The Strobist Corner: A Quadzillion Duty Light Source

Caterpillar (lit with Can O' Pickles)A long while back David Hobby did a double duty assignment where he asked participants to use a single light source to perform several lighting function. A huge deal later I saw a great video from Jim Talkinton about using mirrors as a way of expanding a light source and became obsessed with it.

In this post, I will share my experience with creating a setup that only uses one very cheap work light on a stick-in-a-can and lots of mirrors from a Dollar store (or Amazon). The premise is that you can light well on the cheap. Mucho strobismo.

Here is the fun bit, lighting for this setup only costs about $10. The step by step is right after the jump.

The resulting image is on the top of this post. We’ll get back to it, but first, lest see what we started with. [Read more...]

Poll: I Would Improve My Photography If…

Getting Back Into PhotographyAs photographers we strive on taking good photographs. Moreover we want to take consistently good photographs. While it is true that inspiration, ideas and magic powder all help in making a good photo, the truth with photography, like so many other crafts – is that the more you “practice”, the better your images are.

The premise of this poll is that if you need to do two things in order to constantly improve: 1 take lots of photographs. And 2. invest the time and effort to learn after each session. You must have both.

If you “spray around” and do not take the time to edit, review, self criticize and expose your images, you will have lots of pictures, but quality will not change.

If you shoot very little it will be hard to exercise the points learned in the previous round.

(Statistically speaking, if you do take the spray route your chances of taking one good image do increase, I mean even monkeys can write a Shakespearean play, but this is not what I am talking about here).

In this poll, I would like to hear what is stopping you from improving and refining your photography skills. What is stopping you from continuously improving and honing your skills?

I’ll go first: I would improve my portraiture skills if I shot more personal projects. And I would do more personal projects if I was not so shy about asking people for participation.

How about you? Share in the comments.

(If you are reading this via RSS, you may want to click through to read/share your thoughts) [(cc) image credit Cayusa] [Read more...]

Stick In A Can (Poorman’s Solution For 3D Lighting)

Caterpillar (lit with Can O' Pickles)A long while back I got familiar with Stick In a Can method for light positioning through the (sadly retired) Pro Photo Life Blog by Jim Talkington. In this post, I’ll show how to make one of those and what are some great uses for them.

A stick in a can is the poorman’s solution for positioning lights in three dimensional space. Basically it combines a stick, which provides some height and a cement filled can which provides anchoring weight. It works great for positioning worklights, reflectors and just about anything you can clamp.

The Caterpillar above was shot using one of those stick in a can and some magic. (more on the magic in a future post). [Read more...]

DIY Camera Hard Case

DIY Camera Hard CaseIn this post, Kevin A Crider will show you how to make a DIY Hard Camera Case the size of a suitcase. And yes, you can get a pro, feature rich version for $800, but if you walk to the closest garage sale, you can make a camera hard case for $5 and the price of the foam.

All this project requires is a suitcase that opens in the middle and a sheet of foam. You may use any suit case, but the ones that open in the middle allows us to store equipment on both sides. [Read more...]

How To Build The Smallest Intervalometer In The World

The Passage of Time (by ToniVC)If you are into time lapse you must have checked the option of getting an Intervalometer. as you can see from the Canon and Nikon links an Intervalometer is not cheap. Not really expensive either, but definitely not cheap. So As usual I ask: what can you DIY about it?

Some cameras already have the time lapse feature built in, and Canon photographers can turn to CHDK for adding a time lapse feature. But there is a third, cooler version if you are into electronics (which I know lots of site readers are not afraid of).

Achim Sack – a super electronics engineer – has a project for building an intervalometer the size of a finger nail. It needs no power and learns the interval between shots as you go. If you are into embedded programming, this is a project for you, if not, “move along nothing to see…” [Image credit: tonyVC] [Read more...]

Introduction to Radio Controlled Helicopter Aerial Photography

Photographer Rigs A Canon 7D to An RC Helicopter I am very excited to introduce the following guest post on Aerial Photography Introduction by Eric – crashing is not an option – Austin.

Yea, it is that dude that rigged a Canon 7D to a custom RC Heli whom we interviewd a little while ago.

What is aerial photography?

Aerial photography originated over 100 years ago, soon after man first took flight. It is the method in which pictures or video are captured from a perspective not seen at ground level. From satellites high above the earth to an RC plane or helicopter, aerial photography can be an awesome DIY project! [Read more...]

DIY iPhone/Camera Steadicam

DIY iPhone SteadicamI know the iPhone cannot stand in for the Scarlet or Epic cameras, it will probably not even use the full power of your SLR lenses. However more and more hobbyists are using the iPhone at the always around camera (kinda similar to what happen to smart phone still cameras).

That said, it is no surprise that amateur photographer push the iPhone camera to its limits, or just find ways to add “pro” gizmos to the very low grade cam. After the video camera 2c iPhone dolly, more mods are popping up. This next mod by Spencer S. Watson based in Portland, is a great one if you wanna shoot smooth videos with your iPhone. It is an iPhone Steadicam (we covered a few of those here).

[Read more...]

DIY Dual Gun Bracket With 39″ Umbrella

DIY 39-inch Reflective Umbrella w/ Dual Speedlight Bracket (by Allen Mowery)I am not surprised to see the DIY community responds to David’s Hobby last post about the Lastolite Triflash. Reader Allen Mowery came up with a quick and easy way to build a dual flash bracket with a DIY umbrella.

Made from a T-brace and a 1/2″ plastic pipe (+ some odds and ends), Allen presents the Dual Bracket Swivel Mount. The “genius involved” is debatable to quote the tutorial, however for about $8 (umbrella excluded) this is quite a find. (I am not really sure about the DIYing of the umbrella, in this case. folding and unfolding it seems a bit risky with cheapo paint).

It does not carry a trysync hotshoe as the tryflash, but is still a great way to double your flash power (and save some on a swivel).

Read the full tutorial from Allen on DIYP’s flickr group.

Read about other dual brackets here. [Read more...]