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Hi all,

This is another project inspired on the snooting article by Keri.

I'm doing a lot of close up wide angle shooting in low viz, darkish water. Usually I use the edge lighting technique as described by Martin Edge, i.e. pulling the strobes way back and pointing them outwards. I made these barndoors so I can point both strobes towards the subject and control the beam angle -- hopefully eliminating hotspots and backscatter.

I made two sets of barndoors. One for the Sea&Sea YS350 and one for the Sea&Sea YS90. Commercially available barndoors were too large and didn't look as if they would last long in salt water. I used sheet aluminium, brass strip, some standard plumbing stuff, a rivet gun and stainless steel nuts, bolts and springs. Here is how it looks:

 

post-7565-1275762837.jpg

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post-7565-1275762905.jpg

 

Some remarks:

always protect your eyes when working with sheet metal (hey, we're photographers...)

I cut the sheet metal with a razor saw. Round all corners with a file and sand the edges with coarse sandpaper

The mount for the YS90 is a PVC adapter ring from the plumbing department. 8 cm diameter

I didn't have to make a mount for the YS350 barndoors. I can stick them on the big rubber ring that is on the flash. 12 cm diameter.

 

I will give them a try this Wednesday,

(fingers crossed),

--Rob

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Damn, I thought I had done a lot of work just to cut up an old wetsuit. Very impressive Rob. I'm wondering a couple of things, will the doors stay put in a mild current? Is there a way to torque them down so they stay were you want them? I'm fascinated by your approach. Be sure and let us know how it works out.

 

Steve

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Can't wait to see how is the effect it is......very fine job

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thank you gentlemen, for your encouraging comments.

I took the barndoors into the water yesterday, and here is what I learned:

 

they cause an awful lot of drag when swimming in waters with even a wee bit of current.

the YS 350 barndoors need a better solution to get them to stay on the flash. They were wobbly and fell off twice. I will probably rivet an aluminium ring to the back. The YS 90 barndoors were no problem at all.

I need to increase the tension on the springs/screws to make sure that the doors stay put. In thin air they were fine, in the water they were all over the place. Maybe a rivet on one side and the spring/bolt on the other will do the trick.

The good thing is that the seem to have an effect. See the attached photo. This was taken in poor visibility (about 2 metres) caused by a cloud of silt where the animals were (this is the yearly cuttlefish frenzy that attracts hundreds of divers to this site). However, with the barndoors attached I was able to point both flashguns inwards and towards the animals. The photo is uncropped and unedited; there is some backscatter in the left corner but no hotspots and I should be able to remove the dust particles with ease.

 

post-7565-1276198266.jpg

 

I think I need to solve the remaining issues with my barndoors and get more practice. Can't wait to try this with macro.

 

Best regards,

--Rob

Edited by rumblefish

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Very interesting project, how did the UW barndoors evolve futher? Did you sort out the practical issues?

 

Cheers/O

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