Keep Your Stuff Together While Snooting

sacky_snoot.jpgA snoot is something you use to constrain the light coming from a flash, you can use it to tight a beam of light, or you can use it to flag light so it will not hit your lens and cause flare.

Scott Campbell came up with this 30 seconds, 2 Dollars snoot that will do just that – snoot your flash. In the process he nuked a catch all sack, but hey! It was worth it. (Kill me if I know how I missed it up till now)

Check out some of the older posts of Scott, he is deep into the realm of DIY.

Some More DIY:
- The Cheapest Ring Light Ever
- The Ghetto Studio
- Painting With Light
- The Best 6 Ways To Create Your Own Bokeh [Read more...]

DIY Lens Support Bracket


The following article is a guest post by Dwight Duckstein.

I purchased a used Nikkor 70-200mm, 2.8f lens – the old style that didn’t have a tripod ring. Not wanting to spend even more money on an aftermarket ring that would interfere with the A ring, I decided to make my own. Granted, the materials cost me some change, but it is designed the way I want it, and it works. Your dimensions may vary, depending on which lens and which camera you mount it to, so I am not providing much dimension detail here.

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DIY: Photography Light Stand Sandbags

If you are mounting your lights indoors you are safe, but what if you are outside in the blowing wind?

This is not the first time that two shooting hobbies meet. Last time I talked about weapons photography cases and rifle camera straps. This time Christian Hedegaard has a great idea to prevent your light stand from blowing in the wind. The materials? Right, from the gunshop. Here is Christian’s story:

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Studio DIY: Disposable Camera Ring Flash

altoids_ring_light Not too long ago, I have posted an article about making a strobe from a disposable camera. I was soon after that I called out to the great community of DIY photographers to make a disposable ringlight from such disposable camera strobes. And why not – they are cheap, available and do not require too much power.

In my mind there were three main challenges in making this project work: 1. Chaining the camera flash units; 2. Triggering the ringflash remotely; and 3. Powering the individual flash units.

Dave Ajax (Divet) from the DIYP Instructables group has risen to the challenge. Dave was also kind enough to allow me to post the full tutorial on this site, keeping the great tradition on DIYP Instructable projects like the Time Lapse Photography project, the Ingenious Camera Stabilizer and the Muslin Backdrop project.

Intro – Disposable Camera Ring Flash

Build a disposable camera ring flash. Disposable cameras are discarded after the film has been removed. Photo labs often have boxes of them under the counter, waiting to be recycled. If you ask nicely, you can often get more than enough to experiment with. Try to get at least six for this project, all of the same type.

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Readers Projects – Strap it on Baby

diy_hand_strap_ben.jpgI have to hand to you, Ever since I started the “Readers Projects” Quest, I’ve been getting a ton of great DIY/Photography ideas and projects. After hitting it with the Thomas Schwenger’s Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit and the Christmas Tree Ring Light comes Ben’s great project that does not have to do with lighting but can defiantly improve you life if you are one of those photographers that use a hand strap but disappointed from what the market has to offer. [Read more...]

DIY Studio – The Square Ring Flash

nicks_ringflash.jpgNick Wheeler the photographer who brought you the DIY Strip Light and the Floor Lit Table Top Studio is playing with card board boxes again.

Answering to strobist’s ringflash call, Nick created a simple softbox ringflash thingy that uses one strobe to create an awesome ring light effect. (If you really like ringlights, take a look at the huge ringlight collection).

If you did not visit Nick’s stream lately, you should definitely head over there. Nick has some new shots from the previous projects (strip light and floor lit studio) with great setup shots. I tell you, sometimes I don’t know whether to stare at the pictures or drool over the setup shots.

Nick has done a great job for this tutorial, packing it is great images to explain every little step. You can see how thinking of every aspect of the construction gives professional results.

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My Mother in Law and the Family of Angles (an Intro)

shooting_painting_foa.jpgSome time ago I wrote about taking art images for my mother in law. Since I don’t have my dream lens yet, I had to compromise on the lens and use the great (but not ideal for this task) Nikon 18-70 lens. (The image to the lest if one of the original paintings)

I got a few mails and comments about the issue of getting closer to the pictures to make the picture fill a wider part of the frame.

Sample Comment (by ‘Anon‘):

Kind of a newb, but why would you have used a zoom lens? And at what
distance/mm? I would think 50-70mm would be ideal, or would getting any
closer affect the “family of angles” thing?

As Norm replied, the main issue of getting further from the image was the Family of Angles constraint. Let me explain:

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The DIY Strip Light

Tina_in_Sunglasses.jpgNick Wheeler is becoming a dangerous guy to leave your boxes by. It looks like whenever a box is around, nick DIYs it into a lighting modifier. This is what I like about Nick, he is never afraid to experiment, be it a mission impossible image or a floor lit lighting setup, Nicks investments in setups pays up big time. I heartedly recommend to check Nick’s flickr stream for more inspiration.

This is also my message to you. Go out and try something new. I bet that four times out of five you, like me, will end up with just another glued box. But the fifth time is the one that makes all the difference. This is the time where you put what you have learned by ruining the other four boxes into use and build a really nice piece of studio equipment and saving money for more lenses.

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Readers Projects – Thomas Schwenger Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit

fastest_lighting_kit.jpgI said it before, and I’ll say it again. The reason why bloggin’ about DIY and Photography makes me a happy person it because I get to tap into a great stream of creativity fro mother great photographers out there.

Take Thomas Schwenger for example. After getting some from the Strobist and DIY community Thomas now gives back one of the lightest and easiest lighting kits for portables strobes. With a single page snoot, a mini GOBO and a filter holder, Thomas wins the DIYP kit of the year award. (Of course, like a being a warded a knighthood, there mostly honor in the title, no dough at all.

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Shooting Paintings for My Mother in Law


I love my mother in law
. I know this is not a popular statement, but it may explain the following tutorial and experience I am about to share with you.

Rss readers, grab the video here.

My mother in law is an artist. She paints pictures, and lovely ones, if you’ll listen to my un-bribed opinion. Last week she asked me to make a video clip from some of her shots so she can share her art. The video is also to be used as a pilot for distributing her catalog in video form.

In the following article I will describe the process of making the promotional DVD, including the setup and lighting, the post processing and the creation of the slideshow. (And of course the “thank you” note I got from my mother in law – priceless).

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