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A fan or wind machine to blow hair.

Bob Rowen , Jul 08, 2003; 10:44 p.m.

<p><font size="3">While I generally do portraits or headshots, I occasionally want to add a fashion touch like blowing hair.<br> <br> When I looked for fans or wind machines I found <br> the Varibeam ReFan II Turbo Wind Machine $695<br> or<br> the Jet Stream Wind Machine $787<br> <b>Yikes!</b><br> <br> 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.<br> <br> Anyone come across an inexpensive, small fan strong enough to do the job?</font><br> <br> <font face="Arial" size="2">Bob Rowen<br> Websites, Portraits and Studio Photography<br> 101 Clark Street, 27C<br> Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201<br> (718) 834-1414<br> Our Web Site is: <a href="http://bobrowen.com">http://bobrowen.com</a><br> Web Sites designed by Robert Rowen at <a href="http://libraryautomation.com/websitesbyrr">http://libraryautoma tion.com/websitesbyrr</a><br> Interesting People Gallery at Photo.net at <a href="http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder? folder_id=188830">http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder? folder_id=188830</a><br> Our E-Mail Address is <a href="mailto:mail@bobrowen.com">mail@bobrowen.com</a></font><br> <br> </p>


Derek Stanton , Jul 09, 2003; 12:24 a.m.

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- display?photo_id=919590&size=md)

Marc Schneider , Jul 09, 2003; 09:40 a.m.

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.

Barry Kenstler , Jul 09, 2003; 11:14 a.m.

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.

Hal Bissinger , Jul 09, 2003; 04:39 p.m.

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.

John Kantor , Jul 12, 2003; 12:29 a.m.

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.

Luke Pederson , Jul 25, 2003; 10:47 a.m.

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.

Yves Jalbert , Aug 04, 2003; 09:14 p.m.

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.


Daniel Chui , Jun 18, 2004; 07:23 p.m.

Thanks Yves!

Rome Wilkerson , Apr 12, 2009; 01:19 p.m.

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