One Light Portrait Setup #1 – Butterfly Lighting (+ Optional Strobe)

butterfly lightingYuval needed a few pictures for her facebook, twitter and other social media services she consumes (or is being consumed by hehe).

As profile pics seem to be popular these days, I thought I’d put the setup and photographs here on DIYP. It is going to be a one light portrait (and optional second light for background).

A while back we had a clamshot post that showed how to use two collapsible Westcott umbrellas to create butterfly lighting. It is a great light for the ladies that really gives that glamorous look. This is why it is also called paramount lighting. We also had a ghetto studio setup post for making a “table” kinda thing for this shot using a single strobe. This one was for the PVC lovers.

In this post I am going to explain how to create the same effect with a single light. (and then show what can be done with a secont light). [Read more...]

Everything You wanted To Know about DIYing a Tilt Shift Lens For Less Than $10

Everything You wanted To Know about DIYing a Tilt Shift Lens For Less Than $10Tilt Shift Lenses are cool. They are those lenses that allow you to take those miniature looking photographs.

I dare you to get a real one; Both Nikon and Canon models are so pricey that you have to give a kidney to afford them. (OK, maybe just a pinky). But we have some good news. Bhautik Joshi (the inventor of the weirdly named plunger cam) and John Swierzbin (who is a DIY lens master) came up with an extensive tutorial about building your own tilt shift lenses. [Read more...]

The Comprehensive Water Drop Photography Guide

Splat!!!Not a long while ago the net was exploding with Corrie White’s Fun with Water set on Flickr. Her control over those drops, their color and their timing was remarkable indeed.

This is why I am very exited to share Corrie’s very extensive guide for water drops photography.

The guide is for all levels going explaining the setup, lights, optional use of a drip mechanism and post. [Read more...]

New Book Shelf – Feed Your Brain

Liri getting an early start on photographyThere are many great photo books out there. I love reading photo books. Both the ones that tell you how to take great photos and the ones that has great photos. And of course the ones that do both.

A while back I had a post that summed up DIYP readers recommendations about photography book, and I decided to take it a step further. There is a new section on the site called The Book Shelf (Food for Your Brain) It will be constantly linked from the main page and refer to a repository of books that I recommend. (Not surprisingly they have high correlation with the list from the post I mentioned). The list will grow bigger the more book are reviewed on DIYP.

To be completely transparent I’ll note that the links on the list are marked with my tag, so when you buy a book from that list I get a small percentage of the sale, while there is no impact on the book price. Buying books from that list is a great way to support DIYP. [Read more...]

The Book Shelf

Long before I started blogging, and around when I picked up photography I read books. In the beginning I read almost any photography book I could put my hand on, and as time progresses I got more picky.

I intend to maintain this list and link to it from the main page for your reference.

Below you will find my favorite reads, the books that helped me learn how to light, how to approach a portrait and that a photograph is more than a combination of aperture and shutter speed. [Read more...]

The Moment It Clicks / Joe McNally – A Book Review

The Moment It Clicks / Joe McNally - A Book ReviewI just put down Joe McNally’s The Moment It clicks. It clicked. I don’t really know how to catalog this book, it is not a learn-photography-techniques book, not a biography and not a Manifesto. Or maybe it is a little bit of all three.

When coming to review it I didn’t really know how to break the book down, there is some structure to it created by having four different chapter and some sections, but it didn’t for feel right to go part by part and review it. instead it felt right-er to review the whole thing as a whole. [Read more...]

The Strobist Corner: A Quadzillion Duty Light Source

Caterpillar (lit with Can O' Pickles)A long while back David Hobby did a double duty assignment where he asked participants to use a single light source to perform several lighting function. A huge deal later I saw a great video from Jim Talkinton about using mirrors as a way of expanding a light source and became obsessed with it.

In this post, I will share my experience with creating a setup that only uses one very cheap work light on a stick-in-a-can and lots of mirrors from a Dollar store (or Amazon). The premise is that you can light well on the cheap. Mucho strobismo.

Here is the fun bit, lighting for this setup only costs about $10. The step by step is right after the jump.

The resulting image is on the top of this post. We’ll get back to it, but first, lest see what we started with. [Read more...]

Poll: I Would Improve My Photography If…

Getting Back Into PhotographyAs photographers we strive on taking good photographs. Moreover we want to take consistently good photographs. While it is true that inspiration, ideas and magic powder all help in making a good photo, the truth with photography, like so many other crafts – is that the more you “practice”, the better your images are.

The premise of this poll is that if you need to do two things in order to constantly improve: 1 take lots of photographs. And 2. invest the time and effort to learn after each session. You must have both.

If you “spray around” and do not take the time to edit, review, self criticize and expose your images, you will have lots of pictures, but quality will not change.

If you shoot very little it will be hard to exercise the points learned in the previous round.

(Statistically speaking, if you do take the spray route your chances of taking one good image do increase, I mean even monkeys can write a Shakespearean play, but this is not what I am talking about here).

In this poll, I would like to hear what is stopping you from improving and refining your photography skills. What is stopping you from continuously improving and honing your skills?

I’ll go first: I would improve my portraiture skills if I shot more personal projects. And I would do more personal projects if I was not so shy about asking people for participation.

How about you? Share in the comments.

(If you are reading this via RSS, you may want to click through to read/share your thoughts) [(cc) image credit Cayusa] [Read more...]

Stick In A Can (Poorman’s Solution For 3D Lighting)

Caterpillar (lit with Can O' Pickles)A long while back I got familiar with Stick In a Can method for light positioning through the (sadly retired) Pro Photo Life Blog by Jim Talkington. In this post, I’ll show how to make one of those and what are some great uses for them.

A stick in a can is the poorman’s solution for positioning lights in three dimensional space. Basically it combines a stick, which provides some height and a cement filled can which provides anchoring weight. It works great for positioning worklights, reflectors and just about anything you can clamp.

The Caterpillar above was shot using one of those stick in a can and some magic. (more on the magic in a future post). [Read more...]