This post on a 2 cents macro studio got me thinking. Firstly because it is a great idea, it employs the same technique as the super simple light tent and the flash diffuser. Secondly it is cheap. So cheap in fact, that it really does only cost two cents. The thing that I was thinking is – “I want a BLT Sub”, and right after “This is great for small objects, what if I want to shoot something bigger? For this I came up with an improvement – The Origami Macro Studio. It is not as cheap – approximately 20 times more expensive – but for 40 cents, it is still a heck f a deal. And as the macro studio, it is cheap, takes 2 minutes to prepare, and very simple. [Read more…]
If you need a better way to hold the light you use while taking pictures with the DIY backdrop you just made, or you need a better way to control where light goes for keying out backgrounds in Photoshop, read through this tutorial on how to make a quick and durable (and highly configurable) lightstand out of one of those old, sort-of broken cheap tripods you have sitting in your closet. Even if it’s your main tripod, you should be able to modify it so you can swap it for a lightstand or standard tripod pretty easily. [Read more…]
This article will explain how to design and assemble bluescreens, greenscreens and backdrops for photos and video, as well as how to easily and inexpensively build a portable frame to support these backdrops out of PVC pipe or metal conduit. The ideas are similar to the ones that proposed by Brian Zimmerman, with a nice fresh view and clear explanations. (NOTE: Please be sure to read some of the extra notes at the bottom of this guide for optimal performance).
For amateur or hobbyist photographers and video producers, coming up with the money for a nice, $200 (and up!) backdrop and the expensive stands and hangers required to help support it isn’t very easy. Rather, they need a way to make a nice-looking background that is both good looking and easy to transport. [Read more…]
It is reported that Navy SEALS commonly use two condoms to seal firing assemblies for their underwater explosives, having thus coined the term: “Dual Waterproof Firing Assemblies”. This article is a tribute to their ingenuity, and it expands on the concept of the waterproof condom, in order to make a waterproof housing for my digital camera (and other consumer electronics).
(OK, OK, the original title was “Dual Waterproof Consumer Electronics – the condom housing”) [Read more…]
Rob Rohde-Szudy from duckworksmagazine has a great improvment for the Hunter Frerich’s super duper tripod. Yes! here is another creative way to save some $$$ on your photography equipment.
This is a very simple diagram and instructions for building a shutter release cable for a canon DSLR.
Cable release is that thingamajig you use when you want to activate your camera, but you do not want to touch it. Why would you want t do this? I can think of two reasons: 1 – you do not want to move the camera by pressing the shutter release button. And 2 – you need to stand away from the camera. Compared with Cannon’s RS60 E3 this is a real nice deal. [Read more…]
In this article, I will show you how to make a cheap infrared (IR) filter for your digital camera out of bits and pieces such as cardboard rolls, electrical tape, and some black processed photographic film (old negatives). This is just getting a brand new Hoya R72 IR filter for free.
The idea for this project came while researching IR light. When I discovered unexposed processed film made an effective IR filter, I literally had to put my house upside down to fish out some old negatives. Sadly, I also destroyed the zoom motor on my trusty Canon A60 by making a case that was too tight. You will see I have included several warnings here to prevent you from making the same mistake! I am now the proud (and poorer) owner of a brilliant Canon A710… [Read more…]
Following my post on home made beauty dishes, I got mails with tons of follow up to this beauty dish. Heck, most were much better then my original idea (and no, I am not sure they even saw my post before making their own beauty dishes). Some did better construction, some did better finish, some gave better explanations, and some just did the same, but cooler. [Read more…]
Brian Edmonds writes:
I am trying to take pictures of paintings in my studio. I am having trouble with hot spots and dead spots. I have tried angling the lights but I get a little of both. I am using a canon digital camera that allows for changing settings but only has the snapshot flash. I would also like to take these digital pictures and turn them into slides. I know there are companies that do this do you have any suggestions?
I have read your blog entries but do not know which suggestion applies to me. I am an amateur photographer but I can usually manipulate things enough to get by. My studio has natural light fluorescent bulbs. Should I try to use these lights in combo with the angled lights or should I try to use only the angled lights?
Thank you in advance.
Taking pictures of paintings is a tricky subject. While it looks simple when thinking of it, going into the practical setup can be rather tricky.
There are a few setups you can use to take picture of painting. I think that the easiest way is to take your pictures out side to a shady location and take the shots.
If you insist on taking the shots in a studio (and I can see a few reasons for insisting so) here are my recommendations.
- Use a tripod. Even if you are using a flash, and can go to high shooting speeds, using a tripod will help you verify that your camera is completely parallel to the painting.
- You can use the setup up suggested in the diagram below. It has two strobes with umbrellas. If you don’t have two strobes you can use continuous lighting, just make sure you use the correct white balance – use a gray card.
I have left angle "A" as a "variable" as it depends on the size of your painting. For small painting I’d go with "traditional" 45 degrees. For larger paintings I’d use a wider angle. When playing around with angles make sure that the strobes are not angled too wide. This will cause the light to skim your painting, reducing brightness and creating uneven lighting (brighter on the edges). Also make sure that both strobes are set t the same output levels and positioned in the same distance from the painting.
Best of Luck,
Some how, back in February of 2006, I found out about Continuous Ink Systems (CIS) and begin my search. I came across a man selling what I deemed to be a good system to try on E-Bay, and through a few emails, discovered he lived just up the street from me. I bought my first CIS from him within a week.
A CIS supplies “phony” cartridges with ink continuously from large reservoirs out side the printer with silicon tubing. The average home printer cartridge holds only 8-15ml of ink, and the CIS I bought comes pre loaded with 100ml of ink in each color container. That’s a lot of cartridges worth of ink! [Read more…]