Variable 3 point LED lighting kit for macro/miniature for $55

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Welcome to my tutorial on how to make a 3 point light setup kit that allows you to vary the point LEDs independently. I wrote this for fun and i hope it inspires you! Warning: ManualMode.ca and I are not responsible for ANY damage caused to you, others or your household while following this tutorial.

I decided to make this kit because i shoot macro a lot and I’ve been disappointed by the macro mini studios i bought mostly because i could not control the light intensity for each bulb and even if I hacked it into a dimmable solution, fluorescent lights do not dimm, so i had to buy special white light tungsten bulb. I was also limited by size of the bulb and the heat it generated. All i wanted is to have positional whitelights that can vary their brightness and small enough so i can use it for macro.

Before I dive in, look at the lead image to see some quick tests I made with the completed setup

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DIY: Leather Dual Camera Harness for $70 | Holdfast Moneymaker style

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I think the Holdfast Moneymaker is pretty awesome. Not just because it’s made of durable materials, but because it’s an elegant solution to the problem of weilding two cameras without looking like a Navy Seal. My jaw did drop when I saw the $200~300 price tag though, since it’s basically TWO BELTS. The portrait sliders are extra, and will set you back another $50… if you want to be able to shoot vertically, that is.

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More Useful DIY Lighting Tips To Try Using Stuff You Already Have At Home

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It’s nice to have access to an entire studio full of fancy lighting, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes we just have to figure it out using a little ingenuity and some DIY skills–and for a lot of us, that’s all part of the fun, especially when it comes to lighting!. The guys over at Film Riot are masters at DIY lighting setups which is  why we always look forward to any new post they do covering the topic. In their latest tutorial, the team covers a heap of lighting tips to either fill in for or compliment an existing lighting setup. Plus, they are insanely simple to make (some of the tips actually don’t require you to make anything).

Film Riot explores ways you can make your ordinary household lighting (read: flat, boring light) and change it into more dramatic and interesting lighting simply by swapping out light bulbs or hitting them with a coat of high temperature paint to change their temperatures. [Read more…]

Holga Goes Digital Thanks To A Raspberry Pi And Pete Taylor’s Awesome DIY ASCII Art Hack

holg120d-frontPete Taylor’s Holga isn’t your ordinary Holga. It isn’t even your ordinary hacked Holga. In fact, you might say that Taylor’s Holga is one of the most unusual modifications you’ve seen done to one of the notoriously hacakble cameras. It started out innocently enough…

Taylor gutted an old, broken Holga to make room inside for a Raspberry Pi, which effectively turned the once medium format film camera into a digital model. To do this, he had to remove not just the guts of the Holga, but also the lens to accommodate the built-in lens on the Raspberry Pi’s computer board. He then added a wireless USB adapter. This allows him to have his 120d automatically upload the photos he takes to his blog. He also added a 49mm adapter on the lens to accept various filters, in addition to a 3.5mm camera trigger socket, a LED indicator which glows in the viewfinder when a photo is being taken, and a rotary switch that allows him to choose between photo, video, or program mode. It’s unarguably a pretty legit hack. [Read more…]

DIY: Use A Camera To Make Water Flow Backwards (With No Software)

Interesting things happen when you combine makering with photography. Take this project by science channel brusspup for example. He has a neat way of making water flow in some weird ways, with the topping on the icecream being making them flow backwards.

So, how does it work?

The first part is tone generator. Brusspup is using a homemade device for that, but you can use an online tone generator. Tones are generated at 24Hz (that is 24 peaks a second). Those tones are fed to a hose via a speaker. Now the hose is generating a waveform, but we can’t see it because it is constantly changing.

The second part is the camera, which runs at 24 frames per second. You can think of a 24 FPS camera as a stroboscopic device that takes 24 images a second and freezes them.

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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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