Your Complete Guide For Photographing Maya In The Year Of Apocalypse

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve almost certainly heard that the ancient Maya long-count calendar rolls over in December this year. Along with spurring the release of a frenzy of apocalyptic books, this event is also helping spawn renewed tourist interest in Maya ruins. Not to miss out on the opportunity (and free publicity), Mesoamerican communities are hosting a number of special events to celebrate the historic occasion. And governments in what was once the Maya realm have funded a new wave of restoration projects at ruin sites.

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So regardless of whether your driving interest is culture or history, art or archaeology, you may well be considering (if not yet planning) a photography trip to the Maya realm. If this is the case for you, please allow me to pass along a few pointers based on my experiences in the area. [Read more...]

Shooting The Three Ladies

It is not often that I see a picture and get my eye wet with nostalgia. However this one from David Sittig hit a soft spot for me (click here for lightbox view). Having a Kiev 88, a Seagull 4A and a Minolta SRT 101 in the same shot should be good enough on any given day, but David made the extra step of making it a TTV (Through The Viewfinder) photograph featuring the Minolta and Seagull in the Kiev’s viewfinder.(Final image, just in case you care for this kind of thing, was taken with a D90)

I asked David to share the process of taking this image with DIYP readers and much to my delight he said yes:

My three ladies [Read more...]

Preparing for Desert Photography Travel

Preparing for Desert Photography Travel

One environment that I never tire of photographing is the deserts of the southwest United States. While the desert may look drab and gray during daylight hours during the golden and blue hour the desert transforms into a colorful and often surreal landscape. Mix in a little bad weather and you can capture some amazing landscape photos. Since the desert is an extreme environment I prepare for my shoots there with more scrutiny. Over the years my approach to desert photography preparations have bled into my general landscape photo shoot prep.

Here are 10 tips to prepare for your next adventure in the desert including 4 very important steps to ensure your safety: [Read more...]

Create An Impact Safe Bouncy Camera Using Sugru

A while back I bought my daughter a Vtech Kidizoom, trying to hook her up on photography. Looking back at the experience, I can say that she is doing pretty well.

On the bright side, she enjoys taking pictures and does a darn fine job too. Of course, being able to come down to daddy’s studio with flashes set up does not hurt her fun one bit.

On the “dark” side, the image quality sucks! We thought we could handle it and that the grainy look would be “fun” and “Lomo”y, but even she is a bit annoyed with the noise of the photographs when viewed large.

I came across this video that shows how you can impact-proof a camera using moldable plastic called Sugru. It’s kinda like plasticine, only it hardens as rubber, and can take quite an impact. Not sure why they used an ancient Sony Cybershot for the video, but even that old camera will get better results than your standard “kids” cam.

[Read more...]

How To Bake A Nikon Cake

A few weeks ago the blog has taken a small detour to the baking realm with camera shaped cookies. I thought that cookies were not big enough in some cases so here we go with a guide to bake a Nikon cake.

How To Bake A Nikon Cake

I must say that making this Nikon cake was not trivial, but it was not as hard as I expected and seems like everyone with a bit of baking skills can pull this off.

Please note the cake is of an un-named model (D4, maybe?). Names will be happily accepted in the comments. [Read more...]

Crowdsourcing Bullet Time

Eeeeveryboy loves Bullet Time. Bullet Time is that magical moment in a movie when everything freezes and the camera makes a circle or a semi circle around an object. I guess it is called bullet time cuz the camera moves at the speed of a bullet.

By now, you probably know that this effect is achieved with a battery of stills camera that will set you back a small house. To achieve Bullet Time, the photographers (or Bullet time specialist) places cameras in a circle and use both a green screen and clever triggering software.

The big number of cameras are used to maintain smooth motion as the point of view moves from one camera to another.

The Triggering mechanism is used to trigger the camera one after the other in very close succession, so it would seem like time is still flowing while the POV changes.

And the green screens is used to eliminate any interference and gain control over the set.

Or….. You could crowd source it all. [Read more...]

Kids Science: How to Build A Huge iPhone Display On The Cheap

I love my iPhone, but I always felt that the 3.5 inch screen was a bit to small. Luckily, Instructabes user iamaledgend came up with a clever way to project the iPhone screen onto a wall.

Kids Science: How to Build A Huge iPhone Display On The Cheap

It takes very little to make this happen. All you need is a box of Nikes, some spare Lego parts for mounting and fixing the iPhone and a cheapo magnifiying glass as the projectors’ lens. [Read more...]

The Complete Guide To Shooting The Moon On A Budget

The Complete Guide To Shooting The Moon

It’s amazing how many people never look up. The skies can be many things to a photographer – a backdrop, a light source, a diffuser. Sometimes just a nice source of teal for your orange foreground. When you decide to use the skies for your subject, especially the night skies, the very first thing you are going to notice is the moon.

There are some very beautiful objects in the night sky, and the thrill of using the camera to see what your eyes can’t see is enormously rewarding. The trouble is that the stars, planets and nebulae that fill the night sky are very dim and very, very far away.

If, like me, you want to get great looking photos of the night sky, but can’t afford the gear required to capture some of the deep sky objects, you’re left with night landscapes, and the moon. So here’s some tips for shooting the moon. [Read more...]