Friday, 3 August 2012

Barn Door

Barn doors are devices used to control the spread of light. They are black, metallic flaps that attaches directly to the front of the light. They consist of four leaves or flaps, two larger and widening on the outside, two smaller and getting narrower towards the outside. The flaps of the barn doors are adjustable; they could be opened or closed to control the width of the light beam. However a major drawback is that it could not be moved closer or farther from light, so limiting its functionality a bit.

Barn Doors fitted on studio strobes
Barn Doors fitted on studio strobes

Barn doors are like built in light cutters, as they attach directly to the strobe, no additional stands or arms are needed making it the simplest and least cumbersome way to control light. They are especially useful if you would like to light only parts of a given scene and does not want your light to spill over the rest. Also very useful to control lens flare caused by stray light falling directly on to the camera lens. Barn doors produce a distinct hard or soft edged shadow, depending on the distance of the light source from the subject photographed.

Barn Doors
Barn Doors

Barn doors are typically used on smaller hard light sources. Barn doors on large soft sources are a rarity, as they would need to be proportionally larger than the light to have any useful effect. Although diy versions of barn doors are also as effective as commercially produced ones; branded ones tend to be more durable and precise.

In the next article we will discuss about Light Modifiers - Grid Spots

Related Reading

  1. Collapsible Reflectors for Photography - Which Color Reflector to Use
  2. Circular Reflector
  3. Umbrella
  4. Softbox
  5. Gobos, Cutters and Flags