Shooting a Commercial Image With Trash and Walmart Gear

The heart of DIYP is about creating much from little, using what is on-hand or can be cheaply fashioned to achieve quality results. That is exactly what this post is about. Not gun control, not gun rights, or even the timeless tradition of hunting. As we know, there is no better way to send a conversation with an American into verbal bloodshed than by mentioning the Second Amendment, socialized healthcare, or the fact Tampa Bay actually has an NFL team.

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I attribute a great portion of my rekindled interest in photography to the late Bill Simone, a phenomenal commercial photographer whose work for one of my previous employers was dynamic and emotive, especially to a young adult whose previous exposure to photography had primarily been relegated to a 35mm camera. Some of my favorite images from Bill were simple, single-light setups that seemed to draw the viewer into the photo, and they looked great in a glossy catalog!

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How To Build A DIY Eyelighter

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I’m always looking to add new light modifiers to my home studio but name brand products are often too expensive. I still cannot justifies a big expense for a single look so $300 for the Wescott Eyelighter was not a reasonable purchase for me. Plus looking at the components I felt it could be made for pennies on the dollar, look almost as nice and most importantly give me similar results. Being the handy man type I’m prone to DIY just about anything and as long as my wife doesn’t complain about the look or build quality. She’s happy, I’m happy; such is life. And since I’m the spender in this family keeping her happy is my path to more gear.

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DIY: Slider (With Bearings) For Under $100

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Time and again we show our love for sliders as creative tools. They provide some sweet production value at little cost and effort. Now most DIY sliders that we feature here are either friction based (with the build trying to minimise friction) or aligned-skating-wheels based. It is kinda rare to see a build with the smoothness of bearings. And this one by Jones Oliver is under $100.

With more and more people turning into makering, more maker-dedicated shops are popping around and Jones mostly used the parts from one of those stores for his build:

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How To Build And Use A DIY Scrim (Made From A Portable Clothes Hanger)

I have been planning around trying to build a DIY scrim for about a month now but couldn’t think of a frame where I could start my project. First thing I thought of was making it out of PVC pipes (sadly PVC pipes are not as easy to get here), then thought of using wood for the frame. I put it aside for a while until I found the perfect frame for my new project.

A scrim is not a stand alone unit and you want a light source behind it – either a strobe, a strong continuous light or even the sun. The scrim will diffuse that light (and eat quite a bit of it during the process) into a beautiful soft light.

Normally when I go to the local mall I visit the Japan Store because almost everything there is for P88 ($2USD) and there is a LOT of stuff to choose from, so I was looking around the other day and found a portable clothes hanger for around $5.50 USD. WIN! This would be the perfect frame for my next project. (If you don’t live in the Philippines, fret not, they are pretty cheap in the US too)

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How I Built A Huge Mega Giga-Panoramic Robot

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Today I want to share how I created a few huge, Gigapixel photos, using a DIYed panoramic head. Actually, it is not a panoramic head because it not only goes right and left, but also up and down.

I’ve been a big fan of panoramic photography and of landscape in general for a long time. But four years ago I was climbing a mountain and the view from the top simply took my breath away. I felt an urgent need to share the image with people don’t climb and therefore will never get access to such views.

Here is the thing though, standard photos do not have enough details. Our eyes have far more resolution that your standard digital camera, so a new project began: I wanted to build the best Gigapan Robot – an automated panoramic head for DSLR.

[editor’s note: things get highly nerdy techy from this point on]

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5 Quick And Dirty Photography DIY’s

We’ve all had those moments when we prepare for a shoot and pack all of our equipment but on the back of our mind we think that we are forgetting something, then we arrive to location and whadayaknow we forgot an important piece of gear.

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Here on DIYP we see all sorts of DIYs. From professional looking DIYs that take a week to do through a weekend projects to fun 10 minutes DIYs. But some of my most memorable DIYs are the quick-and-dirty-on-the-spot-DIYs. IT DOESN’T LOOK PRETTY but IT DOES THE JOB.

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A Pocket Sized DIY Camera Stabilizer That Costs About $1 To Make

stabilizer1A monopod made from string and a bolt is an old photographers trick that can help to eliminate vertical movement and greatly reduce horizontal movement while taking photos. While it’s not necessarily a full time replacement for a tripod, the handy DIY project can certainly help you out in a bind when you need stabilization but cannot use a tripod, plus it hardly uses up any space in your gear bag. [Read more...]

Can DIY Modifiers Compete Against Pro Grade Modifiers?

Last week I wrote about why you would want to do a DIY photography project, but can it match up to pro gear? Challenge… Accepted!

This week I did a whole photoshoot using only DIY modifiers for main lights. With the help of my girlfriend and her friends to model for me, the challenge was on.

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The idea behind challenge was to prove that making your own modifiers and equipment is not all that bad compared to branded expensive material. (And before the first comment starts coming in, let me say that I do own a couple of Westcott softboxes and umbrellas, and I use them when needed or when working with high end clients, I just really like my DIY’s).

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How to Take A Photo of A Pellet Colliding with A Water Droplet

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If you thought shooting beautiful water droplets is hard, how about shooting a water droplet colliding with a pellet?

Does not sound too trivial, right? At the end it has to do a lot with timing. In addition to you need to time the strobe and droplet, now you also need to time the pellet.

Maurice Ribble of CameraAxe did an entire walkthrough on how to make such magic happen in the video below. It is not a fast pace polish video, but rather a very meticulous detailed explanation and fine details on how the entire contraption works and how to make one yourself.

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