If you prefer working with natural light, with clever positioning of the subject and some DIY magic you get two light sources from a single window. Guys from The Film Look demonstrate how to make the 2-light setup on a budget and without any lighting gear, using only the light you get from a window. They used it for an interview, but it can also be applicable to portraits or for vlogging.
Sometimes you’ll get to photograph objects with different textures, and the light won’t be suitable for all of them. Photographer Phillip McCordall shares a couple of useful tricks that will help you in such situations. Glass objects may have unpleasing reflections, and you can easily tone them down using spray deodorant. Mr. McCordall uses a few more items we all have at home and that cost almost nothing, and with them, he controls the reflections on the glass objects. These DIY tricks of the trade cost almost nothing and they’ll definitely save you some post-processing time.
The Sony Alpha 6 series doesn’t have a tilting screen that covers 180 degrees. This makes it hard to use the camera for vlogging or selfies and makes you need to buy an external monitor. YouTuber Hozz of Hozz and Sarah channel has created a DIY solution to this problem with some cardboard and a mirror, and he built one of the best DIY hacks I’ve seen in a while.
Hozz made a small DIY periscope, which he places on top of his Sony A6500 so that he can see himself while recording. This solves two problems you might have with the external monitor and this camera. First, the external monitor doesn’t display all the recording information, such as the battery life or other recording settings. And another thing – well, the DIY periscope is way cheaper. Hozz calls it Alpha Scope, and he shares the steps to making your own piece and adding it to your Sony A6500, A6000 or A6300.
The beauty dish is an important piece of lighting gear for portrait and beauty shots. Joe Edelman will show you how to make a DIY beauty dish for less than $7 using a white umbrella.
Since beauty dish reflects, and umbrella diffuses the light, maybe we can’t really call this build a “beauty dish.” However, it gives the same results. So, in terms of the light quality, this DIY version will give you the same light and catchlights like the standard beauty dish. It costs less, it’s easy to make, so it’s definitely worth the shot no matter how we call it.
Overheating wasn’t much of an issue for cameras at one point. Sure, long exposures might build up some noise on CCD sensors. It did a bit with my D100 bodies for anything 4 seconds or longer. But it wasn’t a consistent problem when shooting stills. Then cameras got video, which leaves our sensors exposed and on for much longer periods of time. To the point where some cameras now are notorious for overheating.
One such camera is the Panasonic GF7. Industrial designer, Eric Strebel has been facing this problem with his GF7. He’d regularly receive an error stating “Camera overheating, please allow it to cool down”. Being an engineer, he designed a solution. In essence, that meant strapping a great big heatsink to the back of it. This video shows us how the build came together.
Zoom creep or lens creep is one of the most annoying shooting-related phenomena, occurring when the zoom lens barrel extends due to its own weight. Fortunately, there’s a simple and basically free way to resolve it. This video from Dr. Jake Newman shows how to use a rubber band to prevent the zoom lens from creeping. A tiny item you probably have lying around somewhere will prevent the gravity from messing with your lens and help you nail the shots.
For many photographers, shooting tethered is a way of life. For others, it’s something we only do occasionally when the need arises. The big problem all tethered shooters face, though, is the cable not falling out. Sometimes, with a long cable, it can fall out under its own weight. Sometimes it gets tugged, yanking it right out of the socket. And if this happens often enough, it can even damage the socket itself.
There are commercial solutions out there to help prevent this from happening. Solutions such as the JerkStopper and Tetherblock work beautifully. But sometimes you find yourself tethering without these options to hand. So, in steps the humble rubber band, thanks to a tip posted by Redditor, lilgreenrosetta (photographer, David Cohen de Lara).
Smartphones are fantastic tools for showing off our work, watching movies, or even playing games. Their “big” problem, though, is that their screens are rather small. This means if you want it bigger, you must connect it up to a TV or use a projector. Projectors for phones have been on the market now for a couple of years, but most of the decent ones are quite expensive. So, why not make your own?
This video from Matthew at DIY Perks shows us how to build our own “Ultimate Smartphone Projector” from scratch. Matthew first shows us a more traditional DIY smartphone projector. But that type of projector has some issues, which Matthew highlights. Those problems are solved with his rather ingenious periscope-style design.
Most of us, at some point or another, have dealt with the issue of filters that just won’t come off. Perhaps you choose to keep UV filters on your lenses at all times. Perhaps you don’t, but you’ve purchased a used lens that’s come with one. Maybe it’s been a temporary filter like a polariser that just gets stuck. Most of the time, though, they’ll come off with a little effort.
Sometimes, however, they just won’t budge. Even with special filter removing wrenches they just don’t want to come off. You might have to get a little medieval on them. Something Adam Savage has become quite familiar with. In the second such incident with a stuck filter, he tries the filter wrenches with no luck. So, he turns to the power tools.
As well as often producing fantastic images, light painting is great fun. While you might have an idea in mind, you never really know what you’re going to get until you see the final shot. For some, that’s the whole point. The excitement of seeing if you can pull off your vision, and the unexpected surprises you encounter.
One difficulty in light painting, though, especially when your light source is in the shot is blowing out the highlights. In this video, light painting master Eric Paré offers a demonstration on how he builds his light painting tubes. Specifically, how he gets them to have such vibrant and striking colours. It all boils down to having the right gels.