The Inverse Square Law Cheat Sheet – Myth Busted

The Inverse Square Law Cheat Sheet UPDATE: This Experiment is all Wrong. I should hit my head on the same wall I used to measure reflected light off. Some great comments about what went wrong, and great discussion going on – I posted the main points here.

Have you heard about the Inverse Square Law? It’s the law that says that light intensity falls the farther you move your light from your subject. It also tells you that if you move your light to be twice as far it will fall by 4 (the square of 2). if you move the light three times as far, it will fall by 9.

We all swear by that law. The only thing is this law does not apply to the way most of us use flashes.

I’m gonna explain this in a beat, but first here is my newest cheat sheet. (I love cheat sheets. If you are as senile as me, you can print them and then pop them up later and look really smart).

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What’s Your Favorite Light

Photography Studio @ HomeAfter doing nothing but moving pausing for a short while to let everyone suck in the goods on Studio @ Home, we’re going to continue to explore lighting options. We already discussed LED lights, and we’ll be exploring worklights, strobes and big guns next. Till then, I’d love to hear what you use for lighting your pictures. 

If your answer is not on the list, let us know via the comments.

The other thing is that we are going to have a new assignment on S@H. get your cameras ready. And now on with the entrée. 

RSS readers, you may have to click the link to vote and view results. 

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A PJ Book Full Of Projects

photojojo bookA PJ book? Are we talking about a new Pajamas book? A rising Photo Journalist?

Our friends over at Photojojo lunched the Photojojo book. It is a book loaded with great projects for the DIY addict.

For a long time now, I’ve been reading the PJ newsletter. It is a great source to get project inspiration and  some great ideas to lay with once you are sitting at home wondering what to do with all those great pictures you took.

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The Best Camera / iPhone App

The Best CameraOK, I know what you’re thinking. This post is probably gonna be about hacking used lens to a matchbox pinhole camera using some chewing gum.

Well it is even better (and simpler) than that (and it’s about creativity more than about DIY). The best camera is simply the camera that you carry around with you. And since it looks like iPhone sales are close to hitting 6 billion units, odd are that your best camera is an iPhone.
This and the fact that Chase says so.

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Introduction To High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography

Introduction To High Dynamic Range (HDR) PhotographyHigh Dynamic Range Photography (HDR) is a creative technique in which you combine 3, 5 or 7 images shot at different exposures, which are then merged into a single image.

The advantages are far more detail, vibrant color and control of lighting than you could ever achieve by manipulating a single JPG or RAW image in Photoshop.

In the following post Gavin Phillips will cover some of the main (yet often overlooked) aspects of HDR Photography.

(Roll your mouse over any of the images and linger for a second to see how it looked like before HDRing it).

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Recycling Project – A Broken Glass To A Fisheye Lens

fish eye from broken lens UPDATE: Pat Joyce jest released a complete set of instructions for this mod.

It happened to all of us. At one point or another our beloved glass falls on the floor and dies. (Yes, by glass I mean lens – we’re trying some hard photo talk here on DIYP).

If you had a UV or Haze filter on the lens glass, you may have protected it from any minor damage. If you tried some camera tossing and missed, you’d better collect your insurance money. Or waitaminute. As Miracle Max would say the lens may only be mostly dead.

Pat Joyce came up with a neat way to convert that broken glass into a fisheye lens (ok, ok, you can buy one if you don’t want to hack it).
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Doitall Flash Thingy

flash super bounce + softboxHow about creating a thingy that is a bounce card, a softbox and a super bounce card. Nice isn’t it?

Martin Kimeldorf is a regular inventor here on DIYP (with inventions like Portable Backdrop Mount System, the Kimel Bouncer and the dual vertex gel system he is one of the more prolific mind I know). I was not surprised when he came up with a design to the problem presented above. It is a bit rugged and DIY looking, but it does the job. It’s also a great project to get inspiration from, both on what you can do with a flash and how you can do it.

Its all Martin from after the jump.

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Create Great Panning Photographs Without Moving Your Camera

SPRING SPIN Panning is a photographic technique that provides great separation of subject from background.

The technique is very simple in theory, but takes some practice to perfect.

Here is how it works, you set your camera to a relatively low shutter speed.  Say 1/80 or 1/40 of a second. Next you find a subject that is moving from one side of the frame to the other. Here comes the tricky part. While keeping the subject in a fixed part of the frame (and you do that by panning the lens from side to side) click the shutter.

If you did every thing correctly, you’ll end up with a sharp subject and blurred background. This technique takes a lot of practice with the following focus:

  1. Finding the exact correct moment to click the shutter is not always trivial.
  2. You’ll need to avoid any vertical movement – this will create blur in the subject as well. 
  3.  You’ll have to be in precise sync with the moving speed of your subject, to keep it sharp while blurring the background.

This is why DIYP labs developed several techniques to get panning pictures without ever moving your camera.

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