Creating A Children Photography Studio On A Budget

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Let’s face it: the thought of taking an existing space and converting it into a studio can be daunting to say the least! As a newborn photographer, a studio is an absolute necessity. But creating the studio without spending a fortune (I’m talking gagillions of dollars here…gagillions) led me on a path that had very little instruction, so I had to blaze my own trail, getting creative along the way!

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How To Build A 22 Gallon High Speed Photography Studio

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High speed photography has a tendency to be messy (broken glass, water and other flying debris) and potentially dangerous (guns, and that flying debris again). However it’s the need for darkness which can prove to be the biggest problem. Having built a high-speed laser trigger, I needed a way of actually using it to take some photos. This presented me with a puzzle, as I work in an open plan office and have small children at home. Neither lend themselves to blacked-out rooms, flying shards of glass and small arms. The solution I came up with manages to solve all of these problems and more, and is I think worth trying even by those who are lucky enough to have access to real studios.

My inspiration was the film changing bag, which is simply a light-proof bag with elasticated holes for arms. This is great for times when you need complete darkness but don’t have a darkroom, such as when you’re loading a film into a developing tank. Clearly a bag would be no use here, but perhaps a box would do. I looked at the large, black recycling boxes that we have around here and thought they may be on the right track. A quick search on Amazon for the largest black plastic box I could find turned up this 84 litre (22 gallon) beauty, complete with lid for £21 ($37). It sits comfortably on my desk, and is easily stored underneath it.

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See How To Stabilize Your DJI Phantom Footage With A $10 Rig

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Shooting aerial footage with a DJI Phantom and a GoPro can be an awesome thing, but while the system takes care of getting the camera in the air and actually capturing some video, it has an inherent flaw which creates a Jello Effect if the rotor vibrates too much.

And indeed both the net (and the stores) are filled with tips and advice on reducing this Jello Effect. If you want a deeper understanding on where this effects comes in the first place, take a look at our rolling shutter intro. Anyways, it’s there.

The secret for reducing the jello effect is to disconnect the vibration coming from the DJI rotors from the camera. And this is exactly what the team at Human Resources did.

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Tutorial: How To Create Film Sets From Scratch

If you are just starting out your film making career, you must have notice the issue of locations by now. The big players get to pick a location and rent it, or to rebuild it in a studio. If you only have limited budget, your second best option may be to build a set.

While a lot of times a set may look like the real thing, it is basically a collection of stand-up pieces of wood. A collection of flats standing next to each other to builds a corner of a room or (as the video demonstrates) an elevator. They are also the same panels used in theater. A fancy wall on one side, simple looking construction on the other – movie magic.

Flats are pretty much standardized and usually come in 8′x4′ which, I guess, takes the least amount of cutting to make.

Matt Brown takes you through the process of building a flat, and balancing it so it can freely stand. Now, of course once you’ve built a flat you still need to dress it up to make it look like the set you want, but this is another topic completely.

[Let’s Build Some Flats! | Matt Brown via filmmakeriq]

The Pinolga – A Beautiful DIY Cardboard Holga-Style Pinhole Camera

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It’s been a long while since we posted any decent pinhole cameras, so I was truly happy to receive this one – The Pinolga – A Beautiful DIY Cardboard Holga-Style Pinhole Camera. Completely made out of cardboard.

The camera made by Ray Panduro is completely made out of cardboard to resemble (one to one) the old plastic medium format Holga. As such it also accepts rolls of medium film. (It shoots 12 6×6 photos on a roll). For the pinhole fanatics, the camera has an f-stop of about F/177 – F/180 and focal length of about 55mm.

Here are some photos of more photos of the camera, followed by photos taken with the camera (slightly blurred from movement)

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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...]