS using a mirrored finish pastry box, so as far as I am concerned it doesn't matter expect for how serious your subject will take you.
ghaldos1 year ago
thanks for the instructable the scoop looks pretty professional. I'm loving the gold reflector it puts a nice warm look to it as opposed to the mirror, the safety vinyl seems like a good compromise between the two.
spooledup7 (author)  ghaldos1 year ago
The gold reflector is a nice way to warm up a photo in a pinch. It's a little quicker to bounce back and forth vs manually changing your white balance.
askjerry1 year ago
I like the Instructable overall... but I would suggest a minor edit to give some background... you have, "Light scoops work wonders..."

But you never really tell what "wonders"... so many novices won't understand.

I would suggest adding something like, "Light scoops work wonders for spreading the light from a flash, and making a more uniform lighting without the harsh shadows usually associated with flash photography."

Then people new to photography would have a better understanding of what you are attempting to accomplish here. Nicely built by the way.

Jerry
I had the exact same thought. I am a novice and I opened this Instructable in the hopes of learning what a light scoop does and why I need to make one for myself with the help of this featured design. I noticed you provided some of this at the end but it really helps to start off with that information. Overall great work!
spooledup7 (author)  JohnnyPgood1 year ago
Added some updates thanks to you two. More photos coming.
I just wish I had seen this before I broke down and bought two of these last year. Would have saved me some cash, but this is a great project for someone who doesn't have one. Great job!
spooledup7 (author)  thebeatonpath1 year ago
Perhaps you can share the results of your Light Scoop. I was 10 seconds away from hitting the buy button on amazon but the DIY in me got the better. Thanks for the thumbs up.
spooledup7 (author) 1 year ago
Thank you all for the comments. I took some of your suggestions and modified the instructable. I will add more photos later to illustrate the use with and without flash and the Light Scoop. The hot sauce was the only thing at the time that seemed to be photo worthy and I will photograph something with a little more contrasting results.
memo1 year ago
Brilliant! Thank you!
sitearm1 year ago
@spooledup7; Hi! I've taken pictures for years and had never heard of a light scoop until your tutorial. I had to look it up to understand what it does (redirects the flash upward instead of letting it go directly in the subject's eyes). Great new learning for me and great job for you! Site : )
Awesome! Love the different effects!