IKEA Hack – A $5.99 Foldable Laptop and Monitor Hood



When shooting in the great outdoors sun hitting your laptop or monitor can become a serious thing and actually keep you from actually seeing the screen. This is why Laptop visors (or monitor hoods) were invented. Think a black box with an opening on one side to allow screen viewing and keyboard access. They are usually not that expensive going from $20 for a basic kit, to $85 for a nice one, to as high as $250 for an Optimus Prime grade hood with a tripod mount and pouches.

But, you can also go the IKEA hack way and have a pretty killer foldable shade for $5.99. Photographer Paul Adshead  (site | Instagram) sent us this awesome tip:

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Creating Realistic Looking Clouds With A Fog Machine And Water

A few years back, we shared this tutorial on how to make some DIY clouds to use as props in your photos. It’s still a great tutorial, and certainly a much longer lasting way to make clouds than the method we’re about to show you, so remember to check it out when we’re done over here. But, first, discover the work of Berndnaut Smilde, a dutch artist who has truly perfected the science of DIY cloud making.

As the image above suggests, Smilde’s clouds are quite realistic and are made using a fog machine, water, and ingenuity. You’ve probably figured out by now these clouds are also very temporary, often only lingering just long enough to make a photo before they drift away. [Read more…]

Build this DIY ‘Itsy Bitsy Camera Slider’ for Free!


UPDATE: We’ve been approached by Igus and, as always, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news – please don’t send additional requests for free samples. As you may imagine, these are meant for potential buyers in industrial markets and shipping samples out for us to build sliders is simply not a sustainable business for them. The good news – the kind people at Igus are working on a plan to fulfill the requests that have already been made.

For more info dedicated Igus gear, check out this review of the Igus slider.

Many sliders on the market are made of the Igus DryLin system and thanks to the free samples available from the company, you can build a 10-inch slider for free (or dirt cheap).

The slider might be small, but it’s long enough to add a short sliding motion to your videos. Plus, you will have a hard time finding anything remotely close to the quality of this slider at the same price point.

Hurry, this option might be time-limited!

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A Slick DIY Self Contained photobooth


Photographer John Nakatsu  of K+J Studios operates a photobooth on events. On of the challenges with these kinds of botoh is to make them portable, and easy to set up. John came up with quite a clever solution to make the entire botoh self contained and easy to port without losing quality and fun.

The pictorial below goes through all the steps, so you cna get inspired on creating your own. Here is how he did it:

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How To Build A Swiss Army Knife Style Slide / Memory Cards Holder


If you use the Light Blaster Projection system, there is a good chance you’ve amassed quite a bit of slides. I’ve seen people hack a Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket by removing the middle stitches that separate each compartment, but why settle for fabric when you can print a nifty Swiss army knife style.

This file from thingiverse is made to hold several slides in a sweet-looking wallet that kinda resembles a Swiss-army knife.

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DIY High Speed Splash Photography

We’ve shared several interesting DIY projects that revolve around an Arduino, they’re pretty nifty little boards if you have the know how or the willingness to learn. It seems like the photography tinkerers out there are coming up with some new use for them on a pretty regular basis. Take this video from Thomas Burg, Johannes Gottwald, and MAKE, for example. Using an Arduino UNO, the team has devised a way to build a high speed photography set-up, that takes the guess work out of capturing splashes of various sorts.

If you’ve been attempting this the hard way (dropping an object in the water and hoping your timing is right when you press the shutter release on your camera), you know how frustrating it can be. This setup will allow you to capture the moment repeatedly, with little effort. (And don’t be scared off by having to program an Arduino–you can download the simple program for free from Thomas Burg.)

Here’s the video:

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Budget Friendly And Super Easy DIY Bank Light Alternative

Not everyone can afford a pair of KinoFlo’s, or perhaps can’t justify dropping several thousand dollars on lighting for a simple side project. This is where this incredibly uncomplicated, incredibly quick DIY light project comes into play. It’s so simple, the only thing that requires tools is attaching the mounting brackets to the light fixture, which, it turns out, is as easy as it sounds. Plus, the entire setup will cost you about $71 a light including the bulbs.

Now, as you’re watching the video, keep in mind that this DIY project has the hobbysist in mind, as a professional shooter working on a large production may not want to show up to set with a DIY light setup–though the creator of the video, Basic Filmmaker, says he has (once) just to prove they’d work.

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This Crazy Rig Is Perfect For Shooting Airplanes


Photographer Jim Winters is shooting lots of aviation. As the way of Aviation photography, the camera/lens combo can be quite a heavy lift, and not easy to ballance. Some photographers use a lens collar or dual camera/lens bracket as a mounting point on a tripod, and while this setup is good for stabilizing the camera, is anything but portable.

Jim Winters came up with the perfect (pink solution) he built a triple axis rig which mounts both the camera, heavy/long lenses and a plethora of other goodies. He named it the TRIAXEZ.

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Shooting A Timelapse With A D4 And A 300 Microns PCB Pinhole

Sometimes taking a good pinhole timelapse just means going over the top with the gear used both for the actual shooting and creating the (pin)hole. Such was the case for Alexy Frangieh who used a Nikon D4 to record a pinhole timelapse.

Alexy also used state of the art PCB milling machine to create a 0.3mm (or 300 microns) wide hole.

To use the hole, Alexy “denikonized” a cheap body cap, creating a groove and a hole for the a CNCed and drilled PCB to go in.

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How To Build A DIY HD Video Monitor


While can buy wireless HD monitors on the market, but even the cheaper kits are not very cheap. This is why I turned to making my own DIY wireless HD field monitor.

I’m going to use the device both as a standalone, wired unit (via the hdmi-cable) when shooting video so I get all the benefit from the resolution. I’m also going to use the wireless link when I’m doing aerial and flash photography.

The idea was to find an affordable 7″ monitor with a high resolution (1280×800) and with an in-built battery. I also planned to include a video link, that I had purchased earlier, to this project so the monitor box should also have enough space for a receiver. I wanted to use a higher end IPS monitor for better view angles and use in the sun.

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