Introduction about Para

Parabolic reflectors (a.k.a. Para) has the ability to concentrate parallel beam of light (sound/wireless signals too) converge in its focus, and light (sound/signal) placed in the focus of a Para emerges out as parallel beam (or focussed beam). These are used in car headlights, solar cooker, dish antenna and has many other applications.
These reflectors, also known as Para, has another very interesting use seen in Fashion Photography. Large Para of diameter opening about 6 to 10 feet are used as source of light (flash or strobe unit mounted at the focus of the Para) to produce a very unique, unmatched and surreal quality of light.
My para design has 3 steps.
First step is to determine the size, depth, diameter of the para you want to build and how many sections will comprise the para. More sections will give more circular opening (8 section para opening diameter is octagonal, but 24 section para openin will look much circular. More circular means more precision and accuracy. But need to be practical while choosing the no of sections.
Second Step is to print the section of the para. you can experiement with different input parameters and see the shape of the section and curve of the parbolic in the preview window on this page. You can also hit the "Print my para (full size)" button to create the ACTUAL jpg file on the fly. [You need to disable the popup blocker on your browser for this]. This jpg file can be printed in a plotter as a template and you can cut out your material for para (fabric, mylar paper, white paper, foamcore board), as many sections as needed. You may stich, glue or join the sections for a complete parabolic structure.
Third step is to make the parabolic umbrella useful. Build the umbrella canopy with cutout fabric section etc. This can be done as DIY project for DIY lovers. Soon I will have open sourced parts, that can be purchased to build the umbrella structure for your DIY para. Or the completely built parabolic from this website (Coming soon). Only photography para will be made at first.
Open Sourceis the key to this project and make something useful and affordable.

See the videos below for more information

Used Card Board Para with TTL camera Flash
  • How can you get one

    Every prototype project requires funding and so does this one. The CAD design for Para hardware is completed, the software generates para section of any shape and size. A little funding will put these together and make Para reflectors really affordable for photographers.

  • Experiment With Para

    Watch how I experimented with Para, build using cardboard. The results and photos from the photoshoot. I have done indoor photoshoot and outdoor, and used standard 24" Beauty Dish and a cardboard Para during the same photoshoot and have the results for comparison.

  • Using Flash with Photo umbrella

    One small flash, a small photo umbrella, couple of handmade light reflectors can bring very interesting results. Just after sunset, you can get interesting colors in sky as a unique and wonderful backdrop. Add is some diffused light to the subject by using flash through an umbrella..