Just Can’t Get Enough Shaped Bokeh

I just love those little nuggets of fun.

While I am not the Black Eyed Peas biggest fan (my daughter is, you should here her scream Pump-it! from the top of her lungs) , it is always a nice surprise to see a shaped bokeh featured in a big, hot-shot video.

After last year’s Shaped Bokeh appearance in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World which for me marked the beginning of this technique being adopted by serious cinematographers, comes Just Can’t Get Enough by The Black Eyed Peas. The video was shot just one week before the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the clip encourages donating towards Japan’s relief efforts.

Watch for second 54. Full of lovely bokeh hearts. If you are shooting DSLR it is very easy to create that effect using an Exacto knife, or using DIYP’s Bokeh Masters Kit. (The video starts 5 seconds before the effect shows).

Switchup.

Switchup! [Read more...]

Poll: Are You Using Protection?

My broken UV filter, RIPThere is an ongoing debate in the photography community, if one should use UV filters (or similar “zero effect” filters). I was never a big advocate for any of the camps, but slid a UV filter on all my lenses just in case.

As of this now, I am a firm member of the first camp.

Earlier this month I shot an event and had my D300 + 24-70/2.8 heavily shoved slightly brush against a poll. Luckily I had a B+W haze filter on.

The filter broke completely. I removed it and using a blower made sure that all the small and sharp glass was removed.

While I hate losing an ~$80 filter, I love not losing a ~$1600 lens. And think it is worth paying that little performance degradation.

What do you think? Are you Using protection filters? [Read more...]

Use An Electrical Drill For Smooth Dolly Sliding

Use An Electrical Drill For Smooth Dolly SlidingIf you are doing any video production, one of the first tools you’ll probably end up building/buying is a slider/dolly combo.

A slider gives you the ability to smoothly move the camera sideways during a shot and it adds a great deal of value to any video production.

If you are building a slider getting a one of the cheap sliders the “Industry standard” super cool (yet no so cheap) kessler pocket dolly, this tip will make your life easier.

You can use a drill as a dolly motor which will give it a constant and smooth movement. [Read more...]

Can You Make Computerized Shaped Bokeh?

Computerized Shaped BokehAs you probably know DIYP has a small feish for shaped boekh (we even made a kit).

Mike Pan was interested to see if a similar effect can be computer generated. well, it can using blender and cycles. Here is what Mike has to say about it.

It all started with the release of Cycles – a new GPU based (read: Fast) path-tracing (read: Nice) rendering engine for the 3D software Blender. For people unfamiliar with the concept, a rendering engine is a software that turns a computer generated 3D scene into a final picture. A rendering engine has to calculates lights, shadows, surface materials and all the intricate details that make up a believable virtual world. Most rendering engines uses all kind of tricks and shortcuts to simulate surfaces and lighting, whereas Cycles rendering is purely based on the physics of light, which means it is very easy to get photo-realistic renderings like this: [Read more...]

$60 Video Light Configuration

The guys over at SLRLounge came up with a video tutorial about that shows how to create a video light configuration for an intimate interview.

I spoke on the merits of worklights before as a very inexpensive option for shooting stills, but this video shows how they also work great for video. Pye Jirsa does mixes several light temperatures in a very Strobist CTO Overdrive way to gain cool light effect on one side of the interviewers face. Sweet.

I tried to tally up the actual numbers and came up with something close to $60, not bad for a video setup considering that even the most basic dedicated video lights cost around $40-70.


[Read more...]

IKEA Based Ring Light – Redux

IKEA Based Ring Light - ReduxContinuous Ring Lights are quite popular as the work both with video and stills. A while back we featured a hack to build a ring light out of on old IKEA lamp called Kvartil chandelier, wich eliminated the woodwork from the common ring light design. Sadly that chandelier has been discontinued for a very long time now.

Luckily, there is a replacement. Photographer Iñigo Alonso found a replacement chandelier, the IKEA Glänsa. While it may look cumbersome at first glance (or glansa) stripped from all the spikes it provides a great ring light base.

There is also a video describing both the build and  the wiring (ask for help if you are not familiar with getting zapped with live wires). The vid is in Italian Spanish, but can be pretty much watched on mute if you prefer to avoid the musical language. [Read more...]

Fully Working 4×5 Camera Made Of LEGO Bricks

Fully Working 4×5 Camera Made Of LEGO BricksThey say that if you set a 1,000,000 monkeys at 1,000,000 typewriters for 1,000,000 years and let them type randomly at the machines, one of those monkeys will end up accidentally writing the complete works of William Shakespeare.

Similarly, I wonder, if we sat down 1,000,000 monkeys with a ton of LEGO bricks, will they end up building a fully functional camera.

Well, photographer Cary Norton took the monkey part out of the equation and proved that a fully functional camera can indeed be built from heap loads of LEGO bricks

The camera, named Legotron,  uses a 4×5 film back and took over a year (with lapses) to build. Images are quite impressive. [Read more...]

DIY Portable iPhone Power Supply (A Rad Photoshop Tut)

DIY Portable iPhone Power Supply (Or Rad Photoshop Tut)

If you are an iPhone user like me, you must hate the way the battery drains after about 3 hours of use. Michael Herb came up with a super cool way to keep your iPhone charged at all times. The Xtend portable generator.

OK, you got me, the Xtend does not really exist in real life (though it would be such a cool DIY project). But not all is lost. Instead of charging your cell, you can have a behind the scenes look on how this photograph was created. Michael was kind enough to walk DIYP readers through his workflow of creating this image.

It may be hard to believe but using some image magic, the photograph was taken using a small bath and a bed sheet. (You can watch the entire process on video at the end)

It’s all Michel from now on… [Read more...]

Super Detailed DIY Ring Flash How To Video

ringflash-36I am not really sure how this 2008 awesome video duo went under the radar here at DIYP, but thanks to our alert readers (thanks Gail) it is now up for your viewing pleasure.

This is by far one of the best DIY Ring Flash designs I’ve seen and the only thing that tops that design is well document how to video that makes building it looks like a walk in the park.

The design by Craig White is a bit different from the usual paper pizza box ring flash we’ve seen here on DIYP. It is quite sturdy – made from metal bowls. I would not be surprised if it takes some inspiration from the Terra Cotta Beauty Dish.

Anyhow, here are the two videos, followed by a sum-it-up image. [Read more...]