DIY: Black Straws Snoot Grid (Part 2)

On this second part of this DIY: Black Straws Snoot Grid I will try to demonstrate how you can use the Black Straws Snoot Grid and what will be the effect the each one produce.

We will first start by knowing them (2cm and 5cm).

On the above picture you can see the effect that each one produce when banged against a white wall, this is purely straighten right from the SB-26's flashes with the
Black Straws Snoot Grid attached, both with the same power and the same distance to the wall.

Straws Grid Headshots_010

You can see the difference between the 5cm straws on the left side that produces a small beam and the 2cm straws on the right with a larger. Take a closer look at the fall off of the light on both of them since it's the same and it produces a round circle even with a home made square

You can make them the size you want, these two I think work great and are very small sized and portable, you can fit them nicely on your bag.

What shot's can you produce with this kind of gear?

Here are some examples I took with a friend model ;) Remember that you can produce similar photos, in some cases, with just one umbrella but these one's were created with the purpose to show you what you can accomplish with this kind of light.

Straws Grid Headshots_009

This shot has the 2cm snoot on the right to create some background and detail on the wall and the 5cm towards my face.
This produces a nice fall off on the face without contaminating the background and the shoulders could obtain some separation produced by the 2cm snoot on the right. Kinda dark feeling!!

Straws Grid Headshots_008

This one shows only the 2cm snoot on the right that creates the background as you can see the shadowed detail on myself. This is a simple example, since you can move the light back or forward to create the effect you want... just try it by yourself.

Straws Grid Headshots_007

This one is almost like the first shot except that I changed the position of the 2cm snoot (closer to the wall) on the right side giving the background a small halo behind my back. The 5cm snoot now covers a bigger part of the models face since I also moved it closer to me.

Straws Grid Headshots_006

On this one the lights did not move only I changed the position of my face to create a different kind of look. This is difficult when you are trying to get a picture of yourself and in focus and manage the lights at the same time... sorry no assistant here.

Straws Grid Headshots_005

I cached only the light on the face. You can use this technique to illuminate part of a person or an object that you want to show detail. 5cm snoot from the left.

Straws Grid Headshots_004

This shot has the 2cm snoot on the right to create some background and detail on the wall and the 5cm towards my face with proximity changed. You can see on this close up that the 5cm snoot produces a quick fall off of the light to the right side, the nose produces a shadow on the right and can be avoided (if you like) by turning, a little, the face of the model towards the light.

Straws Grid Headshots_003

This shot has the 2cm snoot on the right for the background and detail on the wall and the 5cm upwards to my face. Kinda dark sinister creature ;)

Straws Grid Headshots_002

Another example.

Straws Grid Headshots_001

Now playing with coloring the flashes I took this shot with the 2cm snoot with an orange gel on the right and the 5cm towards my face with no gels.

You can play with this colored gels on the flashes and with the White Balance of your camera to create different kind of feelings and moods.

For a more technical composition and lightning visit the Strobist website link on the right side of my blog.

I think that with this short examples you get the feeling how this things work...

Keep in mind that you have to try them and get to know them.

This ends the part two of this two series of DIY:
Black Straws Snoot Grid, hope you like them and until next time... keep up the good work.


DIY: Black Straws Snoot Grid (Part 1)

And also check the colored version.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Thanks! This was helpful. The information on grids that I found before didn't include the lighting effects.

Anonymous said...

That 5 cm one seems so precise that I think it may work well for light painting. I'm going to try that out sometime. Holding the flash by hand and bursting at specific spots and building up a light scape. Seems to me you could make one of these to fit a flashlight and get much better control as well.

Anonymous said...

hi Rui
i made the 2cm and the 5cm Black Straws Snoot Grid.. great.. i like them very much..

but i want a smaller beam.. so i made another one with 10cm Black Straws.. but i think I’ve made a blunder.. (i'm a novice) the beam of the 10cm-straws seems exactly like the 5cm.. do you confirm?

thank you again

ruimleal said...

Hi mirko,

the longer you make the straws the less light will be reaching at the end of them. Why don't you put some black tape in front of the wider one and narrow the beam.

I think this would help you out.



Anonymous said...

What an excellent tutorial! This will be one of the first mods that I try once I, err, get a strobe. :)Thanks for all your effort and sharing this!

Anonymous said...

hi RUI!
I'm using a 430 ex and i came up with these measurements 1cm 4.2cm 6.3cm 4.2cm 6.3 cm for the straw snoot.
i have some questions tough:
1.i'm using the 430ex on camera with 50mm lens and when I've tested the snoot it doesn't give me the round spot on the wall
2.the strobe must be off camera to give the spot on the wall? at what distnace?

ruimleal said...

Hi Kev,

thanks for the measure info for the 430Ex. Are you using the flash zoomed to 105mm?

Otherwise you will loose a lot of flash power for nothing. The best way to use the grid snoot it's to zoom the flash as much as possible in order to get the narrow.

Thanks for the comment,


Anonymous said...

ohhh my mistake i wasn't zoomed at 105, and the strobe was far from the wall!

Photo-Art said...

Just made one for my 285HV
And is working on one or two for my
other strobes.....
Collected the black straws in different Pubs when I was in London..Had the opportunity to have a few 1/2 pints.....

Petteri said...

Thanks for this one! really helpful. Now I just need the straws..

Anonymous said...

I have been looking those black straws but haven't found them yet...where the heck can i get them? I live in London and no luck so far.

Anonymous said...

eBay has "Black Straws" - but you may find you get a lot more than you need. I just bought 1000 for about £5 including postage.

Anonymous said...

Try your local pound shop, I got a box today of long black flexible straws for the said one pound.

Anonymous said...

IKEA also sell black straws, in some countries they are a seasonal item, but stocked all year around here in the UK, grabbed 200 for £1.07

onlydadproblems said...

I tried this out today. I couldn't get black straws so I went with some coroplast that I bought at Home Depot. It's white, but I like it enough I'm going to order some black coroplast and hit the mexican restraunts this week. I even started a new blog. In keeping with the strobist fame I picked the black template too:

Anonymous said...

you can get the straws in wetherspoons pubs in london
nice article