Two Great Ways To Make Sweet Looking Backgrounds

Brett H-1

Having your own portable background is seems like a great idea. If I had a big van taking a colourama might be an one solution but then it also involves stands and some set up time and the logistics to move it about.

I like to travel light, but have all the comforts of a studio, so the idea of a fold-able background that I can stuff into a bag and peg up on location with some string and just start shooting is genius to me. Inspired by the cloth backgrounds Tim Walker, Mario Testino and a whole other bunch of amazing photographers have shot with, I set about finding a nice shooting solution. [Read more...]

How to Create Magical Framed Portraits

How to Create Magical Framed Portraits

I have shot implicit nude before, and one of the things that I find to be hard on this type of shoot is how to hide the parts that you do not want to reveal in the final photo. Aside from the artistic decision, there is always the concern that the model will be exposed beyond what he/she had signed for. One night, while drinking my whiskey I had an idea – instead of hiding certain body parts, I can make them transparent. I thought that it would keep a very exposed feeling, while keeping the final photograph modest enough.

The first set of framed portraits was shot at an abandoned military base in the north of Israel (not telling where, but let me say that I practically shot on the verge of a civil war). I photographed Anna, a model I have worked with before, so we were comfortable experimenting. I also took a few framed photos I had around the house. A Pink Floyd framed poster and a few other framed beer coasters. [Read more...]

Fashion Shoot Anatomy And Post Production With Dave Piper [NSFW]

It had been a while since I had shot on a DSLR, most of last year I had shot on the Fuji X-Pro or a Pentax 645d. I was starting to shoot more and more video and thought that maybe it was time to pick up a 5dm2 or something similar. I even thought about the 5dm3 and was just about to buy one when my good friend Martin Gillman announced he was selling his D800, humm, I thought.. Yes.. Deal. I picked the Sigma 35mm Art lens and the 105mm macro (will be looking at the 50mm Sigma too). For video, I will be renting things like the Zeiss Compact zooms.

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Martin dropped the camera off and I just needed to shoot asap, I spoke to my lovely lady friend Ameila and we formed plan to shoot some lingerie with Penny Grimley on the make up. The styling was made up from a few places and things we could find quickly. (Fleur of England, Cristina Adami and Henry Hunt).

I am a big Fuji X-Pro fan, in fact I am a Fuji X-Photographer, I spent most of last year without a DSLR at all and I started to really miss one. The idea of such a powerful multi-use tool started to really make sense. From Leaf to Leica, d90 to 645d, I have shot with and worked with everything. Pretty much all of last year, I didn’t touch a DSLR and after picked up the D800 again…. I can totally say with full confidence, DSLR is always going to be the future. Such multi-use, powerful cameras will never die. There is a place in the market for Compact System Cameras (CSC), DSLRs & Medium formats (MF). I still don’t think we need FF CSC’s though, or CMOS Hassy’s. I like that each has it’s own area and use. Maybe DSLR is the new Bridge camera from hobby to work tool ?? Either way.. The lenses are getting better to cope with the sensors and the 35mm Sigma and the 55mm Zeiss make the D800 seem like a totally different camera to the one I took to the USA and Africa a couple of years ago ! It is good to see that the lens and camera manufacturers are putting time into getting good glass out there into the market. Thank you Fuji, Nikon, Sigma and Zeiss… Love you all !! [Read more...]

How To Build A DIY “SaberStrip” For $30

There’s no denying the original SaberStrip is a very portable and versatile piece of kit. However, at $135 each you might find yourself with other priorities photographically.

How To Bulid A DIY "SaberStrip" For $30

I have been curious about this type of modifier for a while and have really wanted to try it out for event photography. Inspired by the original SaberStrip design and the DIY work of my friend Todd Gardiner, I set out to see if I could build one myself. I’m pretty happy with the results of my home-built “SaverStrip” and in the end the project only cost me $27.50 and left me with enough fasteners, fabric, and tape to build several more.

Click on any of the images below to enlarge the view. [Read more...]

The Cleverest DIYP iPhone Tripod* Ever!

The Cleverest DIYP iPhone Tripod* Ever!

  • This tripod, designed by Benny Johansson, can be placed on top of bottles or stand for it self.
  • Flexible enough to fit most of the common bottle tops and caps.
  • the phone can be tilted 0-8 degrees on one side and 15 on the other.
  • the elastic can be used to secure the phone from falling out,  ( a string in the middle of the screen is not ideal but most camera controls are  at the left or right side of the screen so it works okay for most of the time )
  • can also be used as a viewing stand
  • can be folded flat ( the “holy hinges” has good durability, see my test ) [Read more...]

How To Build A DIY Lightroom Gamepad Controller For 1 Buck

cull-topI’m a true believer in “laziness is the mother of all invention” and also in “cheapskate is the father of all DIY” – just kidding! My name is Ori, I am an avid DIYer, an electronics (and photography) hobbyist and I’ve got the biggest junk collection you can imagine. Nothing makes me happier than justifying the use of the whole room it takes up. To my wife, that is.

This is a story of how a fun day of carting with my team at work turned into a DIY “Cullinator” for Adobe LightRoom with a Foxconn gamepad that the IT department dumped  (and I happily salvaged) and some sharewares I coaxed to cooperate with one another.

So we were indoor-carting the other day. I was there, as always, with my Nikon D60 and my (incompatible) SB80DX strobe, trying to get all artistic with long exposures and motion zooming while also letting my friends experiment with my DSLR and having fun seeing the look on their faces when they realize they have to put their eye up to the eyepiece…

Anyways, lighting conditions were really poor, very uneven, high iso, with moving targets, a kit lens and a flash that doesn’t even talk iTTL with the camera – a disaster in the making. I came home to discover I have to postprocess 99.5% of the 200-odd photos we all took. I wish I had a ‘cullinator’… hummmm… I do have a gamepad somewhere, don’t I? Yes! This is going to be fun! Googled “macro for lightroom” and I find ‘Paddy’. [Read more...]

How I Learned To Stop Worrying About Wobble And Love The Warp Stabilizer

How I Learned To Stop Worrying About Wobble And Love The Warp Stabilizer

It’s uber-awkward being in high school.

In 9th grade, I was a music kid and played in everything from pit orchestra to pep band.

High school marching band armed me with one mantra: heal toe, heal toe, heal toe, heal toe, roll your foot.

This mantra is basically a set of instructions to the “roll step”, which was paramount to marching band. It was our band director’s hope that we, as a bunch of awkward saxophone- and tuba-wielding 13 year-olds—in a costume that looked something like a bad rendition of the British uniform from the War of 1812 with a 3-foot tall faux-fur white hat (oh, I hope all pictures have been destroyed)—would glide past the audience come parade time.

This we did not do. More like we bobbled, uncomfortably.

But the “roll step” saying stuck with me, and to this day it works as a rule of thumb any time I’m walking with a camera, even with a MoVi. Yet, with it running constantly through my head, uneven terrain and any number of small obstacles can make good form and the right camera tool not quite enough.

For example, when trekking through the forest. [Read more...]

A Big, Cheap, Solid And Foldable DIY Softbox

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Many people have asked me about the DIY softbox I made a year or so ago — lovingly nicknamed “the ghettobox” — so here it is, finally: The ultimate guide to making your own 30” softbox (that’s about 76cm, you could make it even bigger, though!), that — very important — is solid and portable. Yes, you heard right, you can fold it flat but it’s still solid. Plus: As a bonus you can also hang it from somewhere to save floor space. [Read more...]

Towards Mastery. Again.

Towards Mastery. Again.

The other day someone left a comment on my Facebook page, an astute observation about this constant gear chase – the pursuit of new, better, shiny – some of us wrestle with so much on what we hope is a path to something like mastery. It’s had me thinking since then, bouncing around the Maasai Mara, making photographs and considering my own process and the place gear has within it. The comment was along these lines: that the more we chase gear, upgrade to new cameras, etc., the less chance we have at mastering our tools.

“Isn’t it possible we’ve passed the point of diminishing returns and our hunger for gear is outpacing our hunger for beauty, compelling stories, great light, and amazing moments?” [Read more...]