Through the viewfinder

This week for the Photo Challenge, Kirsty suggested that we innovate and cobble together some lighting equipment out of household bits and bobs. Before I explain my method, here’s what I achieved.

Through the viewfinder
Through the viewfinder

This picture actually involved three cameras, some drinking straws, and lots of glue. I used the through-the-viewfinder (TtV) technique. The small camera in my picture is a Voigtlander Vito II, and is merely the subject of the photo. The second camera, the edges of which you can see, is a Mamiya C220 twin-lens reflex. Unlike most cameras, when you point it forward the image appears on the top, reflected through 90 degrees. Finally, the picture was actually taken with a Canon EOS 600D, pointed down into the C220’s viewfinder – like this:

TTV setup shot
TTV setup shot

Keen-eyed readers will also spot that the C220 has flipped the image from left to right. This is one of the quirks of using a TLR or SLR without a pentaprism. The surface on which I have placed the Vito II is actually the back side of a mirror that I haven’t yet hung on the wall in the guest bedroom.

The lighting is where the home-made element really comes into play. The tight pool of light around the Vito II was achieved by using a speedlight with a snoot – which is just a tube with a grid in it that forms the light into a narrow beam. They can be purchased ready-made but I followed these instructions to make my own from a cereal packet and a handful of black drinking straws. I stuck the snoot onto my flashgun with masking tape. Usually it’s push-fit and just about stays in place, but with the flash pointing vertically downwards it kept falling off 🙂

Homemade snoot
Homemade snoot

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