A fan or wind machine to blow hair.

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by bobrowen, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. While I generally do portraits or headshots, I occasionally want to add a fashion touch like blowing hair.

    When I looked for fans or wind machines I found
    the Varibeam ReFan II Turbo Wind Machine $695
    the Jet Stream Wind Machine $787

    On the other hand, when I checked fans at a local appliance store, they seems either too big or not windy enough for some real hair-in- the-wind effect.

    Anyone come across an inexpensive, small fan strong enough to do the job?

    Bob Rowen
    Websites, Portraits and Studio Photography
    101 Clark Street, 27C
    Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201
    (718) 834-1414
    Our Web Site is: http://bobrowen.com
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    Interesting People Gallery at Photo.net at http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder? folder_id=188830
    Our E-Mail Address is mail@bobrowen.com
  2. Hi, Robert.

    If you have an 'assistant,' makeup artist, friend (anyone?) standing by, have him/her
    use a piece of foamcore to fan the model's hair. It's a two-dollar solution, but it's
    quite effective, as you can really direct the airflow and you don't freeze your sitter.
    You just have to get the timing down, and make sure the foamcore doesn't intrude
    into the frame.

    (example: http://www.photo.net/photodb/image-
  3. A technique I've used successfully, especially when shootng outside, is to have the model walk towards you quickly while you are walking backwards shooting.
  4. If you are working outside, a leaf blower will provide plenty of kick and is very directional. Noise and the need for an assistant are the negatives of this solution. Inside, I've wrapped a piece of background paper around a domestic fan to contain/concentrate the airflow for better control and higher velocity.
  5. As Barry says, a piece of cardboard mabe into a "tunnel" and taped around a decent fan works well. The leaf blower idea is good too. Remember that the make all kinds of electric ones so you don't have to be outside. You can also rig up a stand so that no assistant is needed.
  6. I've looked for the same thing and found several at WalMart and Home Depot that look suitable (and for about $30). At WalMart there are some that have a highly directional design or and at Home Depot some small ones designed for industrial use for about $40.
  7. in the cleaning industry they use these fans to dry floors that would work good. They do not use fan blades but a "squirl cage" type fan. The kind that looks like a hamster wheel. The blow a lot of air out a narrow slot at the bottom of the fan over the floor. They are powerfull and very directional because of the narrow slot that the air comes out of. Since they are for janitors they are very portable.
  8. I actually did come across such a fan that works like a charm (for my studio needs at least). Sells for about 60$ CAN which comes around 43$ US.

    The wind output is very directional, and it has 3 power settings (and the third one is very powerful let me tell ya). It's designed like an industrial turbo fan. Looking at it, the fan looks a bit like it was designed from a jet motor.

    Now this isn't anything professional but it's powerful enough for my needs. At 20 feet of distance I can have the curtains in my window move a lot without any problems (long heavy curtains in a patio door) and at 7 feet (while it's on the floor pointing up) I have no problems having somebody's hair moving. The beauty of it is that it's very precise, so you can have the model's hair moving while the clothes stay put and look nice.

    Here's a link (with RPM and spec details). I've had this fan for 3 years. Works just a well and is just as silent, plus it's very small so it's easy to carry (about 2ft high). For me it's the best I found for the price. They sell it in four countries. Should be fairly easy to get. And if for some reason it's not powerful enough, two of them would definitely kick some ass and still be a good deal.

  9. Thanks Yves!
  10. http://www.thefind.com/appliances/info-heavy-duty-shop-fan
    works great

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