OK. The lighting dilemma; I have these cool gel swatches that I even got for free(or $3.95 if you were stupid enough to buy them from Amazon.com) but how do I attach them to my strobes?
Sure you could buy the Lumiquest FXtra, or that cereal box contraption. I have seen a ton of other DIY holders but none of them looked like something really useful. I thought and thought and then thought some more and came up with this.
The good points are it is only 1 layer to minimize light loss and it is incredibly easy to apply. Mine just stay on my flashes all the time and I can still use the snoots and gobos that require the velcro on the side.
The type of plastic used here is the key. I got this plastic from a flashlight package(what a surprise). It is that kind that when you bend it it kinda turns white along the fold. It is also sharp when cut. You won’t be dicing an onion with it but it could probably draw blood if one really tried. Then again if one was really trying then the onions could be……OK back on topic….I see it in packaging for products all the time. It is thick compared to a plastic bag but thinner than cereal box cardboard.
Now how to make it… look at the picture it is pretty obvious….The sides are folded to stop the gels sliding out and short to leave room for the velcro required for the snoots, gobos, barn doors and all the other great stuff people velcro to the their strobes. I also suggest placing a layer below the gel as well. Some gels have been known to ‘burn’ onto the strobe after repetitive use at 1/1.
But what if you only have one flash and want to do more than one color in the shot? Well you could make something like this. We used this at the very beginning when all we had was this one crappy old flash. It worked great. We have several different ’swatches’ we made. I recommend using 2 layers of corrugated cardboard so the flash head fits into it and prevents any bounce back or splash.