Laya Gerlock is a portrait photographer based in the Philippines. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao Quezon, (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!

5 Quick And Dirty Photography DIY’s

We’ve all had those moments when we prepare for a shoot and pack all of our equipment but on the back of our mind we think that we are forgetting something, then we arrive to location and whadayaknow we forgot an important piece of gear.

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Here on DIYP we see all sorts of DIYs. From professional looking DIYs that take a week to do through a weekend projects to fun 10 minutes DIYs. But some of my most memorable DIYs are the quick-and-dirty-on-the-spot-DIYs. IT DOESN’T LOOK PRETTY but IT DOES THE JOB.

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Can DIY Modifiers Compete Against Pro Grade Modifiers?

Last week I wrote about why you would want to do a DIY photography project, but can it match up to pro gear? Challenge… Accepted!

This week I did a whole photoshoot using only DIY modifiers for main lights. With the help of my girlfriend and her friends to model for me, the challenge was on.

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The idea behind challenge was to prove that making your own modifiers and equipment is not all that bad compared to branded expensive material. (And before the first comment starts coming in, let me say that I do own a couple of Westcott softboxes and umbrellas, and I use them when needed or when working with high end clients, I just really like my DIY’s).

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8 Reasons To Do A DIY Photography Project

 

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I started photography about 6 years ago. I was doing a 365 day project in flickr when I saw all the great strobist shots people were taking. I wanted to give it a try but I only had one sb-24 speedlight (it’s a 1988 flash) and no light modifiers whatsoever so I needed to DIY my own lights.

I remember the first DIY project that I made, it was a 1 foot  x 1 foot  softbox made out of illustration board and tracing paper. After that I used a silver umbrella and a white shower curtain to create my own studio look and after that was history in the making.

So here are my 8 reasons why you’d wanna do a DIY project

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Build a $300 Music Stand Triflector for $29

I have always wanted to DIY my own triflector, but the problem was I didn’t even know where to start or what material to use.

You’re probably asking why I would want a triflector? Because it produces the most stunningly beautiful glamour light. Now, Lastolite does sell one of those, but they are around $330 with frame panels and all. I wanted it cheaper and I wanted it faster.

Before I started photography around 6 years ago I was studying classical guitar in the top university here in the Philippines so I remembered that I had a music stand lying around from my music days. It was a perfect starting point for my DIY triflector, and they are only about $15. So here is a quick step by step tutorial on how I built a DIY music stand triflector.

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Analyzing Light – How to Breakdown The Lighting Of A Photo

Ever since I started photography I had a thing  for lighting. Nowadays, every time I see a picture, I can’t help it but to analyze and breakdown how it was lit. In this article I will share my analyzing process, step by step.

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I believe understanding light can make a huge improvement to any photographer’s work, and practicing light-analysis is definitely one of the better ways to do it. When was just starting out, analyzing light on Flickr photos I love was a huge learning experience for me.

There are plenty of way (or tricks) to analyze light, this is how I do it, feel free to share yours too.

The first thing I do is break down the lighting into 4 hint-groups: Catchlights, Shadows, Highlights, and Background lights.

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5 Different Setups To Nail A 2 Lights Product Shot

There are a lot of things you can do with just 2 lights, actually, you can do some kicking products shots. Here are a few quick and easy product photography setups that you can add to your toolkit. (+ the occasional use of a DIY modifier)

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For the whole shoot I was using a Nikon D7000 and a 18-55 kit lens. (kit lenses are awesome!)  I was using a mix of speedlights and studio strobes for the lighting. I also had a dust blower used for sensors to get dust off my subjects.

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Create 4 Different Background Styles Using Only 1 White Seamless Paper

I only have two backgrounds in my (home)studio, a white seamless paper and a black wall. I use my seamless white paper for almost every shoot that I do, unless of course, I need to shoot on a black background (in that case I use the black wall). I always tell my students how important it is to have a a seamless white in your arsenal. It costs around $35, and while it is just one piece of equipment, it can be used to create many different looks and styles.  Here are some examples and lighting setups you can use that utilize a seamless white.

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Of course, you can also use a canvas, a woven background, vinyl or any other “big white thing”. [Read more...]