The Portable Flash Pack

Portable Flash PackIf you’ve read the small backdrops post on Studio @ home, you know I am now on some R&R with wify. Of course I am packed for the ride with my photography gear. Aside from a camera I wanted to share how I pack my flash things. I got this tip from a long while ago at Strobist and here is my adaptation: The Portable Flash Pack.

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Doing More With Less – A Mannequin Case Study

Doing More With Less - Photography Studio LightsWhen I was a young manager, I went to my boss once, and bitched about a resource cut down and the fact the marketing was imposing a hell of a schedule on us poor R&D guys.

I really liked his response and even though it did not get me more resources it gave me good directions on how to make a plan. He looked straight into my eyes, patted me on the shoulder and fiercely said “Any manager can do more work with more resources; only good managers can do more with less“. Okay, strike the shoulder and fierce thing, this is just my father complex kicking in.

However, the same idea also applies to photography, and especially starting photographers where big dollars equipment is rare.

In the story below Martin Kimeldorf (Flickr) shares a lesson on making more with less. Actually, Martin managed to double the amount of light sources he has with just a bit of imagination. [Read more...]

A.I.R – The Portable Affordable Reflector

A.I.R - The Portable Affordable ReflectorThe “A.I.R” = Affordable Inflatable Reflector

There are already a lot of DIY reflector designs out there, which are built of PVC tubes and are definitely great: cheap, easy to build, effective and often collapsible. But there is a drawback: the length of the tubes limits the minimal size of the disassembled reflector.

Tobi Troendle created the A.I.R reflector. Aside from having a cool name it also folds to nothing.

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Get Your Flash 100% On Axis With Umbrella

Get Your Flash 100% On Axis With Umbrella OK, So if you look at the title and say ??@?#?$%%$@, it’s time for a little umbrella-holder intro.

Umbrella holder AKA umbrella swivel is a piece of equipment that is meant to attach a small strobe to a light stand. They come in verity of prices and flavors, but one thing is common to all. They have a hole on the bottom to connect to the light stand on one end and a metal stud / hot shoe / cold shoe that attaches to a small flash on the other end.

Wait – didn’t you say they are called umbrella holders? Well, yes – this is because they also have a dedicated shaft to insert an umbrella, either reflective or shoot through.

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Voice Activated Lightstands

Ron and Dog - Voice Activated LightstandThere are times when setting up for a shot is not an option. Take the annual family gathering picnic for example. 8 adults, 6 kids and a dog. Everyone is food-focused and no one is photo-op oriented. Also (as you can see on the left) no one is willing to stand still, even for a second.

This is why setting up for a shot is nearly impossible. Well, not impossible – strobes can be tied up (or gaffertaped, or spiderred) to trees. However this solution will provide harsh light. I was looking for something softer.

The obvious option is to shoot with no – trust good old available light. This is a good option and many great moments can be captured using available light. Yet, there is another option, such that will allow you to use off camera flash even in the toughest situations.

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Taking A Huge Image With No Camera

Room with the viewGoing back to the old days where digital was not even heard of and 35mm might have been a related kin of the .45″. Yet they took pictures. They did is using Camera Obscura (Dark Chamber).

The basic pinhole is a really simple – it is a shoe box with a small hole on one end and a sheet of sketching paper on the other end. In fact is it so simple that some scientists speculate that it was the first evolutionary step for the (infinitely complex) human eye.

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Endeavours Of A New Studio

Neighborhood watchWell, actually, the right title for this one should be “Endeavors Of A New Home”, since I am building a whole home and not just a studio, but hey! This is a photography blog, so focus is on lighting and studio. Of course the new place will be packed with tricks, but now, it is in the building process. [Read more...]

43 Photography Hacks, Mods And DIY Projects

My gift to you readers for DIYP 3rd Year Aniversarry – 43 Photography Hacks, Mods And DIY Projects. (And some shameless self promotion)

Light Modifiers

DIY Gridspot - Gelling

1. Homemade Speedlite “Snoot”

2. The Best Softbox Ever

3. Using A Cooling Honeycomb As A DIY Gridspot

4. The DIY Speed Strap

5. The DIY Speed Strap – Accessories And Samples

6. Kimel’s Pop Up Flash Soft Box Diffuser

7. Drinking Beer – Out! Snooting – In!

8. Striplight and Softbox

9. Gel Holder for Flash

10. V Cards

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Lightpainting Lightsabers

among us, by benny4bsWhen I was a kid, there was nothing I liked more the swords. And space. This is why I was so exited when the Return of the Jedi came out. WOW a sword that you battle with on a spaceship – I was instantly hooked. This was the first Starwars film I saw and I watched all the series in no time. (Mind you, this was before DVD rental era, so Daddy had to kindly drive me around various theaters around the country).

Now I am a grown up, and love grown up films where you get two people in a room and let them talk about love, death and marriage for ninety minutes. NOT! I’d still choose a robots-fighting-in-space-with-swords movie over any film featuring Kathy Bates. Unless, of course, Bates is playing a giant robot smacking some other robot in space with a sword.

So how does this all connect to photography? As you may have noticed, one of my photography loves is Light Painting. This is why I was so thrilled when Ben Matthews created a Lightsabers for his light painting works. Just before you read on, check out Ben’s great light painting gallery. See what great art he does with them Sabers. Read on to discover the magic that Ben created, and to get detailed instructions on creating your own Lightpainting Lightsabers:

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