More Power To Your Flash – External SLA Battery Flash Mod

More Power To Your Flash - External SLA Battery FlashIf you’ve been shooting with a flash for a while, I’m sure you had some battery problem or another at least once. Like when one of four batteries goes bad and quickly discharges the other three. Or when it’s cold and the batteries don’t hold their charge so well anymore. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a more reliable source of power? One that virtually lasts for ever (well, not forever, but for a darn long time). This is probably on the wish list of anyone who is shooting off shoe and don’t care much about weight, but do care about recycling time and number of pops that can be squeezed in a session.

Konstantin Sirotkin describes how to make a Flash mod that will allow you to connect your flash to an external power source.
Yes this is an external power source, no mater how bomb-like it looks.

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Drinking Beer – Out! Snooting – In!

Photography and Lighting - DIY SnootAttending a great software conference like the Agile 2008 conference does have its perks. Aside from the great lectures, fantastic food, and excellent developers to hang out with, you have your freebies. Freebies are the cool little things that vendors will give you to make you come to their booth, and listen to what ever it is they have to offer.

It is only natural that in a software conference you’ll get your USB mini-hub, cool agile poker cards, snoot, assorted candies … did you say snoot?!?!?

Well, not at first sight. One of the Agile consulting companies, Improving Enterprises, was giving away free blue beer holders. Yes, software developers do drink beer hold beer holders. Now, let’s see: made out of foam? Check! Will fit a Nikon SB-800? Check! Black interior? Check! Will look professional on a set? Check! [Read more...]

Lighting Ori’s One Year Old Birthday

Ori's Birthday Lighting SetupMy son, Ori turned one today. Man, time flies. Just yesterday he was kicking back in his crib. Meditating on how the color in his room slowly fades.

Two and a half days later. BOOM, He is one. Walking (as in from three days ago), dadaing, and has a strong opinion and stand towards anything in this world – starting from the location of the kitchen chairs (always on the move) through the best place for a ball of cereal (the floor), ending with his own spot in the world (in my hands).

So yesterday we had a small family gathering to celebrate. Of course daddy was on the camera to document the event.
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Rapid Fire By Chase Jarvis

Chase Jarvis put up a rapid fire video going from nothing to product-final in just a bit over three minutes.

So, OK, there is no way to actually do all the things in the video in three minutes. But if you are looking for some quick intro about what is the process behind commercial photography, you are in for a treat.

If you liked this video, you may want to check out Chase’s blog. On the top right there is a bunch of more goodies and videos.


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Making a Softbox Just Got Easier

studio_photography_best_softbox_ever.jpgIf you’ve been reading DIYP for a while now, you know that I am a fool for home made softboxes.

DIYP has featured all kind of softboxes, ranging from small light weight camera strobe to big studio photography strobes. Some are minutes to build and some are hours. Here is a list of some of the better softboxes we’ve had here on DIYP:

- The Best Softbox Ever (Image is from this project by Nick Wheeler)
- Two Great Weekend Projects – Striplight and Softbox
- Even Better Softbox Part One – The Build Process
- Even Better Softbox Part Two – The Test Results
- a home grown softbox
- Flash Mounted homemade DIY Softbox

One of the trickier parts of growing a softbox at home is the planning. The delicate work done by professionals to calculate the lengths of segments. The gentle work of trigonometry to calculate the angels. Light-less nights spent in dark basements with calipers.

(Actually it is the drawing of the the
individual pieces before you glue them together that is the real hard task)

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Learning About The Small Things

Nikon sb800If you, like me, have little money to spend on big expensive lighting, you can start up your flash photography with a small flash (AKA strobe).

Actually some of those are so cheap, you can start off with a few, or add strobes as you go along. I started with 1 small flash: The Nikon SB 28, added the Nikon SB 800 when I got my D70, and when I needed more light, I added the Nikon SB 26. The SB 26 sells for about 100 USD on eBay and other small flashes like the famous Vivitar 285HV sells for about 50 on eBay and about 80 for a new flash.

If you indeed choose this path (which from now on will be called the strobist path) there are several very useful resources on (and off) the web for you to learn how to perfect your small strobe lighting technique.

I have deep appreciation for all photographers listed below, they all helped me learn and grow to the photographer I am today.
This is why I am shamelessly promoting sharing their recent and not so recent projects.

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Spiderlite in Action

spiderlight_2435827940.jpgA while back I posted a great lighting project by Alex Campagna called the DIY Spiderlight.

The project successfully aimed at building the Wescott TD5 Lighting fixture (AKA Spiderlite).

Alex even threw in a DIY softbox to complete the design.

If you’ve wondered what’s so good about them spiderlites, Scott Kelby from Photoshop insider shares a great video that has all the good reasons to buy on (or better yet, to build one). See the video on the full article.

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Studio DIY: Gel Holder for Flash

Flash Gel Holder Craig Colvin (Flickr) came up with a great design for a gel holder on a flash. The design includes an L shaped plexiglass.

Now, if you ever followed the strobist way of mounting gels on your flash, you know the great value those little pieces of colored tape can provide.

You probably also know that it can very annoying to apply the gel strips on the flash or to remove them. Not to mention stacking them together – this becomes a Velcro hell.

The nice design by Craig solves this problem by providing a Velcro free gel chassis. Sometimes you need nothing more than some bended plexiglass. See Craig’s full design and instructions here.

If you can not bend plexiglass yourself you may want to consider using an Acrylic stand. I could only find big ones but I know that there is a smaller version from my local coffee bar.

This got me thinking on alternatives to gel holders and the thing that popped to mind was name tag pockets. Those are pretty cheap and once you place on over your flash, you can freely insert and remove colorful gels.

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More Gels:
- Homemade Gridspot
- Painting With Light
- The Optimizer
- The DIY Speed Strap – Accessories And Samples [Read more...]

Even Better Softbox Part Two – The Test Results

Softbox Article Part One - The Build ProcessNick rocks again with a follow up on the Better Softbox – a comparison of softbox lining materials.

One of the questions asked in the comments when I built my first large softbox was “would a matte white finish on the interior give a more efficient output?” I had to admit, it had never crossed my mind to use anything other than aluminium foil as the lining material as I had just assumed this would be very efficient. After doing a bit of research on the internet I found a table with the following values listed for the reflective efficiency of various materials and finishes: [Read more...]