DIY Hack: Pop Photo Puts a Candle Jar on a Flash; Gets Experimental Results

Ever heard of a Gobo? Strobist photographers have been using them for years and years–essentially a GoBo is a go-between that modifies the light output to shape it and define it in a certain way. An umbrella and a softbox are gobos: but so could a piece of plastic or a strange glass. In fact, the utterly bored yet imaginative folks over at Pop Photo tried to do just that. But in a new series that they’re starting called “Random object lighting modifier challenge” they decided to slap a glass candle holder on the business end of a flash.

The candle holder that they use is not only made of glass but also has interesting colors that would typically project interesting and fun shapes when there’s a candle inside. Just think about most bars or restaurants in big cities: they’ve all got those really pretty candles on tables and they all project pretty light shapes. So based on that idea, you’d think that if you put a flash in there that you’d get a similar look, right?

Well, that’s actually not really the case. In this situation, the flash output is just so powerful that it makes all the pretty and varying colors sort of blend together. Then you have to consider that the flash is balanced to daylight–so already the light is going to be very cool.

In fact, that’s what Stan over at Pop Photo sees himself. To make the output a bit different, he goes ahead and adds a tungsten balanced light camera right to give the scene a bit of a creative look.

What’s even better about this video though is that it promotes photographers experimenting and having fun with different surfaces, modifiers, etc. If you’ve ever been on set with very big, famous photographers, you’ll see that they generally end up going to Home Depot and making their own light modifiers, or Gobos. If you’ve got a flash, go play with it and mess around with any GoBo you’ve got. It’ll be a very fun and experimental DIY hack.