Wedding photographers are under immense pressure to produce gorgeous photos of a once in a lifetime event. When planning that event, few brides have “ideal lighting” among the first requirements on their list of desired traits for a location for their special day. Unfortunately, it’s one of the primary needs of a photographer attempting to capture the beauty and magic of this special day.
Very often, coverage of the wedding begins in the early afternoon with the bride getting ready and the groomsmen pulling themselves together, then continues through venue changes for a service, dinner, and dancing, all while the light of the day fades away. To cope with this, photographers have to understand how to manipulate the settings on their cameras to photograph equally well under afternoon sun and dance floor lighting.
In addition to working with a camera’s built-in settings, photographers rely upon external lights, such as the flash. It’s not as easy as it sounds though. When I shoot weddings, I prefer to not use a flash for as long as possible, as the light that it provides can be quite harsh and create moods in the images more akin to American Horror Story than to Loveboat.
It requires a great deal of practice to figure out how to work around your flash, and photographer Mathew Sutor decided to develop a 3D printed solution to this problem. What he created is a flash modifier that he has named The WYNG, which attaches to the camera’s flash and diffuses the light, creating a more subtle, even lighting effect. His suspicion that this was something that would be in demand was confirmed when retailers like B&H Photo and Amazon showed interest in carrying his invention.
The piece was created in NinjaFlex, a flexible plastic filament, on a LulzBot Mini 3D printer with a Flexystruder Tool Head. The finish produced by that machine was good for the final product, so he was able to use the 3D printer both for iteration and then for continued production. Sutor described how the LulzBot made his idea possible:
“We wanted something really easy to use in the field. We’re wedding photographers, and everything’s very fast, so we wanted something very light that could slip on and produce the kind of light we wanted in our photography. I wanted worry-free [3D printing]. I didn’t want to tinker any more or anything like that. To be able to just hit go and it prints it perfectly, that is what changed everything.”
This kind of diffuser can work to throw the light in a softer cast and reduce the number of lost shots or touch up time in post processing for the photographer. And this kind of invention is possible because the technology to create has been placed in the hands of the people who know what they need. It’s what has made 3D printing the tool for addressing so many of life’s fix-it situations from small to large. DIscuss further in the 3D Printed WYNG forum over at 3DPB.com.