Readers Projects – The CD Spindle Ringflash

photography_ring_flash_b2541835a3.jpgDIYP reader Chaval Brasil came up with an ingenious way to create a ring flash. By routing the light from a hot shoe flash to a CD spindle, Chaval was able to surround his lens with light. Chaval joins a long tradition of readers projects that we had here on DIYP (see The Food Saver Omnibounce, Thomas Schwenger Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit, and The Christmas Tree Ring Light for more readers projects).

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Studio Photography – The Best Softbox Ever

studio_photography_best_softbox_ever.jpgIf you did not meet Nick Wheeler (Flickr Stream – a must) until now, you are in for a treat. Nick is what I call a Lean Mean Studio DIY Machine. Unlike the softbox for a hot shoe flash and the softbox made from a well…. a box, this softbox design by Nick is as close to a real life studio softbox design as a softbox can be. As always, Nick has done great job of documenting his work so all the DIYP community can benefit. Making this studio grade softbox takes some time and effort, but well worth the investment.

While this project is great, Nick calls it a prototype and plans on a follow up. Keep tuned to Nick’s Flickr stream – you’ll soon realize that you came for the DIY projects but stayed for the great photography. It all Nick from here on.

This is a DIY project I have had in mind for a while now. When I purchased my studio flash heads, they came with a couple of small softboxes. Although I prefer to use translucent umbrellas whenever I can (small, light, easy to transport), there are times when a softbox is a better solution. While I could use the studio head softboxes in some circumstances with my small strobes, there was no way of effectively holding the flash in place without a lot of jerry rigging. To this end, I wanted to design a softbox that would be light, reasonably strong and durable, adaptable (double diffuser, grid attachment, barn doors etc.) at a later date and have a quick and easy way to mount the flash.

While I achieved most of these goals, the finished softbox was a bit heavier than I would have liked and as is usually the case with these projects I figured out a number of modifications I would like to incorporate into my next attempt after it was finished. For now, I think I will label this as a ‘prototype’ and hopefully come up with something better for the mark II version.

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Shooting Balloons – DIYing High Speed Photography

shooting_balloons.jpgIt looks like this weekend is going to be weekend at the movies for all photography lovers. So sit back, and enjoy. Now, the trick is get up once the show is over and try some of the things yourself.

After two brilliant videos from Jim Talkington dealing with studio lighting on a budget, comes something completely different.

Photographer and DIYer Guy Montag came up with a nice and easy I-have-no-idea-about-electronics way to make high speed photography shots.

More chat and the video tutorial after the jump.

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Sticks, Stones, Concrete and Killer Lighting

As a child, I’m sure you’ve heard the following phrase: “Stick and stones will break my bones but names will never heart me“?

Jim Talkington over at ProPhotoLife has got another take on this childhood proverb. Something like “Sticks and stones will create killer lighting, but money is not needed“.

Jim was kind enough to get this photo studio video composed where he shows us how to take the sticks and stones (or rather sticks and concrete) to the extreme, building a studio from cheap continuous lighting, some framed diffusion papers and lots of sticks.

RSS readers – grab this video here.

The other half of this vid comes right after the jump – yep it is a double feature.

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Shooting the Team – The Tranquil Boss

the-little-professor.jpgWhen I first thought of making a photography project where I work, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about it with THE BOSS.

THE BOSS was really enthusiastic about the idea and was the first to get his portrait taken.

So, here is the tale of how I shot my boss and lived to tell the tale.

This is the point where I am gonna stop calling him THE BOSS and tell you that his name is Yossi.

Yossi is a very calm dude person. He is one of those guys that when everybody is running around to meet a deadline, makes sure we are running at the right direction. And calmness is the main feature that we wanted to show in Yossi’s portrait.

Another nice thing about Yossi is his car. In a high-tech world where everybody drives nice fancy big Dollar cars, Yossi is true to his love – a bitten up Citroen BX from the early 90′s. When once asked him about tithe told me that “Citroen BX is not a car, it is a way of life”. So, the car had to go into the shot.

Lastly I wanted to say that Yossi is a great boss, loved by all and is an example of fine, sharp management. Always bringing results, and gives true guidance. (And it has nothing to do with the fact that I asked for a raise last month, or the fact that I know that you are reading this blog). [Read more...]

Photography Project – Shooting the Team

the-little-professor.jpgAfter more then two years of running DIYP, I finally feel comfortable to share the fact that I am living a double life. It took me countless rehearsals in front of the mirror to gather the guts to tell. Here goes:

Aside from my real life as a blogger and a photographer, I also have a secret identity as a software developer. Yes, every morning I step into my secret cave, and trade the camera and flash for laptop and network equipment.

Although my family safety demands that I will not disclose my secret identity’s workplace, I can hint that I work for the same company that made the cute Little Professor Calculator – that’s the guy on the left (Image by draggin). Yes, I work for The Silicon Masters Texas Instruments.

What do I do there? I can not reveal (Actually I can, but then I’ll have to kill you). Let’s just say that if you are reading this page via a Comcast or other cable service, you’re surfing my code.

For the last year and a half, I’ve been involved in a challenging development project, creating the next generation of TI’s Cable Modem. As the project evolved and deadlines started to come closer and closer, work started to take on more and more time from other aspects of my life. One of the major casualties was my passion – Photography.

It was time to ACT! I went into my secret photo cave and planned my revenge. After ruling out Plan A (storm the offices with a flame-thrower), and Plan B (move the studio into my cubicle), I came up with the ultimate plan.

I will combine (or as managers like to say create synergy) between work and photography. This is when I came up with the Shoot the Team Project. Read more.

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Readers Projects – The Food Saver Omnibounce

foodsaver_omnibounce.jpgGoing along with the great show of readers projects, Simon Chung sent me a great idea for a flash diffuser.

Starting with an ordinary food bag, and adding some tinfoil and magic, Simon created an omnibounce. To learn more about the merits of bare bulb diffusers and see a different implementation of this great idea see here.

Have more ideas for wacky things to put on your flash? Hit me in the comments.

More Reader Projects:
- Strap it on Baby
- Thomas Schwenger Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit
- Christmas Tree Ring Light
- Got a Light?

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Keep Your Stuff Together While Snooting

sacky_snoot.jpgA snoot is something you use to constrain the light coming from a flash, you can use it to tight a beam of light, or you can use it to flag light so it will not hit your lens and cause flare.

Scott Campbell came up with this 30 seconds, 2 Dollars snoot that will do just that – snoot your flash. In the process he nuked a catch all sack, but hey! It was worth it. (Kill me if I know how I missed it up till now)

Check out some of the older posts of Scott, he is deep into the realm of DIY.

Some More DIY:
- The Cheapest Ring Light Ever
- The Ghetto Studio
- Painting With Light
- The Best 6 Ways To Create Your Own Bokeh [Read more...]

Studio DIY: Disposable Camera Ring Flash

altoids_ring_light Not too long ago, I have posted an article about making a strobe from a disposable camera. I was soon after that I called out to the great community of DIY photographers to make a disposable ringlight from such disposable camera strobes. And why not – they are cheap, available and do not require too much power.

In my mind there were three main challenges in making this project work: 1. Chaining the camera flash units; 2. Triggering the ringflash remotely; and 3. Powering the individual flash units.

Dave Ajax (Divet) from the DIYP Instructables group has risen to the challenge. Dave was also kind enough to allow me to post the full tutorial on this site, keeping the great tradition on DIYP Instructable projects like the Time Lapse Photography project, the Ingenious Camera Stabilizer and the Muslin Backdrop project.

Intro – Disposable Camera Ring Flash

Build a disposable camera ring flash. Disposable cameras are discarded after the film has been removed. Photo labs often have boxes of them under the counter, waiting to be recycled. If you ask nicely, you can often get more than enough to experiment with. Try to get at least six for this project, all of the same type.

disposable_beauty_dish_0a.jpg

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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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