Use Light Stencils To Create Amazing Light Paintings

Be Free! As you may already be aware, light painting is the process of moving light sources around during a single exposure to create an overall shot. A more specific way to include light forms into a photo is with `light stencils’.

The light stencil itself is made up of two main components – the stencil image, and something to contain the light while you shoot that image. A shoebox works really well (with the stencil picture cut into the lid, and the box used to contain the light); or alternatively, a portable soft box could be used (with the stencil attached to the front of the soft box).

In this article, TigTab explains how to create a light stencil using a shoe box. [Read more...]

Manual Lens From PVC Pipes

Manual Lens From PVC PipesThere are proven ways to become a professional photographer, ask Zack Arias. Looks like building your own lenses (which we have done before) ranks pretty high. #3 in fact. And I do want to be a professional photographer. I want it real bad. REAL BAD!

So I looked for the cheapest way to come up with a lens like this. Antonio Montesinos was kind enough to allow me to feature his lens building tut on DIYP. In Your face Zack, I m gong pro for a Dollar fifty. [Read more...]

The Real Story Behind Starbucks – Getting The Perfect White Balance

Emergency ExpodiscI know what you’re thinking. Starbucks was made so you can slowly sip your hot Lattes and cappuccino while your army of photo assistants are setting up your clever array of strobes, monolights, “kino-flo”s and LED panels.

Actually, this is all an elaborate pre-show so when they come shouting that “the sky is falling” and “how the heck are you going to find the white balance for this mix of lights” you can smile and put down your Latte.

Then you take the plastic cup of, place it on the lens and show how you cleverly created an instant Expodisc out of thin air. Ha! White Balance nailed.

Emergency Expodisc

Steve Bennett‘s Starbucks Coffee Cup Emergency Expodisc, with how to instructions. (Surprisingly, the other instant Expodisc is also coffee related. I wonder if there is a great scheme here). [Read more...]

We Don’t Need No Light Meter,

We Dont Need No Light Meter,when I was your age we used to squint/half squint to measure light!

OK, I am not that old. Actually my father didn’t even take photographs beyond the average vacation on the beach photo.

Yet, there are times when you have to calculate exposure manually, or even harder, calculate flash settings. Mixing flash and ambient is no rocket science – to quote a certain DH. However, it seems that one of the issues that is hard on everyone is when to start in terms of aperture, shutter speed and flash output.

Photographer Domjan Svilkovic came up with a nifty little card that can help you do just that using the ultra highly modifiable yet super cheap YN460 strobe. I would go and say that it may be considered a printable flash meter. Seems that the low price is driving those to be very popular.

The card and instructions after the jump. [Read more...]

Huge iPad Arrays Used As Portrait Lights

Huge iPad Arrays Used As Portrait LightsWhat happens when you cross Kirk Tuck’s insatiable love for LED panels with Jim Goldstein’s unstopped craving for iPads? Nothing, ’till you add in a secret ingredient – a starving-for-innovation photographer Jesse Rosten.

Jesse did a complete portrait shoot using 9 (yea NINE) iPads as lighting sources. Those iPads were mounted on three fixtures in what I would adventurous mode. Video and a little about constraints after the jump. [Read more...]

High Speed Photography – Let Arduino turn The Lights Off For You

High Speed Photography - Let Arduino turn The Lights Off For YouIf you’re reading DIYP for a while you probably know that High Speed Photography is not about high shutter speeds. Au contraire. It is about shooting very long exposures in bulb mode, and using a strobe to freeze the action with a split second light.

This means that once you have a setup read to go, you turn off the lights. go back to your setup and pop the balloon / break the glass / shoot the bullet. Kinda messy and uncomfortable. Ask Edward Horsford, the exploding balloons magician.

Photographer Matt Richardson came up with a better to do it. Matt was already Using an Arduino as the triggering device for the strobe. It only made sense to Let the Arduino turn off the lights and open the camera shutter once the setup was ready.

In the video after the jump, Matt explains this concept, and shared the circuit to make this magic happen. [Read more...]

Holidays Bokeh

create your own BokehJust saw this great example by Kim Long of Shaped Bokeh effect done on a Christmas tree. See the before and after right after the jump.

With the upcoming holidays I thought this a great time to sharpen up your shaped Bokeh skills with the free tutorials posted here and here. [Read more...]

DIY Lightstand Bag Makes Your Assistant’s Life Easier

DIY Lightstand Bag Makes Your Assistants' Life EasierLagging lightstands is a bummer. They don’t fit in the bag. They are hard and pointy, and in general they create traction. Lots of traction. If you are just going Bazooka with one stand this is OK. But if you have to carry a few of them… Darn!.

Photographer Peter Miesch was dealing with the same issue and came up with a wonderful lightstand carrying system bag much like the Standbagger that puts an end to the photographer’s assistant misery. Of course, if you are like me and you are your own assistant, than the solution is even more wonderful. This project requires some sewing skills, so if words like zigzag stitch and bobbin make you go AUH? ask your grandma for help. [Read more...]

Need. Bigger. Light

Twin speedlite soft box in actionSometimes, a small softbox would not do it. You just need a bigger light. The thing is that bigger modifiers eat more light up. This a guest post by Edward Peters will show how he dealt with building a large softbox, including building a double flash bracket, mounting two strobes and syncing a pop for up to five strobes using a headphone splitter.

My Wife needed photos of a jewelry piece she had created, but the piece was too big for my favorite 13×13 inch DIY speedlite soft box.

Unfortunately for us, the jewelry has entered a contest and cannot be displayed on the web. However, the good news are that I can share the making of the mega-dual-light softbox that took the image. [Read more...]