Even Better Softbox Part One – The Build Process

Softbox Article Part One - The Build ProcessAnybody who’s read this blog for a while knows that I am a big fan of Nick Wheeler. Not only he creates great imagery and photographs, but he also shares his setups, and creative process. If you did not visit his stream so far, you are in for a treat.

Last time Nick guest posted on DIYP, he showed how with a little time, two good hands and ingenuity you can create a professional grade softbox. But Nick was not happy and promised to return with a better design. And Nick is the kind of guy that keeps his word. Read on to see how Nick created an even better softbox (who would have thought this is possible) with interchanging lining and a truly genius flash holder.

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PRESSlite – The Two Way SpeedLite

presslite_00.jpgOk, this is something I have not seen before. With the big war on who has the bigger better accessorizeable speedlite diffuser there has been a ruling paradigm – bounce your flash to get softer results.

This has been the case with Stofen line of products (see the DIY versions: 1, 2) as well as with the Gary Fong diffusers family (DIYed this as well, though results are just OK with the DIY version).

If you are a Strobist fan, you are going to love this. Presslite just came up are about to release a new concept for flash modifications – Vertex.

They do not try to diffuse the flash, nor bounce it from the ceiling. Instead they try to break the flash power into two halves. This is done using two mirrors, each to control half of the flash output.

Now think of the options – you can bounce half of the flash from the ceiling or from the wall while you direct the other half to your subject. You can control the spread of light. And you can direct your flash anywhere you want to. Nice.

I guess that one question that has to be asked is how sturdy is the Vertex. By aiming it towards a press audience I would think that it needs to be strong to take the abuse pros give their speedlites.

Check out the 3D demo – it is hypnotizing.

- Vertex home
- Early orders

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Readers Projects – The DIY Magic Arm

diy magic armJake O’Connell has come up with a great Idea to create a Magic Arm. What is a magic arm you ask? (You can have a look at the Bogen Magic Arm or read on). – Yes it is time for another Reader Project.

A magic arm is a photography magical instrument much like a tripod, but with two major differences:

The first difference is that (unlike a tripod) the non camera side of the Magic Arm is equipped with a stud (or a stud socket) which allows you to mount it on virtually anything. (Well the spiderpod also does this, but I wouldn’t place my Nikon D2x on a spiderpod).

Alternatively, you can use the magic arm to mount a lighting device like a flash or a flag.

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The DIY Speed Strap – Accessories And Samples

photography_speed_strap_2465826296.jpgIn the previous post I demonstrated my lack of patience by constructing a Honl Speed Strap, while waiting for my Amazon Honl speed strap to arrive.

In this post, I’ll show the accessories I built, and explain their various effects on a picture taken.

All my DIY accessories have real commercial products made by David Honl. While the lighting result is usually similar, I must say that Honl products look way more professional. (In fact they look professional enough that I bought some of them, even when I knew I can make them myself).

But, just before I go into the details of constructing and demonstrating the different accessories, I would like to highlight some of the comments on the original post, dealing with different materials that can be used to construct a better model of the speed strap. [Read more...]

Speed Links for 05-09-2008

speedlinksToday’s speedlinks comes a little bit before the usual monthly time for the speed links. The reasons for this is that there are several links that I wanted to share and that will have less relevance if they were not published today. Specifically, I am talking about the monthly TimeShoot project which will expire today.

I tried to get a little bit of everything on today’s post and cover studio, digital workflow, photography fun and heavier articles discussing copyright issues. Enjoy the mix.

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Related Links:
- Speed Links for 4-20-2008
- Speed Links for 2-23-2008
- Speed Links for 12-20-2007
- Speed Links for 12-11-2007
- Speed Links for 11-20-2007

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DIY Photography Lighting – The DIY Speed Strap

photography_speed_strap_2465826296.jpgI really wanted a speed strap. Ever since the restrictive light post over at Strobist, I wished for one of those magical straps. If you are not familiar with them look at David Honl’s site, it is filled with goodies.

“Why do you need one”, you ask? Because they are A – Really good at blocking light. B – Small and can get in my small bag when I go out for a shoot and C – They are just too cool that I could not effort not having one.

I even designed a new one. (Not so good, more on that in a few lines).

Then I decided that I am going to get one from Amazon. Since I (like my eight months son) can not delay satisfaction, must take photos to live, I made a new one that really works (and inspired by the Thomas Schwenger Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit). [Read more...]

Readers Projects – DIY Spider Light by Alex Campagna

spiderlight_2435827940.jpgThe Readers Project column is one of my favorite columns in the DIYP. It is a column that brings you DIYP readers to front page and let you share your experience with the rest of DIYP community. (See the bottom of this post for more projects).

There are actually a few ways to get featured in the Readers Projects column: you can post the setup and explanation to the Flickr Image Pool or Discussion threads; you can drop me a note, or you can give me a call (ok, no one has actually done this yet, but I am open…)

Spiderlights are a great source of light. Basically a Spiderlight is a mount with five sockets with which you can do whatever lighting you want: fluorescent or PL bulbs, hot lights or bulb-strobes (Jim from ProPhotoLife has a great comparison of your options here). The only rebuke is the price: if you want to get your hand on one of those, be prepared to bye-bye a few hundreds of dollars. [Read more...]

Studio Lighting – Cactus Slave Flash Cable Hack

Nikon sb800As you may know, I am a great fan of off camera flash

I’ve owned a Nikon SB-28 since my analog days and added a Nikon SB800 when going digital. Advised by Strobist, I added a third flash – a Nikon SB26.

To get all those flashes going off camera, I bought some cheapo Cactus (AKA Gadget Infinity) flash radio triggers – those can be found at eBay for just a few dollars. I initially bought two receivers and when I added the Nikon SB26 to my collection, I bought the third one.

I really like those cheapo triggers and up until now they were lots of fun (see this shot, I just can’t miss a shot at showing my son off). Of course, if you need high reliability, you should consider the big brother: Pocket Wizards.

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Readers Projects – The CD Spindle Ringflash

photography_ring_flash_b2541835a3.jpgDIYP reader Chaval Brasil came up with an ingenious way to create a ring flash. By routing the light from a hot shoe flash to a CD spindle, Chaval was able to surround his lens with light. Chaval joins a long tradition of readers projects that we had here on DIYP (see The Food Saver Omnibounce, Thomas Schwenger Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit, and The Christmas Tree Ring Light for more readers projects).

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