A Cheapo Minty Ringlight Strobe – Call to Arms

altoids_ring_lightSo, let’s see what we had here in the last month: we had a cool way of using a disposable camera and an Altoids box to make a small flash.

We also had a cool way to create a ring light (no wait actually we had two cool ways of doing that).

So, of course the question comes, what next?

In my mind the next step of evolution should be combining the two to create the first ever 25 Dollars professional ring flash.

With disposable cameras with flash costing as low as 3.50, it is simply a crime not to build such studio lighting device. [Read more...]

Photo Studio Compression Pole

usefulguy from DIYPhotography’s Instructables group has posted a pretty neat Instructable explaining how to make a photo studio compression pole. It kinda reminds me of the hardware store light-backdrop stand, but it is even easier to use.

The good news is the cost: all the parts cost 9.43 at Home Depot. Real cheap for an all purpose studio stand.

To make a good thing better, he even has a video showing how one can use the pole in a studio:

[Read more...]

Printing The Flash Mounted homemade DIY Softbox

Studio Lighting - Flash Mounted homemade DIY SoftboxI got lots of comments and question asking how to print the flash mounted homemade diy softbox. Some readers have had trouble printing the diagram on multiple pages.

One of DIYPhotography.net readers was kind enough to help me figure out why it was not printing on some computers. Are you having the same troubles? Do not despair.

It appears that the driver for the mdi format I was using to span the print over several pages is not installed by default when you install office. Look at this Microsoft article to learn how to install the driver for this file. [Read more...]

Altoids To The Rescue – The Minty Strobe

altoidsThere is some great stuff going on at DIYPhotography.net instructables group. This fantastic group is a true demonstration of the DIY spirit that is behind this site. I have talked before on the subject of creating your own flash. In that article Avner Richard explained how to utilize xenon tubes to create some real Watts/Second power flashes. It is a great piece for the ones that are electrically capable.

If you are not an electrician and fear the high voltage involved, Martin (AKA PKM) has posted an Instructable just for you. [Read more...]

Shooting Heavy Bikes with a DIY Strip Light

 

strip_light_bmw.jpgReader Peter Boden a great photographer in general and a Bike photographer in particular have a neat way to creatively light his subjects – among them a BMW K1200 RS. Without a doubt a subject that needs respectful handling. Not an easy subject to light – highly reflective curved surfaces, combined with black-matte-light-absorbing surfaces. Not an easy task. But wait, there is more. Since we are talking Heavy Bike here, just lighting will not make the cut. Once you have achieved acceptable lighting, you want to make sure you convey the right emotion. [Read more...]

Studio Lighting – Snooted Flood Light

diy_snooted_lightReader Michael Lim (zac08) came up with a cool snooted flood light. It combines the concept of a home made snoot with a clamp. The design is similar to a mixup of both, but uses a florescent light instead of a flash.

The bonus here that there is almost no assembly/DIY-ing required; it comes ready from the shop. As for hacking the right materials, the snoot used is a Lay’s Potato Chips pack. (Empty of course, lighting is tasty). Here is what Zac has to say; [Read more...]

Studio Lighting – Great Way To Build a Ringlight

ringlight_on_tripodReader Bankara has followed up on the cheap ringlight article with another very affordable ringlight. Not as cheap as the one you can get from your LCD, but still way cheaper then the ones you get in stores. He has posted an instructable on how to build one of those monsters babies.

One of the cool features about this particular ring light is that it is collapsible. Yap! It folds in half. Simple math brings me to the conclusion that I’ll only have to defend its existence in my home half of the time. (The other spare half will go toward explaining the wife where her living room went). [Read more...]

Studio Lighting – The Cheapest Ring Light Ever

cheapest_ring_lightReader B.Stevens has a cool idea for the cheapest most versatile ring light ever (now we have shown some ringlights before, but not that easy to make). The image on the left is using this ringlight (best viewed large). The idea is quite simple: Take a huge apple monitor. If you can get your hands on a 24 incher, you are on the right track. Tape some patterned paper on the monitor. Bring your 1.8 or 2.8 lens and your 1600ISO low noise camera and you are good to go. HEYTHEREWAITAMINUTE you said cheap. So, let me go through this method step by step and see where you can reduce your costs. [Read more...]

Studio Lighting – Lighting Diagrams, Planning and Explaining

lighting_diagram Sometimes you want to make a diagram of your photo session. (OK, sometimes you don’t, but sometimes you do). I, for example, am going to use studio lighting diagrams for explaining about low key and high key studio setups. If you are like me, with two left hands in all that related to sketching, you are in a tight spot. When I draw (just like when I write), only one person in the world can understand what I wrote. Sadly, I have not met him yet.

So the solution to my situation is to use lighting diagrams “out of the box” with no handwriting involved what so ever. Ahhhhh…. sounds like heaven, right?

Great, how do you get one? Both Rui and Strobist have pointed out two great sources for creating lighting diagrams. One requires Photoshop and the other one is online. I’m going to show both. [Read more...]

Lighting – High Key and Low Key

high-key-low-keyAfter discussing contrast at a very top level view, I would like to introduce two twins, closely related to contrast – High Key and Low Key.

Both High Key images and Low Key images make an intensive use of contrast, but in a very different way. When approaching a shoot of a dramatic portrait, the decision of making it a High Key, Low Key or “just” a regular image has great impact about the mood that this picture will convey. While High Key images are considered happy and will show your subject as a tooth-paste poster; Low Key portraits are dramatic and convey a lot of atmosphere and tension. Let’s explore those two dramatic lighting alternatives. [Read more...]