Annie Does Disney

One of my personal favorite photographers – Annie Leibovitz was recruited to crate the fantasy of every photographer (and every kid alive).

In a project designed to celebrate Disney’s ‘Year of a Million Dreams’ Annie is shooting celebs dressed up as Disney’s all time favorite characters. Check out Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella, Beyoncé as Alice and David Beckham as Prince Phillip. Check out my personal most-charming-in-the-world-ever favorite Rachel Weisz as snow white.

Check out the cool behind the scenes (media player, real player) to see
some of the lighting and allot of Annie’s eye-level approach that makes
her photos feel so natural. (You can also get a glimpse on the amount of octagon softboxes on the scene)

[Read more...]

Great High Speed Photography Trigger by Tom Barnett

flash triggerTom Barnett (pxlsnfr) has come up with some great High Speed Photography shots.

Tom uses very basic circuitry to trigger the flash on “hearing noise” and a bit more complex (though still pretty simple) circuit to avoid repeating flash triggering.

In fact the basic circuitry is just one SCR with plus and minus going to the flash and minus and gate going to an amplified mic. See pictures below.

From the number of crushed bulbs on Tom’s photostream, I’d recommend his services to any person that wants to be environment friendly and move to Energy-saving compact fluorescents (CFs).

What I like about Tom’s High Speed Photography, is that Tom controls this technique flawlessly, and can use it to photograph images with a great amount of creativity.

pxlsnfr flash trigger

[Read more...]

DIY Lighting – Trading Your GPS For a Flash

gsp_mount_for_flash.jpgWhen strolling at my local autostore I stumbled across this very interesting gadget. (Well, not exactly this interesting gadget, but a close sibling).

It is a windshield mount for a GPS device. The natural thing for me, being the why-don’t-you-stop-and-ask-for-directions-said-the-wife kinda guy that I am, and the natural and logical thing for me is to buy a GPS. However, those babies cost millions.

I had no alternative but to go to my other hobby – photography and see how I can use this mount for my photography studio. [Read more...]

Printing The Flash Mounted homemade DIY Softbox

Studio Lighting - Flash Mounted homemade DIY SoftboxI got lots of comments and question asking how to print the flash mounted homemade diy softbox. Some readers have had trouble printing the diagram on multiple pages.

One of DIYPhotography.net readers was kind enough to help me figure out why it was not printing on some computers. Are you having the same troubles? Do not despair.

It appears that the driver for the mdi format I was using to span the print over several pages is not installed by default when you install office. Look at this Microsoft article to learn how to install the driver for this file. [Read more...]

Altoids To The Rescue – The Minty Strobe

altoidsThere is some great stuff going on at DIYPhotography.net instructables group. This fantastic group is a true demonstration of the DIY spirit that is behind this site. I have talked before on the subject of creating your own flash. In that article Avner Richard explained how to utilize xenon tubes to create some real Watts/Second power flashes. It is a great piece for the ones that are electrically capable.

If you are not an electrician and fear the high voltage involved, Martin (AKA PKM) has posted an Instructable just for you. [Read more...]

Lighting – Low key Lighting Setups

low_key_lightLast week I have talked about an important aspect of any picture – contrast. It was only natural to follow up with an article about low key and high lighting as both are tightly related to contrast.

After covering the definitions and some samples of High Key and Low key images, it is time to show some setups that will enable you to take High Key and Low Key pictures. I’ll start with Low Key images today and will follow soon with some High Key setups. [Read more...]

Studio Lighting – Great Way To Build a Ringlight

ringlight_on_tripodReader Bankara has followed up on the cheap ringlight article with another very affordable ringlight. Not as cheap as the one you can get from your LCD, but still way cheaper then the ones you get in stores. He has posted an instructable on how to build one of those monsters babies.

One of the cool features about this particular ring light is that it is collapsible. Yap! It folds in half. Simple math brings me to the conclusion that I’ll only have to defend its existence in my home half of the time. (The other spare half will go toward explaining the wife where her living room went). [Read more...]

Studio Lighting – Lighting Diagrams, Planning and Explaining

lighting_diagram Sometimes you want to make a diagram of your photo session. (OK, sometimes you don’t, but sometimes you do). I, for example, am going to use studio lighting diagrams for explaining about low key and high key studio setups. If you are like me, with two left hands in all that related to sketching, you are in a tight spot. When I draw (just like when I write), only one person in the world can understand what I wrote. Sadly, I have not met him yet.

So the solution to my situation is to use lighting diagrams “out of the box” with no handwriting involved what so ever. Ahhhhh…. sounds like heaven, right?

Great, how do you get one? Both Rui and Strobist have pointed out two great sources for creating lighting diagrams. One requires Photoshop and the other one is online. I’m going to show both. [Read more...]

Lighting – High Key and Low Key

high-key-low-keyAfter discussing contrast at a very top level view, I would like to introduce two twins, closely related to contrast – High Key and Low Key.

Both High Key images and Low Key images make an intensive use of contrast, but in a very different way. When approaching a shoot of a dramatic portrait, the decision of making it a High Key, Low Key or “just” a regular image has great impact about the mood that this picture will convey. While High Key images are considered happy and will show your subject as a tooth-paste poster; Low Key portraits are dramatic and convey a lot of atmosphere and tension. Let’s explore those two dramatic lighting alternatives. [Read more...]

Studio Lighting – Homemade Gridspot

gridspotGridspot (or grid) is a studio accessory that you can attach to your flash. When the flash fires through the grid, the spread of the light rays is limited. The effect you get is very similar to the effect achieved by a snoot, but light more controlled and really hits a small surface. You often want to use a snoot or a grid for avoiding light spillage when you are setting up you back light.

The inspiration for this article came from a strobist article that shows how to make a cardboard gridspot. I thought I can improve it by making it out of plastic known as coroplast. [Read more...]