3 Lights Studio for Under $100

3light_setup.jpgOne of the nice things I like about DIYP is the community that is starting to build around it. After everyone has done a round of introduction, and got to know the general audience of this blog, I must admit that I still get a kick from photographers sending a note or sharing a technique via the mail, or on the flickr group.

The setup below is a twist on the 3 lights basic setup I got on the mail from Adam Hand. It is a great setup for starters, and HEY! it is under 100$. Adam, the floor is yours:

Any one who has worked in photography for a while knows that lighting is more important than the subject, lens and camera (look at Edward Weston’s work). However, if you research studio lighting you will find that it can cost as much or more than your lens and camera.

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What Can You do With Six Speedlights and a Coffee Can

sb-ring-flash.jpgI should have seen this one coming. What can you do if you have a ton of SBs and a bit of duct tape? A multi-super-sb-ring-light.

The idea is very simple – take 6 super-duper Nikon SBs and mount them on a cut coffee can. You can use duct tape to hold them on.

Connect 3 pocket wizards with splitters to the flashes and fire away.

No doubt that Joshua Targownik (check out his cool site) has a great idea, here are some of my thoughts on this great ring flash.

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A Little Somthing For The Road

something_for_the_roadCommuting sucks!! Any objections? No? OK. Let’s see how we can make commuting rock.

The time it gets me to go to work varies. If I snooze three times and then turn the buzzer off spend some quality-coffee-time on the morning with my wife, I am bound to hit the traffic time. That means that taking my daughter to kinder garden takes 20 minutes by car (5 minutes if I jump start on the first sound of the alarm clock). Wait it gets better. Going from there to work will now take some 45-50 minutes (15-17 minutes, if I was an early bird and prepared my clothing on the previous night).

For a long while I used to hear a hilarious morning show (fun) or the news (boring crap). Why am I telling you this? Because I’ve hit the jackpot as far as turning my commuting time to something great.

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The Party Bouncer is Back in Business (Card)

party_bouncerYet another small internal flash bouncer. I really like this one since it is the fastest one to make yet. I’ll estimate about 15 seconds.

If you are a big executive and have your own business card, you can cut the time it takes you to get a business card and you are at 5 seconds. The results are not professional and there is some light lost, but when all else fails, it is a neat trick to have up your sleeve. It will defiantly work for Canon internal flashes. Other brands – you might need to adjust a bit.

I got this trick in the mail from Marko Helenius. He holds a nice gallery at markohelenius.fi. Pleae go over there and have a looksy. Judging by the (small number of) studio shots, this guy knows what he is doing. Now I give the floor to Marko.

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Turn Them Christmas Ornemants to a 360 Fisheye Lens

xmas_ball.jpgChristmas it coming. It is a wonderful opportunity to get them shiny tree ornaments out of the storage and decorate your tree.

Have you given any thought to the day after Christmas? Under the tree there are tons of presents, everyone is opening the presents. Let me add a DIYP present to the heap. (Click the image to see a larger view)

Reader Simon*B has a great use for the tree ornaments for the day after the sock is empty.

This is a fun and fast project, at the end of which, you’ll be able to take 360 images with your digital camera. (There is a “slight” fish eye effect that will make Rudolf’s nose like a button compared to yours but that’s part of the fun).

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Getting Fired by My Daughter – a Homage to X Man

fired_03.jpgLast night I got fired by my daughter. I kid you not. She firmly stood on her two tiny legs wearing an executive outfit and gave me the hard news. My Daughter is almost 3.

Not long ago David X. Tejada (blog, site) posted a video showing his setup for a firm executive shot. You can watch the video at the end of this post. One thing that I believe pushes me forward as a photographer is learning the techniques of great photographers like David X. Tejada, and then apply them on creative ideas that I have. Note that for this learning technique to work, you can not copycat an image (there is another technique of trying to reproduce an image to learn the lighting, but that is another story).

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DIY Wax-Fen Flash Diffuser – Yet Another Bouncy Thingy

wax-fen.jpgThis guest post by Rick S. (aka therickman), Pittsburgh, PA. features a stofen like device for no money at all. (OK, 2 cents, if you get really pecky). It’s foldable and it’s cheap and it’ll give you a bare bulb type of lighting. To learn more about bare-bulb lighting visit the strobist.

Here is a quick and easy way to make a “professional” flash diffuser without shelling out twenty or so dollars at your local camera shop. In fact, the cost of this homemade pearl is… well, nothing! Just your time making it, which should take less than ten minutes. Ready to start taking better images with softer lighting? Let’s go! [Read more…]

Just Fab’s Turkey Pan Beauty Dish

just_fab_beauty_dish_00Beauty Dish for the Mechanically challenged a guest post by Just Fab

I had the honor of being photographed by one of my mentors, Don Giannatti (Wizwow on flickr) the other day after attending one of his fantastic lighting seminars. He chose to use a beauty dish on me. I love the way beauty dishes look, especially the way it sculpts the edges of my roundish face. Soft concentrated light which falls off quickly. You can learn more about the merits of the beauty dish on Don’s site.

Most of my inspiration for lighting setups come from that site and DVD. Anyway, I was so excited when I saw the images I knew I had to come up with something that could recreate the look that was portable and wouldn’t break the bank. Although I am handy with PVC pipes, my ability to use power tools are in question. I was thinking of cutting out a hole in a wok or mixing bowl, but I still couldn’t figure out how to rig it to reflect the concentrated beam back into the dish, plus my lighting stand would probably never stay upright with that kind of weight.

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Striplight Unstripped – Some More Info

strip_light_shot.jpg Photographer Nathan Moody Has posted a nice threatening portrait done with the strip light setup shown here.

After enjoying this great portrait and lighting,
I can see some more added value to this picture and discussion on the “picture flick thread” (click image to go there.

The first cookie is the method used to remove the light fall off – a bounce card under the camera.

A second cookie is fluorescent flicker discussion on the photo page. O’bran was concerned with flickering of the light caused by the way fluorescent works – they flickr many times a second depending on the current fluctuation in your electricity socket. [Read more…]