DIY Beauty Dish Fight At High Noon

DIY Beauty DishesHave you ever wondered what are the subtle differences between various home brewed beauty dishes?

Photographer Ed McGowan had just the same question in mind. He faced off two of the more popular DIY beauty dishes: on the left corner, wearing blue shorts at feather weight, the Turkey Pan beauty dish. On the right corner, enforced by the elements, wearing red, the Terra Cotta bowl beauty dish.

Winner after the jump. [Read more…]

One Light Portrait Setup #2 – Stick ‘Em In The Corner

One Light Portrait Setup #2 - Stick 'Em In The CornerA long while back I read a semi-theoretical post about using a room corner and a brolli as a full-fledged setup.

As a preparation for an on location job I decided to test that premise, and took a few head shots at my basement studio.This will add up to the butterfly one light setup I reviewed earlier.

Mind you that this little setup can be brought up in any place that features a corner, that is just about anywhere. [Read more…]

DIY Three Strobes Bracket Will Triple Your Light

Three Flashes Mount Will Triple You LightWe’ve had our share of dual strobe mounts before, but this is a first for a triple mount. And you’d need every bit of that light if you are shooting a big modifier like the Westcott’s 28″ Apollo monster.

This tutorial shows you how to make one (or print it out and go to the local shop so they make one).

The detailed instructions were written by Eric Au (Flickr), Calgary based photographer and industrial designer. Always helps to have a Shop at the garage… I wonder how many comments will persuade Eric to go and make this into something you could buy at B&H.

Traditionally, during this time of year, there is a lull in work flow. Not a lot of contracts are signed during late September and October. Things pick up again in November. Typically, I use this time to hone some new technique or try out some new gear. A tiny bit of hackground (pun intended) for you readers, I am photographer and an industrial designer and it was inevitable when those two would collide. I’ve been hacking and developing my own brackets and equipment ever since I could hold a saw.

I use a lot of off camera flash for location work, I sought out to design and develop something that is the size of a palm, but have every feature and the strength of the Lightware Foursquare. Although I currently own and use a Foursquare, it is still not compact enough to throw into my bag (taking into account the handle assembly which makes it work really well).

Instead of trying to copy and reduce the size of a Foursquare, I decided to subtract some light, using 3 instead of 4 Speedlights (I use only Nikon Sb800s). I started with the largest hex, t6160 aluminum I could source locally, 2”. A piece of hex stock offered 6 open, flat sides to mill into features to mount the flashes, the spigot and umbrella thumb screw. [Read more…]

Using a Kitchen Timer To Create Panning Timelapse Movies

The super techy kitchen timer panning headWe have had a post before where we shoed how to use a canon G9 camera and a bunch of opensource photography software (mainly CHDK) to create amazing timelapse movies.

This time we are taking it up a notch and adding some movment to the movie. The idea is simple, using a mechanical kitchen timer (I used a fancier one :) and a bolt we created a rotating camera. Movie with tutorial and samples after the jump. [Read more…]

Radio Slave Triggers – PocketWizard Review – Part 1

Radio Slaves Triggers - PocketWizard Review - Part 1If you remember a while ago, I was full of pain about my crappy you-get-what-you-pay-for radio slaves. When they worked, it was a match made in heaven. Sadly, they did not always work.

Long story short. I made a change. In this two posts series,  I will first detail how and why I came to select Pocketwizard as my radio system and then share my first impressions after using it for more than a month. [Read more…]

Spill Control Diffusion Screens

Difussion Screen 03The cardboard light tent is a constantly popular post here at DIYP, and no wonder it is one of the easiest ways for shoot a small product [note to self, make a really huge cardboard tent].

However, it is not the only way to create good small scale product setups. A while back David Hobby had a great derivative of that box which he titled the lunch box.

Photographer Steve Bennett uses a similar concept to create a table top sized diffusion screen with built in spill control. [Read more…]

For Halloween – The Strob-O-Lantern

The WatchmanWith Halloween just around the corner I thought that showcasing a nice scary photograph may be inspirational. Of course, since this is DIYP there’s a hack in it. It is using an optically triggered hacked slave flash that was fitted in a Lantern.

Photographer Victor W used a small flash scavenged from a Kodak disposable camera to create a scary watch man photograph. (sorry victor, but watchman at night with threatening faces are scary, if you wanna see Victor’s nice side see here). [Read more…]

Endlessly Power Your Flash Lights With A Flashlight

Power Yout Flash Lights With A FlashlightPhotographer Matt Kenney came up with quite a clever way to provide external power to his battery operated strobe (Canon 430EXII).

Instead of building a specialized case with a dedicated battery, or drilling a power socket into the flash, Matt went for the shelf product and used one of them $6, 6V flash lights (about a dollar a volt). I always prefer off the shelf products to making something new, always. Matt then went ahead and equipped it with a 6V rechargeable battery, and a charging jack.

On the strobe side, Matt used wooden batteries to allow the power to flow. IT get a recycle time of 1.2 seconds for full pop (holdya’rhorses SB900 users, it will heat up soon enough).

Matt was kind enough to allow me to share his picture tutorial on DIYP [Read more…]

DIY Portable Wedding Photo Booth

DIY Portable Wedding Photo BoothThere’s an interesting Instructable over at (ehem…) Instructables that deals with all aspects of creating a Photo Booth. The Photo Booth was built by the husband to-be as a wedding project for his (and hers) wedding.

There were only three requirements for the project: “Since our wedding was taking place several states away it had to be
easily portable.  And since it was our wedding it had to look as
as possible, and be fully automated
.” [Read more…]