Throw Your Strobe To Great Lengths Using a Poor Man’s Better Beamer

poor man's better beamerIt is not really possible to defy the inverse square law. I know I tried and failed miserably. But you can stretch it.

A better beamer is a device that does just that, it extend the distance the light from your strobe travels. So while the inverse square law is still in effect, it stretches over a greater distance.

Physics bla-bla aside, it means that light coming from your strobe will go further. Some strobes, like the SB900 has an impressive zoom functions that does just that.

Flickr used lonelyhome contrapted a poorman’s better beamer using a cheapo Fresnel lens (around $1) and some plastic (I assume cardboard will do too).

The picture is really self explanatory. [Read more...]

Build a DIY Mini-Rail Slider

Build a DIY Mini-Rail DollySeems like vidoe is getting bigger and bigger. I am considering to add a video category instead of having it hide under the Camera Hacks section.

After the impressive table top dolly design, Martin Taylor shows how to build a Slider Dolly.

As more and more people get into video the number one accessory they seem to want after a shoulder rig is a slider. A slider allows short trucking camera movements. Commercial sliders run the gamut in price (from several hundred to several thousand) and design. A slider usually has a captive body that you mount a tripod head to. The body runs on a track on mechanical bearings or some low friction material. The tracks seem to run anywhere from 2 to 5 feet and can mount on a tripod themselves or some have feet that allow you to lay the slider on the ground for a low profile shot, or rest it on a convenient table or counter top. [Read more...]

Convert Old 8mm Film to Video Using an HDSLR

Convert Old 8mm Film to Video Using an HDSLRIf you’ve been around long enough to know what 8mm films are, good chances you have some family footage somewhere in the attic.

James Miller, Designer and Photographer based in the UK came up with a clever way of converting 8mm footage to “modern” video using a full frame Canon 5D mark II, an old projector, some LEDs, and a broken lens.

The video how-to on Vimeo shows highlights of the build process and the description provides more detailed info.

The real smarts here is projecting the movie directly onto the sensor without a mediating screen (or a bedsheet if you’re a regular reader :)

[via petapixel via planet 5D] [Read more...]

Take Extremely Low Angle Pictures With A Floor Plate Tripod

Take Extremely Low Angle Pictures With A Floor Plate TripodSometimes, for various reasons, you need to shoot from a very low vantage point. In my “cozy” studio, which you might remember seeing in my video – “intro-duck-tion”, that happens quite a bit.

The shortest tripod I own is sometimes still not quite short enough, and handholding is not always an option. So I recently made this floor plate.

While the glue was drying, I looked up similar items on the open market and found that there are a few options out there, but they cost between $50.00-150.00, and in my opinion they are often too light and/or too small to offer true stability and support for a heavy – possibly front heavy – camera. Many of the DIY solutions I came across were also overly complicated.

So, I built my own, which cost me about $20.00, and is now already ready for action. [Read more...]

Smart Rims In Small Doses

Smart Rims In Small DosesPhotographer Kevin Thai reminds us that it is more about how you use your lights than how many of them you have.

In what I would call Home Improvement geniousy, Kevin dumps the old concept of cereal snoots and uses cookie boxes. I am not entirely sure that cookie boxes work as good as cereal boxes… but they sre are sweeter.

However the real smarts lies in the careful positioning of two foam based reflector cards.

And it just so happens that Kevin documented the entire thing with an iPhone set overhead for our viewing pleasure.

Now turn your speakers on, sit back and enjoy the show. [Read more...]

Bokeh Masters Kit Used To Create Boekhlicious Clip

When I first made the Bokeh Masters Kit HDSLRs were very scarce. I never even thought about using it for video. Boy, I was missing out big time!

This is why I was very pleasantly surprised to get this sweet, sweet mail from Ryan Belenzon, directing me to a clip produced for Relax To Paris:

“I shot the following music video with the Bokeh Master Kit.  Thanks for making such a helpful product!”


If you are reading this via RSS, you may wanna click here for the video

I particularly love 1:13, and 1:29. Heck I love the entire clip. [Read more...]

The LensBaby Composer – A Review by Kirk Tuck

I am probably the last person anyone want to hand an “artsy” device to. I shoot quick, have not tolerance for fiddling around and I hate the canned look for most “alternate” processes that are inherent in a camera’s performance profiles. So maybe the owners of this site did the LensBaby people a big disservice and then again, maybe not…..

The LensBaby Composer - A review by Kirk Tuck

[Read more...]

Light Traveling With A Bass Case

My New Lighting Bag - YAY! Goodies!It’s amazing how a new gear bag can brighten up your day. And my new bag is certainly doing wonders for my mood.

Up until recently, I had two modes of operation: Light – in which I traveled with my Bazooka kit – Westcott shoot through umbrella and mini lightstand bunjeed together and held with an M16 strap and Loaded – where I used an old trade-show-stand-bag for an additional stand and umbrella, my softlighter II, and my Apollo box.

It was OK for lagging stuff around, but not very comfy when it comes to packing and unpacking – there was only a top opening, which made it hard to grab the right modifier or to place everything back in.

On my last session with Tomer Jacobson I picked up his little trick. He uses a bass guitar case for lagging his lighting stuff around. I got one today for 35 USD (it was listed 40, but when the store person heard that I’ll be using it for lighting gear, he took 5 dollars off. cool!). [Read more...]

Giving Away An Awesome Tamron SP 70-300mm Telezoom

Tamron SP 70-300mm TelezoomUPDATE: the giveaway is now over, scroll over to the end of the post to see who won the lens.

Tamron, our awesome sponsor is giving DIYP readers a Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD Tele Zoom lens.

It is a great little lens with Ultrasonic Silent Drive which provides fast and quite focusing, low dispersion glass, optimized for DSLRs and Tamron’s Vibration Compensation technology. An excellent grab for its $449 street price.

To enter the giveaway all you need to do is answer one simple question: [Read more...]