A TimeLapse Rail From BBQ Rotisserie Motor

A TimeLapse Rail from BBQ rotisserie motorThe holy grail of timelapse movies is motion. Photographers like Tom Lowe (whom you should definitely check out) uses state of the art rails and mechanisms to allow the camera to move slowly and smoothly while capturing frame by frame of the time lapse movie.

While we were playing silly egg timer over here, Photographer Derek Mellott came up with an ingenious way to convert a BBQ rotisserie motor into a moving rail system.

To add insult to injury, Derek uses a TI Graphing Calculator as an Intervalometer. The longtimers here know that I have a soft spot for anything TI ;). Video and a second hack after the jump. [Read more…]

eBook: Your Complete Guide To Building A Photography Studio At Home

Your Complete Guide To Building A Photography Studio At Home

I’ve got a very happy announcement today. DIYP is releasing its first eBook – Home Studio Photography: Your Complete Guide To Building A Photography Studio At Home.

It’s a long name, I know, yet it grasps the essence of the book, providing a full, comprehensive reference book for building a Photography studio at home. You can grab a copy here, or read the details after the jump. [Read more…]

Create Amazing Light Spirographs With The Spirograph Wheel

The Spirograph Light Wheel Light PaintingLight painting is the process of using one or more light sources to fill in a single exposure to create a unique image. If you think of the light like a pencil to paper and then add tools like a Spirograph to the situation you might understand what exactly I am doing.

The light wheel is actually pretty simple and you can get pretty creative with it on the fly. It is made up of a bicycle wheel (any size, however I have found that a 20” BMX bike wheel is a good size), A set of battery operated LED string lights. (These can be purchased from eBay or if you are lucky around October through March you can pick them up at Target or IKEA (any store that sells Christmas stuff is likely to have them). The lights are attached using black electrical tape and I used a bike peg I had laying around as the handle.

In this article, 55125 will teach you how to build your own light wheel. [Read more…]

Use Lego For Making High Speed Photography Pictures

Use Lego For Making Capture High Speed Photography PicturesOk, I’ll be the first to admit, Lego makes some awesome stuff, and I spent countless hours as a kid, Playing with those bricks. My favorite birthday gift for my 8th birthday was the legendary 497 Galaxy Explorer system. With passage of time Lego systems became more complex and involve electronics, special plastics and even programmable pats. Complex to the point where you can turn a Lego Mindstorm NXT set to a device for taking high speed images. This is by no means a cheap solution (unless you already have all the parts), it is a fun project for the engineeringly capable. So photographer and strip light master Silver Paul did just that – converted a Mindstorm set to high speed photography trigger..

The following is not a full tutorial, here is the obligatory disclaimer from Paul: This is in no way a guide or how to, it’s a documentation of my observations of what I did. Enjoy, try it for yourself, but on your own head be it! I take no responsibility for you being idiot enough to follow some random geezers instructions on t’interweb! [Read more…]

Bullet Photography At Home

Bullet Photography At HomeMost photographers have seen some of Dr. Harold Edgerton’s work like a bullet shooting through an apple or a bullet splitting a playing card. Back in the 1960’s when Edgerton was taking these types of photos it was quite revolutionary. To take these kinds of photographs Dr. Edgerton had to first invent the modern camera flash. Today duplicating these photos is feasible for just about any amateur photographer who is willing to spend a little time understanding some common high speed photography techniques and some money to buy some specialized equipment. However, the really exciting idea isn’t reproducing his iconic photographs, but having people take creative new high speed photos.

Bullet Photography At HomeBullet Photography At Home
© MIT 2010. Courtesyof MIT Museum

This article is going to show you how to use the Camera Axe and it’s projectile sensor to take some of your own amazing high speed photographs of objects being hit by bullets. At first it may seem that there are only a few objects to shoot, but once you start getting into this field of photography it seems like every trip to the grocery store, farmers market, dollar store, or yard sale becomes an expedition to find new targets. [Read more…]

Use Light Stencils To Create Amazing Light Paintings

Be Free! As you may already be aware, light painting is the process of moving light sources around during a single exposure to create an overall shot. A more specific way to include light forms into a photo is with `light stencils’.

The light stencil itself is made up of two main components – the stencil image, and something to contain the light while you shoot that image. A shoebox works really well (with the stencil picture cut into the lid, and the box used to contain the light); or alternatively, a portable soft box could be used (with the stencil attached to the front of the soft box).

In this article, TigTab explains how to create a light stencil using a shoe box. [Read more…]

Huge iPad Arrays Used As Portrait Lights

Huge iPad Arrays Used As Portrait LightsWhat happens when you cross Kirk Tuck’s insatiable love for LED panels with Jim Goldstein’s unstopped craving for iPads? Nothing, ’till you add in a secret ingredient – a starving-for-innovation photographer Jesse Rosten.

Jesse did a complete portrait shoot using 9 (yea NINE) iPads as lighting sources. Those iPads were mounted on three fixtures in what I would adventurous mode. Video and a little about constraints after the jump. [Read more…]

High Speed Photography – Let Arduino turn The Lights Off For You

High Speed Photography - Let Arduino turn The Lights Off For YouIf you’re reading DIYP for a while you probably know that High Speed Photography is not about high shutter speeds. Au contraire. It is about shooting very long exposures in bulb mode, and using a strobe to freeze the action with a split second light.

This means that once you have a setup read to go, you turn off the lights. go back to your setup and pop the balloon / break the glass / shoot the bullet. Kinda messy and uncomfortable. Ask Edward Horsford, the exploding balloons magician.

Photographer Matt Richardson came up with a better to do it. Matt was already Using an Arduino as the triggering device for the strobe. It only made sense to Let the Arduino turn off the lights and open the camera shutter once the setup was ready.

In the video after the jump, Matt explains this concept, and shared the circuit to make this magic happen. [Read more…]

DIY Lightstand Bag Makes Your Assistant’s Life Easier

DIY Lightstand Bag Makes Your Assistants' Life EasierLagging lightstands is a bummer. They don’t fit in the bag. They are hard and pointy, and in general they create traction. Lots of traction. If you are just going Bazooka with one stand this is OK. But if you have to carry a few of them… Darn!.

Photographer Peter Miesch was dealing with the same issue and came up with a wonderful lightstand carrying system bag much like the Standbagger that puts an end to the photographer’s assistant misery. Of course, if you are like me and you are your own assistant, than the solution is even more wonderful. This project requires some sewing skills, so if words like zigzag stitch and bobbin make you go AUH? ask your grandma for help. [Read more…]

Need. Bigger. Light

Twin speedlite soft box in actionSometimes, a small softbox would not do it. You just need a bigger light. The thing is that bigger modifiers eat more light up. This a guest post by Edward Peters will show how he dealt with building a large softbox, including building a double flash bracket, mounting two strobes and syncing a pop for up to five strobes using a headphone splitter.

My Wife needed photos of a jewelry piece she had created, but the piece was too big for my favorite 13×13 inch DIY speedlite soft box.

Unfortunately for us, the jewelry has entered a contest and cannot be displayed on the web. However, the good news are that I can share the making of the mega-dual-light softbox that took the image. [Read more…]