Cold Halogen Lights

DIY Halogen to CFL conversionWhen I just started exploring artificial lighting, I had no strobes. I had no light stands and had no nothing. Yea, when I was your age, we use to walk barefoot to school. In January. When it snowed. *cough* *cough* sorry. Something just took over me. 

Anyway, when I just started lighting, I looked for the cheapest light that I can afford. Halogen seemed like a good choice. It was cheap and it could be plugged in even cheap light stands. With some baking paper, it ever provided some diffused light. [Image by fangleman].

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Child Proofing A Lightstand

Child Proofing A LightstandKindergarten teachers are gods. No really. Gods, I tell you.

I just had a really wacky weekend, where I volunteered to shoot thirty something little hurricanes kids at my daughter’s Kindergarten. 

They had a huge custom party and wanted some portraits to remember. As the teacher knows I carry a camera on occasion, she asked. How did I byte into this one could I say no? I’ll post a complete on assignment on this soon. In the meantime, here is a little tip:  How to Child Proof A Lightstand.

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What, Me Film Noir?

Film Noir setupFirst a confession, I really like Flash Frog. FF is a blog with a nifty idea – create great images, post the entire shooting process, help others get inspired. Just before zetson AKA Joakim Tangstad goes into the details of his Film Noir setup, a few words about Flash Frog.

I find FF to be a great companion to strobist readers. Allot of the theory and ideas that David shares on strobist get to life with a creativity twist on Flash Frogs. I really get myself lost whenever I visit FF, finding ideas, techniques and inspiration. This is why I got really exited when zetson (Flickr stream) – the person behind the blog – agreed to do a guest post here on DIYP. Read on for Film Noir setup details.

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The Mother Of All Light Tents

The Mother Of All Light TentsLight tent, or Light box is a piece of lighting gear used mostly for product shots. It creates a nice, smooth, safe light with almost no hot spots. 

We’ve posted a tutorial for a really simple light box before. This light box was made of a simple cardboard box and was super easy to construct and really dispensable.

Reader Randi Scott constructed a PVC light box skeleton that is both sturdy and, not  dispensable, but can be stowed away so your significant other will not complain. Read all about it and learn how to make one yourself on this link.

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The Light Stand Backdrop Holder Just Got Better

Double Your Light Stand As A Portable Backdrop Mount SystemOne of the simplest mods that were featured in DIYP is the lightstand to backdrop holder mod.

It is fast to make, has some PVC in it – PVC ROCKS – and it is a can be a cheap and easy alternative for on location instant backdrop.

Martin Kimeldorf (Flickr) who is the master mind behind this simple-yet-genius contraption has been busy. Taking in the great reader comments on the original post, Martin has improved his original design. I was really happy when I got the note in the mail asking to share the new generation of the Light Stand Backdrop Holder.

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Readers Projects – The Midas Umbrella Touch

Readers Projects - The Midas Umbrella Touch

Remember the story about that king from ancient Greek called Midas? Midas was a greedy, greedy king that loved gold more then life itself.

In fact Midas loved gold so much that he prayed the gods to grant him a golden touch. His wish was granted, and now, everything the king touched turned into gold. 

This was quite a party trick with the wooden cup, table cloth and the chicken and apples. Wait a minute, chicken and apples? Yes. Midas could not eat. With his fear of starving to death he prayed the gods again to take his gift away. His new wish was granted. Moral at the and of the post.

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Kimel’s Pop Up Flash Soft Box Diffuser

Kimel’s Pop Up Flash Soft Box DiffuserHere is another great one from Martin Kimeldorf, converting a LumiQuest popup diffuser into a softbox thingy. This will work great to add some direct flash fill in. Now, I am not saying that you should run and buy one of those just to mod it, you can start with silk and some black Bristol and get the same place.

I liked the LumiQuest Diffuser for Pop Up flashes except that the diffuser panel hung rather limply on my camera and thus produced an unreliable surface shape. Also, I wondered about the light escaping the sides. Then I thought, I could add sides and create a miniature soft box, especially if the inside had a silvered lining.
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Kevin Kertz’s Excellent Lighting Diagrams Tool Goes Online

Lighting Diagram CreatorDon’t we all love to make Lighting diagrams? They help us explain our lighting setups. They can also help us design a setup in advance.

UPDATE 3: The The Lighting Diagram Creator now supports export to jpeg. Man, Huy has really done great work with this one, It even allows adding sound gear.

UPDATE2: Lets try and make the online diagram creator complete. read on for making a stamp on the history of online lighting diagrams tools.

UPDATE1: Due to licensing issues the tool has been revised to use Don Gianatti PSD file – It is still a great way to create lighting diagrams online.

In the past I have written about a great PSD file created by Kevin Kertz. This PSD file allows you to describe (almost) any lighting setup you create. I have used this excellent method myself in Shooting The Team series.

There are other lighting diagrams creating tools out there, but none was as complete as Kevin’s. The only drawback to the PSD file is that you had to install Photoshop or The GIMP to use the file (yap, PSD is Adobe’s Photoshop native format).

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The Strobist Corner – Extending Your TTL Flash Cord

TTL Cable Extender
When I first got this hack in the mail I immediately thought, hey this looks like something Strobist would do. After all he did it with a PC-Sync cord. This great mod from Mario Giambanco takes it one step further. Instead of using a PC-Sync and a home power cable, Mario used a TTL cable with a network cable. Simple? Kinda. Genius? Surly.

One of the things I really like about it is the extended rage you get, up to 50 feet. Maybe more. Radio Poppers, right behind you :)

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