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Lighting a la Home Depot
Old 11-15-2004, 01:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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In another thread, Lighting on a Budget, photopro34 writes about his use of home depot lights. In his post, he says, "I use a special screen to diffuse the lights." When asked about the screen, pp34 prefers keeping his secrets to himself which is cool, altho it sounds suspiciously much like MacDonalds claiming a secret "special sauce" on their Big Macs. BUt it looks to me like he gets terrific results with HD Lighting and his special screen, so maybe--if I were him--i'd be keeping my special screens secret as well!

Personally, I don't--as a rule--shoot with HD lights, but i have for video shoots when we've used them as practicals. So here's a a little "secret" I learned and would like to share with anyone who uses HD lights.

Remove the protective safety glass that is in the light's chassis in front of the quartz halogen bulb. (do this with the lights unplugged, please) look in the yellow pages and find someone who does sandblasting of machined parts. go there and ask them to lightly sandblast the glass on both sides. (they might even do it for free, but if not, they'll probly only charge you a few bucks.) re-install the glass plates. the sandblasted glass will now be muc softer and really nicely diffused.



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Re: Lighting a la Home Depot
Old 11-15-2004, 01:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not sure how long it would take, but I do know that you can frost glass by "sanding" it with black "wet or dry" paper - a carbide-based abrasive commonly available for use in, e.g., auto finishing. It takes some time, and it isn't a bad idea to lubricate the plate with water.

Just for those of us who are REALLY cheap.
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Re: Lighting a la Home Depot
Old 11-15-2004, 01:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Jimmy
Thanks for the tip. I belive you once posted a link to a video you shot, great video I enjoyed it. Eventually I'll get real studio lights but it might be a fun challenge to play with Home Depot lights, since I already have 3000 watts worth. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]
Ken
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Re: Lighting a la Home Depot
Old 11-15-2004, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can also go to your local hobby store and get a container of "Armor-Etch", a very low potency glass etching compound.
Or leave it on the floor with four cats for a week; it'll be scratched to a fair-thee-well... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
--Sam
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Re: Lighting a la Home Depot
Old 11-15-2004, 11:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey All,

Just wanted to make a quick comment. I was tought this technique by someone we all know and love. The only reason I wont give more details is because as you all know...these lights get VERY hot. I dont want someone to accidentally burn something down or get hurt because of something I have said or suggested. I dont know most of you personally (wish I did), but I know that I am extremely anal...I have been called a "slightly neurotic perfectionsist" and I only wish to take responsiblity for my own actions. Please dont take any of this personally. I have learned alot from many of you and ask me anything else and if I happen to know the answer I will be more than happy to share. I hope thats cool with everyone.

Chow
Michael
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ok with your reasons
Old 11-15-2004, 11:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Michael
I'm totaly cool with what ever your reasons, so dont sweat it, no offense was taken. I'm happy for any info I glean from this site & thanks again for yor previous response. Some info I like & some I dont, if we all used the same techniques this world would be pretty boring. Some people are sue crazy but I'm proud to say I'm not, and your right those light get very very hot. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
Ken
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Re: Lighting a la Home Depot
Old 11-16-2004, 02:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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that's cool, michael. but i'll tell ya what i'm not cool with. and being you're an anal retentive slightly neurotic perfectionist type, you'll understand. ethnically, i'm a guinea... a wop, dago, whatever... which you might also be or not be, i don't know. but i'm gonna correct you on'a some-a-thing... capiche? it ain't "chow" ... it's "ciao!"

buono. i feel better now.

ciao!

jimmyd
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forr you guys who wanna use chemicals, sand paper, or cats
Old 11-16-2004, 02:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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those ideas might or might not work as well. i don't know. but i'd like to point out that sandblasting "pits" the glass. and the pitting--besides diffusing and softening--also reflects the light in every direction, so i'm thinking it also widens the spread and probably adds specular highlights. but i ain't no einstein. in fact, i never took physics... quantum or otherwise. (i did read hawkings book, "the universe in a nutshell," but i didn't understand most of it... at the time, tho, i thought it would be cool to be able to say i read it.) anyway, i'm just thinkin that's what sandblasting maybe does that your other ideas might not do.
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Re: Lighting a la Home Depot
Old 11-16-2004, 09:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Jimmy,

llloooll..im half italiano on my mothers side...guess I have been americanized...my bad..

Ciao
M
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