Is That A Lighting Kit In Your Trunk, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

The Frugal Film Maker by Scott Eggleston is a great resource if you wanna take DIYing from stills to Video. In this installment Scott talks about a his always-in-the-trunk lighting kit. The kit is basically a plastic tote that can be a life saver whenever you arrive at a location that needs basic lighting.

The kit includes a set of hacked worklights, clamp lights, various bulbs and extension cords, a few low wattage light sources and various other goodies. And, of course, gaffers tape.

This got me thinking about compiling a similar kit for photography, something that will have some very basic and cheap stuff that I can always leave in the trunk of my car and not be worried about someone stealing it. I will share more on that as the kit is built. In the meantime I was wondering about your basic kits. Share in the comments. [Read more…]

Polaroid Camera Made From Popsicle Sticks

Brighton based photographer and product design undergrad Maxim Grew probably ate way to many Popsicle and had a few too many visits to the doctor. With the resulting Popsicle sticks and Tongue depressors he built a working Polaroid camera.

Polaroid Camera Made From Popsicle Sticks

Maxim used a few off the shelf components like a lens, a Polaroid film holder and some Fuji-FP 100C, but the body and bellows of the camera are 100% lollipop sticks and cardboard. Amazingly enough – the camera works perfectly.

Hit the jump for Maxim’s movie showing how the camera was build, and for a  sample photo. [Read more…]

Every Ramp Agent Is Really An Angel In Disguise

I know that this is not 100% light painting per se, but it has light wands and long exposures, so what’s the heck.

Every Ramp Agent Is Really An Angel In Disguise

You know those guys that tell the plane where to go while they are on the ground? THey are called ramp agents and they tell the plane where to go by waiving a special wand which is very similar to the wand used in light paintings. And just like waiving your hands in the snow creates snow angels, the ramp agents directing the planes reveals their true secret identity as Ramp Angels. True fact!

H/T to Kris Klop for the photo. [Read more…]

How The Insane Bar Scene From “The Other Guys” Was Shot

One of my favorite scenes of all time is the crazy Bullet Time scene in the bar in “The Other Guys” featuring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg.

In that scene Allen and Terry go through a whole night of crazy drinking in under a minute with the entire scene frozen in bullet time. Unlike other bullet time scenes, like the one in the matrix, this scene was shot using a single camera on rails. The camera was programmed to repeatedly follow the same path while different elements of the scene were filmed. This combined with stuntmen who can hold pose for a long time and a bunch of CGI effect created one of the best bullet time shots I know.

How The Insane Bar Scene From "The Other Guys" Was Shot

Here is a behind the scenes look that shows how the final composite was done. [Read more…]

Photography From The Future: Anti Photography Glasses

It is one thing to have your photo taken in public. It is a whole different thing to have multiple photos of you taken in public, tagged and stored in a way that enables search. Think facebook image tagging crossed with images streaming from ATM machines, street cameras and security cams. Sounds scary right?

Photography From The Future: Anti Photography Glasses

According to Professor Isao Echizen from Tokyo’s National Institute of Informatics there are ways to avoid constant tagging of your face. One such way is to constantly tilt your head. Another less pain inducing option is to use a pair of glasses designed by Prof. Echizen specially designed to disable face recognition. [Read more…]

Giving An Old Nikkormat A New Life As A Sony NEX-5N user Brendan Taylor could not settle the cognitive dissonance between his love for vintage cameras and his love for digital photography. The only resolution to this upcoming madness was to meshup two cameras a Nikon Nikkormat EL and a Sony NEX 5N.

Giving An Old Nikkormat A New Life As A Sony NEX-5N

This allowed Brendan to keep the vintage look of the Nikkormat while getting access to the advanced features of digital photography, including the NEX’s touch screen. [Read more…]

How To Build a Portable DIY Travel Jib / Shoulder Rig

A few days ago we shared a quick sneak peak at the RotoRig – A light weight jib that resembles Light Craft’s trapezist, Zolinger’s ZP1800 and DSLR devices MK4. It’s the kind of jib (or crane) that lets you do amazing Hollywood style sweeping shots. But, in some aspects it is even better. If you are a solo shooter and have to carry your gear alone, the RotoRig saves you from having to carry multiple rigs. It doubles as a video shoulder rig and triples as a hand held jib. We also shared a shot flick shot entirely with the rig in its three positions, and the fact that it can so easily transforms really makes me sad that they did not have a movie autobot back in the days.

The response has been overwhelming and basically everyone said the same thing? How do you build one? In fact, Amazon’s stock of the monopods was nuked.

How To Build a Portable DIY Travel Jib / Shoulder Rig

Well, Chad Bredahl is not the guy to keep you waiting and he put up a video showing how the rig was built. He also shared a complete parts list (as noted below). So everyone who grabbed the monopods off Amazon before the price went up can go ahead and complete the build. For the rest of you, Walmart has them for $9.99. [Read more…]

Shooting Underwater Has To Be Creative Both Artistically And Technically

A while back photographer Benjamin Von Wong was invited to the Underwater Realm set to take a group portrait of the actors and crew.

Shooting Underwater Has To Be Creative Both Artistically And Technically

If you cringe at the thought of taking a big group shot, you would probably cry with the added difficultly of managing everything underwater (while being videographed by Erwan Cloarec) I was really unaware of all the added challenges of shooting underwater.

From water safety personal, through using weights to speed up descent to weighting down the wigs so they don’t float. It seems that everything we know as photographer has to be relearned for underwater.

The video and Ben’s post provide an interesting look into that world, as well as to some of the unique features of shooting underwater, like the inability to use radio slaves (which can be solved with optical wires), the “natural” depth of field that water provides and what’s it’s like working in the water in general. The BTS and more photos after the jump. [Read more…]

A Clever DIY Alarm For your Camera Bag

If you ever took a camera bag to a restaurant, coffee shop or anywhere that makes you put it on the floor, you know that can be really be a peace killer. And you are constantly worried that someone might snatch it.

You try placing the bag under the seat / have one of the straps loop around the chair legs and put it in your lap. Not really convenient.

Youtue user Kipkay came up with a clever $2.5 hack that may not protect your bag, but will definitely let you know if someone is trying to pick it up.

The system is based on a $2 impact alarm (the kind that alerts on broken windows) with an added $0.5 tilt switch. Once the device is turned on any tilt, such as a bag grab, will trigger the alarm. (As with everything, there are commercial options for this, but they are not nearly as cool)

Now here is the clever part (back in my programming days we used to call those “features”). The alarm has not off switch. Once it goes on it can only be turned off by drowning it, smashing it or…applying a magnet to the tilt switch, which is not that trivial if you just picked up this bag and started running. Where would you even get a magnet.

[$2 Alarm Protects Your Stuff!! via Photojojo | PetaPixel] [Read more…]

Understanding Metering, Part Two: What To Use, When By Ming Thein

This is part two of Ming Thein‘s series on Understanding Metering.

In part one we examined why metering is important, and how the basics of how meters work. In today’s article, I’lltake a closer look at the different types of metering, how they differ, and under what situations they should be deployed.


A sample viewfinder – in this case, a rough representation of the Nikon D2H/ D2X finder.

With that background out of the way, let’s look at how the various metering options work, and what typical situations they might best be deployed under. Cameras typically have three options, or some variation upon that. Within these options, it’s also usually possible to fine tune various aspects of the meter’s operation. I’m going to leave out handheld meter operation since this is something that’s almost never encountered today. An important point to note is that all meters can be fooled by situations of uniform luminance, so don’t trust the readout blindly. Remember, meters function by averaging the entire evaluated area out to middle gray; this means if your evaluated area is meant to be black or white, you’re going to need to add or subtract some exposure compensation. For predominantly light/ white scenes, you need to add; for dark scenes, subtract. This holds true for every one of the different metering methods detailed below. [Read more…]