Breaking Down A Cake Photography Session

Last month I did a tutorial on how to build a wooden table for product photography, and I had a client recently which needed photos of their cakes and cupcakes which was the perfect opportunity to use my own DIY wooden table and share the results.

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But first I had to make 2 new wood planks. I only had one white wood plank done, but for this shoot I needed two more colors, so I made a sky blue top and a black one. To see how to build the tops, click here. [Read more...]

Is Shooting A Video On Film Still Worth It?

You know Steven. He is the crazy hacker who made the Battlefield Pinhole Camera (and others….). This time around he sent me his latest music video. Here is the thing, it was shot 100% on film, and well worth the effort.

The clip was shot with a rented Aaton LTR 54, using a full Zeiss Prime f/1.2 series lens kit (80mm, 50mm, 35mm, 25mm, 16mm, 12mm, 9,5mm, 5,6mm aspheron)

First, this clip is just oozing with creativity, but that alone does not justify film. I asked Steven why he shot this on film and basically he has two reasons:

The first one was the physical qualities of the film, huge latitude and grain: [Read more...]

Building A Large Format Digital Camera

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it is not often that a person builds their own camera, and even less common for them to build a large format camera, but Jimmy.c. Alzen just built one of those. The total cost of the build was less than $150 + several years of education and tinkering know-how.

The camera was submitted to Hack a day’s Challenge and as such it is pretty hacked up. The photographs that it takes, though, are dreamy. [Read more...]

7 DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects

Photography can be expensive! So, it’s lovely to come across cool tips for using every day, household objects in your photography which can both help reduce the price of creating cool images or even help protect your gear.

Markus Berger and the team over at the COOPH YouTube channel has just released a new video featuring seven very cool little tips (and a bonus one at the end) doing just that: it shows simple, every day objects, used to great effect. More than one of these I had never thought of, so it’s well worth checking out these DIY hints used in effect. Read more below the jump.

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How To Improve The Function Of The Fuji X-T1 For Faster Focusing

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Photographer Eivind Rohne is a happy Fuji X1 shooter, but ever the greatest of cameras can use a small push to make it perfect.

Eivind shares that one of the most used functions on his Fuji X1 is the back panel direction buttons which he uses to move the focus point. He does that by assigning the front custom button to activate focus point selection.

While was almost perfect, Eivind made it even more perfect by adding a bit of Sugru to the camera:

When I shoot, I move the focus point around a lot. So on the X-T1 I’ve assigned the function to activate focus point selection to the front custom button. Then I can press it with my middle finger, and move the focus point with my thumb on the four buttons around the OK button. But I want to do this without having to take the camera from my eye to see which button I’m pressing.

So to work more efficiently with the camera, I rolled thin stripes of Sugru and applied to all four buttons around the OK button. I also put a small dot of Sugru on the front function button, the Focus Assist button, and on the AF-L button. Why not the AE-L button you might wonder? Because with only a dot on one of those two, I immediately know where on the back of the camera my finger is without having to look. And I chose red because it looked color than black.

[Read more...]

Build Your Own Inexpensive Transport Equipment Cases

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Basic tools and carpentry techniques can save you a lot of cash when protecting your valuable hardware! Like a lot of video producers on a budget I’m always looking for ways to save cash while moving forward with the realistic hardware needs of various projects. The recent purchase of a pair of vintage Colortran 2K Fresnel lights nudged me to seek some type of protective storage and transport case option that wasn’t insanely priced. These are big fixtures and they call for big cases. [Read more...]

Using Everyday Objects For Making Outstanding Backdrops

I am a big fan of using simple objects or DIYing solutions in my photograph. One thing I always like doing is using a Gobo (photography lingo fo go-between) to make any plain background stand out. Nowadays, I am using a device called the Light Blaster which can act as a dedicated gobo projector, but before I got it, I DIYed my own patterns for the background.

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So here are examples of everyday objects I use to create some cool patterns on the background.

[Read more...]

The Wonderful Tilt-Shift Effect You Get When Coupling A Mamiya Lens With A DSLR

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Photographer and editor Chris Rutter constructed a fairly simple, yet powerful tilt shift camera by combining a Mamiya 45mm lens with a Canon 600D body.

I think that using a Mamiya lens is a stroke of genius for doing DIY tilt-shift lenses, mainly for two reasons: for one those lenses can be found on eBay for around 50-150 US Dollars and they provide superior quality for the price.

The second reason has to do with the optic qualities of large format lenses. A large format lens has to cover a large piece of film (or a large piece of sensor), as a result it casts a large image onto the film plane. This allows light to hit the sensor even if the image is tilted or shifted. But it gets better, the Flange Focal Distance – the distance a lens requires from its rear end to the film plane – is larger for medium format cameras so using a Mamiya lens allows having some bellows between the lens and body while still allowing non-macro photographs to be taken. [Read more...]

Quick Tip: Secure Your Camera Zippers Without A Padlock

Have you ever walked in a crowded place and was worried that some stay hands may crawl into your bag? Or wanted to place your camera bag on the floor (or on the train or on the chair next to you in a restaurant), but was concerned that the zippers may become undone and the camera will “accidentally” fall through the bag into someone’s hands?

The obvious solution is to use a padlock (or a move my bag and I’ll scream!) kind of alarm. Sadly we don’t always have those handy. Out pals at Enlight Photo just shared this great security tip. While it will not protect you from someone actually taking your bag, it can definitely help reducing the amount of stray hands that crawl in. (they are using a Think Tank Photo bag, but any bag with zipper loops or pull ties will work) [Read more...]

How to Convert Lenses to Tilt Shift Macro Lenses With 3D Printing

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At about $1500 real tilt-shift lenses are not cheap. (Long time readers will appreciate the correct spelling :). Instructable user Cpt.Insano created a 3D printed adapter that converts practically and Nikon lens into a tilt shift lens. Sadly, getting the lens further from its flange distance means that the lens will only operate in Macro mode, but I would assume that getting a Nikon lens onto a Canon body may work as Nikon has  longer focal flange distance than Canon.

Anyhow, this is a really simple build, and all you have to do is grab the parts from the instructable, print them away and click them together. [Read more...]