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.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the next article – Register to the RSS feed or the newsletter.

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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Studio Photography – The Best Softbox Ever

studio_photography_best_softbox_ever.jpgIf you did not meet Nick Wheeler (Flickr Stream – a must) until now, you are in for a treat. Nick is what I call a Lean Mean Studio DIY Machine. Unlike the softbox for a hot shoe flash and the softbox made from a well…. a box, this softbox design by Nick is as close to a real life studio softbox design as a softbox can be. As always, Nick has done great job of documenting his work so all the DIYP community can benefit. Making this studio grade softbox takes some time and effort, but well worth the investment.

While this project is great, Nick calls it a prototype and plans on a follow up. Keep tuned to Nick’s Flickr stream – you’ll soon realize that you came for the DIY projects but stayed for the great photography. It all Nick from here on.

This is a DIY project I have had in mind for a while now. When I purchased my studio flash heads, they came with a couple of small softboxes. Although I prefer to use translucent umbrellas whenever I can (small, light, easy to transport), there are times when a softbox is a better solution. While I could use the studio head softboxes in some circumstances with my small strobes, there was no way of effectively holding the flash in place without a lot of jerry rigging. To this end, I wanted to design a softbox that would be light, reasonably strong and durable, adaptable (double diffuser, grid attachment, barn doors etc.) at a later date and have a quick and easy way to mount the flash.

While I achieved most of these goals, the finished softbox was a bit heavier than I would have liked and as is usually the case with these projects I figured out a number of modifications I would like to incorporate into my next attempt after it was finished. For now, I think I will label this as a ‘prototype’ and hopefully come up with something better for the mark II version.

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Shooting Balloons – DIYing High Speed Photography

shooting_balloons.jpgIt looks like this weekend is going to be weekend at the movies for all photography lovers. So sit back, and enjoy. Now, the trick is get up once the show is over and try some of the things yourself.

After two brilliant videos from Jim Talkington dealing with studio lighting on a budget, comes something completely different.

Photographer and DIYer Guy Montag came up with a nice and easy I-have-no-idea-about-electronics way to make high speed photography shots.

More chat and the video tutorial after the jump.

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Sticks, Stones, Concrete and Killer Lighting

As a child, I’m sure you’ve heard the following phrase: “Stick and stones will break my bones but names will never heart me“?

Jim Talkington over at ProPhotoLife has got another take on this childhood proverb. Something like “Sticks and stones will create killer lighting, but money is not needed“.

Jim was kind enough to get this photo studio video composed where he shows us how to take the sticks and stones (or rather sticks and concrete) to the extreme, building a studio from cheap continuous lighting, some framed diffusion papers and lots of sticks.

RSS readers – grab this video here.

The other half of this vid comes right after the jump – yep it is a double feature.

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