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.

[Read more…]

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).

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

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

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

Even Better Softbox Part Two – The Test Results

Softbox Article Part One - The Build ProcessNick rocks again with a follow up on the Better Softbox – a comparison of softbox lining materials.

One of the questions asked in the comments when I built my first large softbox was “would a matte white finish on the interior give a more efficient output?” I had to admit, it had never crossed my mind to use anything other than aluminium foil as the lining material as I had just assumed this would be very efficient. After doing a bit of research on the internet I found a table with the following values listed for the reflective efficiency of various materials and finishes: [Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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

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

[Read more…]