DIYP reader Chaval Brasil came up with an ingenious way to create a ring flash. By routing the light from a hot shoe flash to a CD spindle, Chaval was able to surround his lens with light. Chaval joins a long tradition of readers projects that we had here on DIYP (see The Food Saver Omnibounce, Thomas Schwenger Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit, and The Christmas Tree Ring Light for more readers projects).
Over the last few weeks I got a few emails asking me what is the drive behind DIYP. That sent me to my deep observations state where I had some discussions with myself on the reasons I keep DIYP. When trying to understand my reasons, I also understood that the reasons for sharing your photographic know how are universal (pardon for the cheesiness). So here are (my) Seven Reasons to Share Photographic Know How Online. [Image by JennyHuang]
1. You Get to Pay Somthin’ Back
I’ve never went to art school. In fact I’ve never even took a photography class. All that I know (and it is not much) came to me from reading photography books, asking around, participating in online forums, and reading blogs. Making an online blog gives me the privilege of sharing some of this knowledge back with the great community of photographers out there.
2. It’s Contagious – Join the Party
In the beginning there were only few online photography blogs, but look where we are now, Strobist, Chase Jarvis, Jim Talkington, Lighting Mods, Digital Photography School, Lighting Essentials – All out to share what they know. The more sites site are joining the sharing festival – the better the online photographic scene is.
If you did not meet Nick Wheeler (Flickr Stream – a must) until now, you are in for a treat. Nick is what I call a Lean Mean Studio DIY Machine. Unlike the softbox for a hot shoe flash and the softbox made from a well…. a box, this softbox design by Nick is as close to a real life studio softbox design as a softbox can be. As always, Nick has done great job of documenting his work so all the DIYP community can benefit. Making this studio grade softbox takes some time and effort, but well worth the investment.
While this project is great, Nick calls it a prototype and plans on a follow up. Keep tuned to Nick’s Flickr stream – you’ll soon realize that you came for the DIY projects but stayed for the great photography. It all Nick from here on.
This is a DIY project I have had in mind for a while now. When I purchased my studio flash heads, they came with a couple of small softboxes. Although I prefer to use translucent umbrellas whenever I can (small, light, easy to transport), there are times when a softbox is a better solution. While I could use the studio head softboxes in some circumstances with my small strobes, there was no way of effectively holding the flash in place without a lot of jerry rigging. To this end, I wanted to design a softbox that would be light, reasonably strong and durable, adaptable (double diffuser, grid attachment, barn doors etc.) at a later date and have a quick and easy way to mount the flash.
While I achieved most of these goals, the finished softbox was a bit heavier than I would have liked and as is usually the case with these projects I figured out a number of modifications I would like to incorporate into my next attempt after it was finished. For now, I think I will label this as a ‘prototype’ and hopefully come up with something better for the mark II version.
After two brilliant videos from Jim Talkington dealing with studio lighting on a budget, comes something completely different.
Photographer and DIYer Guy Montag came up with a nice and easy I-have-no-idea-about-electronics way to make high speed photography shots.
More chat and the video tutorial after the jump.
As a child, I’m sure you’ve heard the following phrase: “Stick and stones will break my bones but names will never heart me“?
Jim Talkington over at ProPhotoLife has got another take on this childhood proverb. Something like “Sticks and stones will create killer lighting, but money is not needed“.
Jim was kind enough to get this photo studio video composed where he shows us how to take the sticks and stones (or rather sticks and concrete) to the extreme, building a studio from cheap continuous lighting, some framed diffusion papers and lots of sticks.
RSS readers – grab this video here.
The other half of this vid comes right after the jump – yep it is a double feature.
One of the great advantages of working with RAW files is the ability to control the white balance in post production. For example, if you have mistakenly forgot to move your white balance settings from shade to tungsten when you switched location, you can spend two minutes in Lightroom, Photoshop or Adobe Bridge and make the red blue again.
But, but… What if you could make sure that your white balance setting is perfect every time? You can then save on precious post processing time and deliver your images straight from the camera.
ExpoImaging has a nice little product that will help you hit the correct white balance mark on every location. The ExpoDisk is a little device you can use to get a precise white balance reading from any situation. Here is how the general idea, demonstrated on the ExpoDisk (DIY version, right after…):
So, you finally have the time to shoot but lacking inspiration? Need a fresh flow of new Ideas? Here are 25 ways to get your photography creativity going.
1. Go to the Movies
Movies are great inspiration. Before you go, prepare yourself mentally. You can
find inspiration in the story of the movie, in the photography, in the
morals, in one of the characters and in the dialogs.
2. Check Out Flickr’s Explore
One of flickr’s most interesting features is the explore page. In this page you’ll see some of the images that flickr ranks as “interesting“. 99 out of 100 times those are great photos. Take a look at these photos to get inspiration. Do not try to copy them but ask, “What do I like about it?”; “How can I make it better” or “What twist can I add on top of this picture?” (Of course, a nice bonus is to get your image in Flick’s explore)
3. Try to Learn a New Lighting Technique
Sometimes you can get inspiration not by focusing on the what (the subject), but by focusing on the how. even if you shoot a boring neutral subject in an interesting way, you can get a great picture. The Strobist is a great place to learn about lighting, and you can get some lighting ideas here as well.
4. Join a Photowalk
Almost every town has a club that you can join and go out for a have-fun-together session. Your benefit is threefold: 1. You will be forced to get out of that couch. 2. You’ll interact with other photographers. 3. You’ll get some shooting ideas. Rich is having a group in Utah, flickr is running a bunch, and there is a photo walking site – really, they are all around – you just have to get another photog and go out the door to have one. (This is how I started, long, long ago).
5. Look at Popular Photoblogs and Get Inspired
Getting ideas from other photographers can be very inspirational. When you look at a fellow photographer blog or gallery you expose yourself to new ideas, photography styles and techniques. You can later employ those ideas on your photography. If you see anything you like, ask: how I would have taken this image, or how can I use this technique to make a say of my own. This is my list of sites. Chase has one great list as well and Brian held a good list too. Now go surfin’.
6. Go Through Your CD Covers
One of the ways to get your inspiration going is to tap to other great creators and their creations. By browsing your CDs (does anybody still has CDs? or have everyone gone to iPods??!!!) you get a double kick. You get to watch the work of great photographers who shot the covers. You also get to find some great lost music that can get you inspired. Shooting a new cover to an “old” CD is a great project. (And you can always alphabetize the collection as you promised to yourself on new years eve)
7. Listen to Your Favorite Music
While you are going through the covers, find one artist that really inspires you and put it in the player. Try to think what image can describe best one of the songs; The first verse; A single line; the mood of the entire CD.
8. Take on a Photo-a-Day Project
Sometimes what you need to get your inspiration going is a little push. A great push is a photo-a-day project. In such project you commit to take one picture each day. Such projects has various themes and lengths. Some of the projects are portrait oriented (or self portrait); some are generic; some have a general theme. Some are a month long, some are a year long and some are a picture a week. No matter which one you choose, the need to create something new on a deadline can give your creativity that little push it needs.
9. Read an (Art) Magazine
Actually you can read n Art / Fashion / Fun magazine. Magazines like wired can trigger new ideas just cuz they are so packed and full of inspirational stuff. Fashion magazines like Elle or Vogue often has lots of great photos that one can try and analyze both for technique and composition. (Heck, even the advertisements are shot in a great way).
10. Shoot a Sporting Event
Sporting events are everywhere. At your local school, College or down
at the park where your little (or big) brother is playing football. It is a great opportunity to take action shots as well as portraits. It is also a great opportunity to practice action shooting if you ever want to make a career at sports shooting.
11. Look 360
When you walk, you are always looking forward, right? As a photographer
you should get used to looking sideways, up and down. You’ll be amazed
at the amount of photo opportunities you can find on ceilings, second
floors, looking down the escalator. Reflections in puddles, car windows, shopping windows. Shadows on the floor, walls. You get the point.
12. Shoot for a Holiday Theme
You got a holiday coming? Great! Shoot something in the holiday spirit. An item related to the holiday: snow-slide; Cross; Menora; Shoot a scene from the Bible, New testimony; Koran – give it a twist.
13. Reproduce Art by the Old Masters
As David says, all the old masters are not called masters for nothing. They had it when it came to lighting, composition and posing. Trying to make an image like the old masters did it, is not an easy task. You can learn allot by trying to produce a very similar image. You can also learn
allot from trying to homage art made by one of the great ones. The image on the left is a great example of such reproduction of Rene Magritte – The Lovers by Mister Rad.
deth2all from DIYP Instractables group came up with an ingenious way to combine the two. By using the famous Lee filters (They will ship them free to your door), deth2all was able to add the color transformation “feature” to the bare bulb film container flash. See the full tutorial here.
There are two nice things with this trick: The first is that you are not limited to the handful of colors the original Lomo had built in. The other niceness (can I say that ????) is that you do not need to buy a Colorsplash Lomo (though I highly recommend getting any Lomo you can put your hands on), you can use this on top of your DSLR.
Long while ago I published the Create Your Own Bokeh article which was one of the most fun articles this site has seen. I then followed up with some of the uses of this technique and DIYP Flickr pool had a fine hour with great and creative images that used this trick.
One of the questions that keeps popping us is “can you give some more details instructions on the process of making this this filter?”
When I first thought of making a photography project where I work, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about it with THE BOSS.
THE BOSS was really enthusiastic about the idea and was the first to get his portrait taken.
So, here is the tale of how I shot my boss and lived to tell the tale.
This is the point where I am gonna stop calling him THE BOSS and tell you that his name is Yossi.
Yossi is a very calm dude person. He is one of those guys that when everybody is running around to meet a deadline, makes sure we are running at the right direction. And calmness is the main feature that we wanted to show in Yossi’s portrait.
Another nice thing about Yossi is his car. In a high-tech world where everybody drives nice fancy big Dollar cars, Yossi is true to his love – a bitten up Citroen BX from the early 90’s. When once asked him about tithe told me that “Citroen BX is not a car, it is a way of life”. So, the car had to go into the shot.
Lastly I wanted to say that Yossi is a great boss, loved by all and is an example of fine, sharp management. Always bringing results, and gives true guidance. (And it has nothing to do with the fact that I asked for a raise last month, or the fact that I know that you are reading this blog). [Read more…]