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!

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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Using Everyday Objects For Making Outstanding Backdrops

I am a big fan of using simple objects or DIYing solutions in my photograph. One thing I always like doing is using a Gobo (photography lingo fo go-between) to make any plain background stand out. Nowadays, I am using a device called the Light Blaster which can act as a dedicated gobo projector, but before I got it, I DIYed my own patterns for the background.

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So here are examples of everyday objects I use to create some cool patterns on the background.

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The Trick On Getting Gradient Reflection On Reflective Surfaces (Cellphones, Laptops Etc.)

Getting gradual reflection on a shiny surface is not trivial. It is not hard, but you have to know how it is done (which you will once you’ve read this post :). This is one of my favorite techniques when shooting products with a granite tile, and it gets that gradient reflection on a reflective surface every time.

I got a couple of messages on Flickr a while back asking me how to get a gradient effect on an iphone shot I did before. So here is a step by step lighting tutorial on how to achieve this kind of lighting and where you can use it.

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Repurposing A KFC Fried Chicken Dinner As A DIY Ring Flash

I have a two DIY ring-flashes. My first one was made out of illustration board, and the second one was made of out of a bucket of fried chicken from our local restaurant. Here is my step by step tutorial on how to make your own DIY ring flash using the leftovers of a KFC dinner. (of course you can but a DIY ring flash kit or a totally pro solution as well, but then the KFC leftovers will be thrown away rather than recycled).

It takes about two hours to make one.

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Using Cheap Wallpaper As Backgrounds For Professional Looking Product Shots

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The backgrounds we use for our shots make a big difference in the final photo. I have covered quite a few options before, all are pretty accessible and today I want to share another quick and budget minded technique – using wall paper or colored paper for your background. (See these if you need some backdrop inspiration: illustration board, white background & gel & DIY wooden table).

I first saw this being done on flickr and wanted to give it a try. Here are a few ideas on using different paper backgrounds plus few tricks on lighting. [Read more...]

3 (+1) DIY Backdrops That You Find Right At Home

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When I started photography I was very interested in learning everything I can about studio photography. Obviously, I didn’t have a studio back then, so I needed to work with what I had to create photographs that looked just as good as their studio-taken counterparts.

Here are three different backdrops I used to create a high-end feeling to my photos. You can find them all in your house. Plus an additional cool background you can use which is made out of tarpaulin. [Read more...]