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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The DIY Strip Light

Tina_in_Sunglasses.jpgNick Wheeler is becoming a dangerous guy to leave your boxes by. It looks like whenever a box is around, nick DIYs it into a lighting modifier. This is what I like about Nick, he is never afraid to experiment, be it a mission impossible image or a floor lit lighting setup, Nicks investments in setups pays up big time. I heartedly recommend to check Nick’s flickr stream for more inspiration.

This is also my message to you. Go out and try something new. I bet that four times out of five you, like me, will end up with just another glued box. But the fifth time is the one that makes all the difference. This is the time where you put what you have learned by ruining the other four boxes into use and build a really nice piece of studio equipment and saving money for more lenses.

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Readers Projects – Thomas Schwenger Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit

fastest_lighting_kit.jpgI said it before, and I’ll say it again. The reason why bloggin’ about DIY and Photography makes me a happy person it because I get to tap into a great stream of creativity fro mother great photographers out there.

Take Thomas Schwenger for example. After getting some from the Strobist and DIY community Thomas now gives back one of the lightest and easiest lighting kits for portables strobes. With a single page snoot, a mini GOBO and a filter holder, Thomas wins the DIYP kit of the year award. (Of course, like a being a warded a knighthood, there mostly honor in the title, no dough at all.

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Shooting Paintings for My Mother in Law


I love my mother in law
. I know this is not a popular statement, but it may explain the following tutorial and experience I am about to share with you.

Rss readers, grab the video here.

My mother in law is an artist. She paints pictures, and lovely ones, if you’ll listen to my un-bribed opinion. Last week she asked me to make a video clip from some of her shots so she can share her art. The video is also to be used as a pilot for distributing her catalog in video form.

In the following article I will describe the process of making the promotional DVD, including the setup and lighting, the post processing and the creation of the slideshow. (And of course the “thank you” note I got from my mother in law – priceless).

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Readers Projects – Got a Light?

diy_project_03.jpgThis is the second part of the Readers Projects series, my way to show my love and appreciation to DIYP readers.

In this series, I’ll be posting some of the great projects DIYP readers brought to life. I learned about those projects either from DIYP flickr group (thanks you all for sharing) or from DIYP readers mails. The first project was the Christmas Tree Ring Light, a cold and snowy project. This project is all about fire – to even the temperature. If you’ve ever watched the legendary mission impossible show, you’ll remember that unforgettable starting frame where a match is being lit from nowhere and this match starts a fuse and eventfully… “This message was self destructed after ten seconds“.

Photographer Nick Wheeler recreates the magic of MI in his “How to Light a Match” setup. (Yap, it is the same Nick who invented the Floor Lit Table Top Studio Project.

[Read more...]