This isn’t the first time I’ve posted about a homemade hoodman, but I recently had to construct a couple for a commercial gig that used Canon 7D’s. These were more unique because the screen was smaller and located on the body of the camera and the cardboard shade I made had to be adapted to accommodate.
The lighting scheme for the shoot was to have as many lens flares as possible which meant that usually some type of special would be shining directly at the camera lens. That made it difficult for the cinematographer operating the camera to see the LCD screen without his eyes being distracted by a huge HMI. The solution was to build a hoodman that came as close to his face as possible.
I started by measuring the distance from the camera on the handheld rig to his eyes, about 5 inches. Even if you are making this for non-handheld purposes, I found that 5 inches was a good length to have the shade come out. I made a duplicate one for another 7D that remained on sticks at the same length.
I then measured the height and width of the LCD screen as well as an estimated height and width that I wanted the hoodman to extend out to. I had to design it as a “pyramid” shape instead of the rectangle like the other I made because otherwise it wouldn’t encompass the face of the camera operator, which is the whole purpose.
Once I had my measurements I cut out cardboard pieces and used gaff tape to put them together. After that, I attached soft side Velcro on the top and bottom of the LCD screen (not on the sides, however, or else it would get in the way of the buttons) and hard side Velcro on the hoodman itself.
Voila! It worked
I added a few extra “features” as well such as lining the whole inside with black paper tape to make the screen more visible as well as adding flaps on the tops and side to combat against light leak. For the second camera, I had to make the bottom of the hoodman flat so as to not get in the way of the quick release plate.
When all was said and done they worked perfectly and cost me only the tape, the time, and a few inches of Velcro. I now have these to add to my homemade DIY arsenal – although I suspect it won’t be long before I’m asked to make one for an iPhone.