President Obama’s speech last week was excellent but it wouldn’t fix the global economy overnight. So for all the photographers who suffer from gear lust but still wise enough to refrain from spending the limited cash from who-knows-when-it-stops paychecks, DIY photography gear is a good option, especially when 1) it saves money, 2) it is as good as you can buy, 3) the details have all been prepared for you.

Karl Zemlin has created a very detailed instruction for building a mini softbox for your speedlight flash units. PDF templates for both large and small versions of the mini softbox are available for Nikon SB-600, Nikon SB-800, and Vivitar 285

What are needed on your part? Not much:

  • Materials (a shopping list is provided)
  • 3 hours to kill
  • Access to a printer (print the templates)
  • The ability to follow instructions

For American readers:  When printing the PDF templates, use appropriate paper sizes. Based on the dimensions, Letter for A4 and Ledger/Tabloid for A3 should be good replacements. Make sure you don’t re-size it when printing.

Want to show off yours or need some help? Here is the flickr discussion thread …

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