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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The Best DIY Project Of Them All – Your Project

diy_project_01.jpgPart of the fun of being a DIY Photography blogger is being tapped to the great stream of ideas and creativity that flows from the photographer’s community. Every now and then I get a mail that makes my day, pointing me to an awesome/ fun/ unbelievable/ getoutofhere project. I also keep regular watch on the DIYP flickr pool to be amazed over and over with DIY projects and creative photographs of readers.

This series of articles which I call “DIYP Readers Projects” is my way to give some loving back to the community and to DIYP readers and expose some of the coolest photography projects around – your projects. The first runner up is the…

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The DIY Gorilla Pod

diy_gorilla_pod.jpgWhat do you get when you cross a Nine Cents Tripod with a Pocket Foldable Tripod? A DIY Gorilla Pod.

Reader Alan Muller came up with a great way to combine the two tripods into a new even-better-then-each-of-the-originals tripod, which is very similar to the well known Gorilla Pod.

On his example Alan uses a bottle flash holder, but this Gorilla pod will firmly hold a medium sized point and shoot.

Alan used number 10 wired to make the legs: twisted and then folded and twisted again. This gives the Tripod a firm set of legs.

The wired can then be wrapped with shrink-wrap (fancy) or electrical tape (Ghetto).

At the base of the bottle, Alan used an eye bolt instead of a cap nut (or machine screw) to allow the attachment of a safety line or bungee etc.

Another bolt of ingenuity (pan intended :) was to use washers to separate the tripod’s legs. Those give it stability and make some order in that messy area.

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Seven Stores for The DIY Photographer

supplies.jpgAbout two weeks ago, I asked DIYP readers where are you getting their daily DIY supplies fix. I did this because some of the projects like the flash diffuser and the DIY backdrop had supplies that were not trivial to come across. Image by Alistair Craven

Happily for everyone US residents, it turns out you can get most of the stuff in the store next door or from the web (or in most cases, both). European DIY photography hackers will find it a bit more difficult. (The good news is that LightingMods has a great Euro Strobist list).

No doubt the big two winners were Lowes and Home Depot. It makes perfect sense that DIY lovers will feel right at home at a hardware/DIY store.

Read on for the rest of the list.

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When Color Temperature Does Not Need To Be Precise – Beaker!

colored_tumblers.jpgBoth the Strobist and Rui talk about the virtues of using gels on strobes to create atmosphere in a shot. Either cold blue or hot read. Uber photographer David Tejada uses gels on a regular basis to spice up his shots.

Reader Tony Bell has an interesting idea on color correction gels. Even though they are cheap and available, you can still beat the price, if you are going for Lomo style and Lomo level color accuracy.

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