How to Build a Cheap Photographic Scrim

I love scrims. I don't actually remember the last time that I did a photoshoot without one. In this video, I go over the different options as well as how I build my own scrims.

Softboxes are all well and good, but sometimes, you need the light to hit the final baffle at more of a gradient, or you need additional diffusion to be localized while maintaining the generic softbox look for most of the scene. There are lots of reasons to use scrims in still or moving images, but that's something for another article. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that they are a vital piece of photography equipment that truly spans the genres and that won't be going out of fashion anytime soon. 

I have made scrims that are the size of a drink coaster right up to several meters wide. Unlike an off-the-peg softbox, when building a scrim, the possibilities are endless. As well as offering a lot of control and variance to the way you can light, they can also be super cheap. 

As will all photography gear, you can spend an awful lot, but in this video, I show you how with a bit of wood, a glue gun, and some tracing paper, you can make a photography scrim to suit your needs and budget. 

In my studio, they are incredibly useful to create soft gradations against highly reflective chrome, to kill the fish eye reflections of spoons, and also to give a really natural light to drink photographs. They may not always look pretty, but they are great tools.

How do you make your scrims?

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2 Comments

Vladimir Vcelar's picture

Another good article from you, Scott. Thanks for your efforts.

Rashad Hurani's picture

I like DIY stuff. Something about breakfast he mentioned, I didn't get