Studio Lighting – DIY: Home-made Power Pack Flashes (Part II) – Variations on a theme

home made flash packOk, So you’ve got your DIY Flash/Strobe working. Now you want to evolve to a full DIY studio – Here are some uses for the flash unit (again, courtesy of Avner Richard). In this article you will find some creative ueses for the basic circuit – Multipe flahs heads and controling output power – as well as some basic studio flash setups – beauty dish, spot light, soft box, ring light and more. [Read more...]

Studio Lighting – Super Simple Light Tent

super simple light tentI was inspired to do this project after seeing the PVC light tent posted on the MAKE blog. This light tent uses a cardboard box and some white material (Tyvek) and allows you to take reasonable photos of products such as bottles, watches, jewelry, small objects, etc. There is lot’s of room for improvement but for the sake of 15 minutes I hope you will agree it’s pretty good :) [Read more...]

Fluorescent bulbs and camera flash diffuser

Naomi Charles wrote:

You can now buy 27 watt spiral fluorescent bulbs that output 100watt
daylight 5500 Kelvin at homedepot. I have even seen them at walgreen
pharmacy. They are coollights and last for 7 years.  I have also seen
daylight bulbs from revel and Philips but they are hot lights and last the
same as a regular light bulb. Some if them have a blue tint to them.

I also have a tip on how to diffuse the flash on your camera. tape a piece
of tissue or tissue paper over the flash to reduce red eye.  You can also
tape a piece of posterboard at an angle to bounce the flash of your
camera.  I really like this site.  I can use some of the ideas to really
help me out.  thanks a bunch Naomi

Click here to see DIYPhotography.net answer


Hi Naomi,
I am glad that you find the projects on the site useful. Feel free to share your ideas.
Florescence bulbs are cool, they are really good for "over head" lighting. just make sure you buy a daylight balanced one (5000K – 5500K). It is also worth mentioning that florescence do terrible job at getting dimmed – so no dimmer can be connected to them.

you can see the flash diffuser for canon s2is article for more info about your diffusion ideas – or check out the flash mounted softbox and flash diffuser articles for even better results.

cheers,
Udi.

DIYPhotography.net Logo Contest

Hello 'DIY'ers,

The sharp eyed amongst you might have noticed the amazing resemblance between DIYPhotography.net's logo and Drupal.org's logo. And now that DIYPhotography.net is growing, I think it deserves it's own logo. Well, that's a perfectly good reason to announce the DIYPhotography.net Logo Contest.
This contest is where anybody who wants to help DIYPhotography.net can send a logo to the site manager – that's me :), and enter the contest.
Winner will receive bragging rights, a note on the contributors page, and a link to his/hers site, blog, address on Google maps, or any link you can think of.

You can upload your logo designes on the upload page

Here are the terms in plain english. There is also a legal version – if you speak layerish – at the end of the page.

  1. By sending the logo you confirm that you are the maker of the logo and that you hold the copyright to that logo.
  2. You allow DIYPhotography.net to use the sent logo on its publications from now until forever without asking any return other than stated in this page.
  3. You can send as many logo ideas as you like
  4. The logo can be in gif or png format and should be scalable
  5. The logo should relate to DIY or Photography or better yet – both. (DAH!)
  6. Winner will be declared on October 1st.
  7. Upload the logo on the logo contest upload page.

Best of luck,
Udi


Legal version

By sending a logo design to DIYPhotography.net consent to the following:
I declare that I own the spiritual asset, including copyrights for the send material. I know that sending the logo to DIYPhotography.net constitutes a free worldwide license to use the logo, which is not limited in time. I also allow DIYPhotography.net to publish it, and to do with the logo what ever they see fit. I hereby consent to allow DIYPhotography to edit or change the sent logo. I know and agree that I will not be entitled to any payment by money, or money equal for this license.

How to Take Good Pictures of Buildings

A guide to architectural photography (or how to photograph buildings)

Shooting
The key to good architectural photography is to point the camera straight at the subject. You don't want to shoot as an angle. That's about it– if you shoot straight, 95% of the job is done. No special lens is required. Shooting straight requires:

1. Ideal shooting position is halfway between the top and bottom of the building (or area of the building). This, of course, requires a ladder, or shooting from the building across the street. Horizontal position is obviously directly opposite the middle of the building, which is often helpfully marked with a door or window. A ladder isn't necessary if you have a Tilt/Shift lens (24mm" works well in many situations), but these lenses are expensive, and aren't available for all lines of SLRs (Canon has a good one, but it's $1100+). TS lenses straighten the converging lines effect that you get if you shoot up at the building from the sidewalk across the street– you can do a lot of the same thing in Photoshop (see editing step.)

2. Hold the camera with the image plane (back of the camera) exactly parallel to the building. This is tricky and takes some practice. On a positive note, you don't have to hold it perfectly still, because the building is happy to sit still for you.

3. Often, a picture is a bit more exciting if someone is walking by, or if there is an object to grab the eye in front of the building. In the picture illustrating this step, the lamp-post adds a little something extra. If you're going for something in the foreground, make sure to use a smallish F-stop to keep the depth of field deep (F8 or above usually works fine from across the street). This way everything will be in focus.

4. Avoid any distracting elements– that include:
– lampposts (almost never look good unless they are at the edges, and then only if they are distinctive)
– cars (death to most photographs because they destroy that "what year is it?" quality, and tend to block the front of buildings)
– strange things in the background or foreground, like wires or satellite dishes

5. A word on lighting: buildings always look best an hour before sunset or an hour after dawn, and generally look better on slightly cloudy days. Bright light, particularly in the afternoon, will cast harsh shadows that make buildings look bad. Avoid shooting at noon at all costs. Avoid any shot where you can see clearly delineated shadows, unless they really work.

buildings_01

buildings_02

Editing
Once you've taken your picture, you'll need to do three things: crop, color, and sharpen.

1. Crop: A good photo of a building puts the building in a prominent spot in the image (not necessarily the center, but that's where I like it), and keeps the lines straight. Your best tool in this effort is perspective crop in Photoshop. That's the normal cropping tool, but with that little checkbox for "perspective crop" in the toolbar checked. Once you check it, you can drag the four crop lines at skewed angles. The trick is to line each line up with the right side of the building (top line with top of building, left with left side of building, etc.) You also want to maintain the basic dimensions of the picture, and you can't pull the lines too far off 90 degree angles without some major distortion. It's a bit tricky, but practice makes perfect.

1a. Re-crop– sometimes the Perspective crop screws up the dimensions of the image. If you want to, you can recrop the image to 4.5×3, 4×3, 1×1, etc.

2. Color– here, I like to use Photoshop's curves (slight s-curve to increase contrast, or rounded middle to brighten midtones, depending on the situation.) You can also use levels, selective color, or hue/saturation, but most pros I use stick to curves. Another option is to use unsharp mask.

3. Sharpen– best to always resize to your final dimensions before sharpening (for instance, I put up 900×600 on my website, so I resize to 900×600 before I do anything else.) Then, if you can, view actual pixels (100% magnification.) Then apply your favorite sharpening method. I use unsharp mask, or lab sharpening (you can look both of those up on photo sites.)

4. Final prep: sometimes you'll want to add a bit of hue/saturation to bump up the colors a bit more, or tool slightly with the contrast, but basically you are done. Save and go home!

buildings_03

This Article was contributed by Jake Dobkin, and it is also published on instructables.com diyphotography.net group.

ig you liked this article, you might want to have a pick at the sunset photography guide

Homemade Matchbox Pinhole Camera

homemade pinhole cameraAlan of alspix has come up with a nice a easy solution for creating a pinhole camera from a simple matchbox. here is how he describes it (check out alspix blog for the most updated instructions):

My first couple of 35mm pinhole cameras attempted to be panoramic, wide angle jobbies but this time I thought it would be nice to get back to the classic square format. [Read more...]

35mm Sprocket Counter Clicker

After getting some question about the clicker , Alan of alspix has written a short post on how to build it (check out alspix blog for the most updated instructions):

I've read a few posts on flickr where people have tried using one of these plastic clickers to count sprocket holes but it has failed. Once you know how to make one, they work really well, so I thought it would be worthwhile documenting it properly here. The key is to ensure the clicker plastic only goes through the sprocket hole by a small amount, and it seems to work best with the clicker very close to where the film comes out of the canister.

It was time to reload my matchbox pinhole for the summer, so I took the opertunity to take some snaps of the process…..

pinhole_camera_c_01.jpg

You may also want to check out Matchbox Pinhole Camera and Matchbox Camera Shutter

check out alspix blog for the most updated instructions

Homemade Matchbox Camera Shutter

Alan of alspix has come up with a nice a easy solution for creating a shutter to a pinhole camera – here is how he describes it (check out alspix blog for the most updated instructions):

Here's a couple of photos of the shutter I'm currently using. It's made from a couple of bits of scrap card. One has a quite large hole cut in the center which fits over the pinhole (I didn't cut this very neatly – you can do better!) The other piece acts as the shutter and slides behind this, covering the pinhole. I stuck some black tape on the back of this shutter card.

here is how it looks like:

pinhole_camera_b_02.jpg

You may also want to check out Matchbox Pinhole Camera and 35mm Sprocket Counter Clicker

check out alspix blog for the most updated instructions

Cheap DIY (Homemade) Muslin Photography Background

cheap diy muslin background 07

This project had the website diyphotography.net in mind and strives to help develop it into a vibrant online community. This backdrop is similar to those sold online for a couple hundred dollars! But guess what? for around 20 bucks and about an hours time I’ve made a studio backdrop myself, and now I’ll show YOU how you can make a backdrop yourself!  (And complete the DIY experiance by adding a DIY backdrop stand) [Read more...]