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!

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...]

Breaking Down A Cake Photography Session

Last month I did a tutorial on how to build a wooden table for product photography, and I had a client recently which needed photos of their cakes and cupcakes which was the perfect opportunity to use my own DIY wooden table and share the results.

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But first I had to make 2 new wood planks. I only had one white wood plank done, but for this shoot I needed two more colors, so I made a sky blue top and a black one. To see how to build the tops, click here. [Read more...]

6 Reasons Why You Should Keep Your 18-55 Kit Lens

There was an article recently here in DIYP about 5 reasons why you should own at least one prime lens, I strongly agree to this. I normally tell the new photographers that the next lens they should buy is a prime lens. Here is the thing though,  after buying a prime lens make sure not to sell your kit lens too fast. Here are my 6 reasons why you should keep your kit lens. I am a Nikon shooter, so expect Nikon examples, but everything here is true for Canon too).

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