The Easy Tripod to Reflector Holder Conversion

reflector holderThis is another fun project from the factory of reader Jerry Hamby.

It is a reflector holder from a $9.99 tripod, a 3ft long piece of PVC pipe, an elbow to fit, and a small clamp. (The Tripod is 9.99$ on July 26th on Amazon, but I bet similar tripods are always on sale somewhere). Like the previous project from Jerry, the Green Bean Hair Light, it’s a short and fun project, and you don’t have to make it in whole, if you like the idea, you can expand it to things other the tripods…

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The Green Bean Hair Light

hair lightReader Jerry Hamby just sent in this great hair light project. It is made from a cheapo 45 ws ebay flash and – believe it or not – a green-bean super value can (the kind you don’t want to eat too much of at one time). Just before sharing his tutorial with you, allow me to extend two small tips:

1. Empty the bean can before using it.

2. Do not empty it alone. 

Now, to the tutorial. [Read more…]

Reflector Card Cheat Sheet

Reflector Card Cheat SheetMy previous cheat sheet dealt with the impact of light position on portraiture. The idea was that you can print this cheat sheet and carry it around for fast consultation and getting fast results.

My next investigation involved a single flash again (this time shot through a shoot though umbrella) and different uses and positions for a 5 in one reflector.

Again I suggest printing the card so you have a quick look when ever you are not sure of what a certain reflector effect may be.

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Two Great Weekend Projects – Striplight and Softbox

photography softbox and striplightDo you know those weekends when it is just to hot to get out of the home? Well just for those weekends we have a great weekend project. Actually we have two weekend projects.

The first project is a Foamcore softbox. We’ve had those before, even for small flashes. But this one comes complete with build and assembly instructions by Paul Both. To top sugar with cream (or light with diffusion) Paul also made a nice strip light – again complete with plans and chocolate syrup. (The designs were made for the 580EX2 and 430EX Canon flashes, but will fit any flash with minor adjustments).

Paul said the role of inspiring muse for this creation was Nick Wheeler who made the best softbox ever, just a little while ago.

Download the plans for the softbox here and for the striplight here. Read on for assembly instructions (flickr set here).

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Portrait Lighting Cheat Sheet Card

Portrait Lighting Cheat Sheet Setting up lighting for a portrait can be quite a complex task. If you, like me, are using small strobes which have mo modeling light it is hard to predict what will be the outcome of each lighting array.

There are however some basic lighting schemes, kind of a starting ground for new portraits. Of course, once you lay out the initial lighting you can change it, move it around and use modifiers to soften or restrict the light.

Wouldn’t it be nice, though if you have a magic card that will show you what will be the final lighting of almost every lighting scheme? I think it can be pretty darn cool.

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Spiderlite in Action

spiderlight_2435827940.jpgA while back I posted a great lighting project by Alex Campagna called the DIY Spiderlight.

The project successfully aimed at building the Wescott TD5 Lighting fixture (AKA Spiderlite).

Alex even threw in a DIY softbox to complete the design.

If you’ve wondered what’s so good about them spiderlites, Scott Kelby from Photoshop insider shares a great video that has all the good reasons to buy on (or better yet, to build one). See the video on the full article.

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The Roller Aerial Monopod

DIYRoller Aerial Monopod - photography_aerial_monopod_18.jpgThe following tutorial on building an Ariel Monopod is a guest post by Adam Hajnos.

Recently I was carrying around my camera and tripod at a music festival when I got the idea to do an aerial shot. I extended the tripod out all the way and put the camera on a timer. Only problem is, my tripod weighs upwards of 50lbs. So here is a simple solution to make a lightweight, portable monopod for “aerial” photography.

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Studio DIY: Gel Holder for Flash

Flash Gel Holder Craig Colvin (Flickr) came up with a great design for a gel holder on a flash. The design includes an L shaped plexiglass.

Now, if you ever followed the strobist way of mounting gels on your flash, you know the great value those little pieces of colored tape can provide.

You probably also know that it can very annoying to apply the gel strips on the flash or to remove them. Not to mention stacking them together – this becomes a Velcro hell.

The nice design by Craig solves this problem by providing a Velcro free gel chassis. Sometimes you need nothing more than some bended plexiglass. See Craig’s full design and instructions here.

If you can not bend plexiglass yourself you may want to consider using an Acrylic stand. I could only find big ones but I know that there is a smaller version from my local coffee bar.

This got me thinking on alternatives to gel holders and the thing that popped to mind was name tag pockets. Those are pretty cheap and once you place on over your flash, you can freely insert and remove colorful gels.

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More Gels:
Homemade Gridspot
Painting With Light
The Optimizer
The DIY Speed Strap – Accessories And Samples [Read more…]