Manipulating Intensity, Contrast, and Color of Light

Though the light source may provide one type of beam, such as an acute spotlight, artists may need to manipulate that source or simulate other characteristics in order to achieve certain effects that are softer, harder, more intense, or of a different color.

DIY Ways to Reflect, Bounce and Absorb Light

The following video gives step-by-step instruction for using foamcore and tinfoil to make tools for reflecting, bouncing, and absorbing light when photographing. You can use these reflectors to direct light to particular parts of a scene, and to fill in shadow areas. Use foamboard to block or lessen the effects of light.


DIY Ways to Diffuse Light

Diffusing light allows you to soften the intensity of light, to lessen harsh contrast between light and shadow, and to make textures less apparent. This video tutorial walks you through the process of creating a diffuser, which you can use to soften light when photographing.


DIY Ways to Color Light 

Color gels allows you to change the color of light to emphasize particular parts of the scene, and to suggest particular moods or time of day. This video shows you step-by-step how to create your own color gels, which you can use to color lights for studio/set photography.


DIY Lighting Studio

You can easily create your own photographic lighting studio with a backdrop, lights, and some of the homemade diffusers, reflectors and gels that you can learn to make in this series of videos. This video tutorial shows basic set-up and techniques for lighting objects or images with artificial lights.