Some light modifiers can be inexpensive and handmade while still producing beautiful light.
I made this snoot for a speed light out of an "Oats" can. I purchased a can with a light opaque top for an optional diffuser (Bonus!) and created a grid out of straws and a rubber bands. A quick afternoon project for some dramatic indoor and outdoor lighting!
Step one gather supplies. You'll need:
Oats can (cardboard) *you can also use a Pringles can for a smaller light source
Razor blade or exacto knife
Gaffer or masking tape
Before I got started with project I cleaned out my Oats can with a computer duster.
Trace around your speed light on the bottom of the oats can. Carefully cut out the shape you've traced with your razor blade. Don't bring scissors to a razor blade party. You'll mess up the paper bottom of the can with scissors and your DIY snoot will be a very temporary light modifier.
Optional * tape the opening with gaffer or masking tape to protect the opening from tearing easily when inserting and removing your speed light.
This photo shows a rubber band (That's just what I'm calling it) that came with a gel kit I bought and never used... but it helps to keep the snoot on the flash head. If you don't have one of these your snoot will still work just fine, but I find that it helps keep light in and the snoot on. If you can't find something like I did designed for your speed light I think that a vegetable rubber band would work just the same. Think the large bands that hold your broccoli together.
If that's all you want to do then you're done! Snoot and shoot. But if you want some more directional light an optional grid can be created out of drinking straws and rubber bands.
A grid will only allow your light to go in one direction with very little spill. If you're trying to create a directional light look then you'll want to continue the DIY and pick up a pack of straws or two.
Here's my final shots! I took one in direct natural light for a comparison.... Nothing will ever be as beautiful as the sun but my DIY snoot shot looks pretty okay. Thanks for letting me test this with you Michael!