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Hi and welcome back.

Last Saturday’s workshop at Unique Photo dealt with taming hard sunlight.  As photographers, we need to learn how to use every light source at our disposal.  If we shoot in hard light, then we need to see and use hard light or know how to diffuse it to get the best result for our client.

I like to use my scrim to control hard sunlight.  Some clients have crazy schedules, so shooting at noon on a sunny day is the only time they have.  So we need to understand how to get the shot “in the can” and please our client.

I have the California Sunbounce 4×6 frame and Zebra/White reflector.  Coming in at $334.00, this is not a system for the faint of heart.  As part of a sponsorship with California Sunbounce, I received the frame and textile for free a few years back.

But I wanted to use my CS frame as a scrim, or light diffuser.  When I saw the cost of a 1 stop scrim textile, at $158.00, I cringed.  So I headed to my local Marshall’s and got a Shower Curtain for $5.99 and strung it across the CS frame.

But, just Google DIY Scrims and you’ll come across a bunch of online tutorials on how to build portable scrims of all sizes on-the-cheap using PVC Pipe and fabric from a craft store for anywhere from $20-$50.00 depending on size.  This is the move.  Don’t spend more than you have to!!

Using scrims is easy, simply place the diffusion in between the sun or light source and your subject.

Here is an image from Saturday using the scrim and the Rogue 2-in-1 reflector only:


And here’s the setup.  As this was only a headshot, I used a piece of white masonite from my local home center as the background.  The sun is directly overhead for a hair and separation light, the scrim is overhead blocking the sun, and the white reflector is directly underneath our model, Shaza:

_DSC8522 _DSC8524

Used in this set up, the CS scrim is unwieldy, so I used my Matthews C-Stands, Avenger Boom arm, and 3 15 pd weight bags to keep it all steady.  A slight breeze picked up during the shoot, so the weight bags kept everything stable.

Here is another shot from the workshop.


The scrim is one of the most simple yet versatile tools in your kit.  They can be built cheaply and used all over.  You can harness the power of the sun or just shoot a light through it.  Whatever the case, scrims are a great and simple way to control your light.

Many thanks to Shaza Lauren for modeling at the workshop and to Unique Photo for having me in to teach at their annual Camera Show.

Tomorrow, Keep Your Mistakes!!

Till then, happy scrimming!