One. Two. Three. White Background

Headshot - White BackgroundHow do you take a lovely portrait like this, on a perfect white background? Of course you’ll need a beautiful model. But how would you handle the lighting? Just throw about 10000 Watts/Seconds on your seamless white and you’re good. 

Or use a single strobe and 5$ worth of white Coroplast. Read on for the full details. 

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Studio @ Home – 1st Assignment

Photography Studio @ HomeUPDATE: assignemt results are posted here.

Welcome to the first assignment of Studio @ Home.

As I promised in the first post of the series, Studio @ Home will be accompanied with a series of assignment (or exercises if you will) that will put some structure on the evolution of your home studio. Those assignments can also be used a motivation leverage – and provide some great opportunities to win great prizes. Read on for the full details.

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Studio @ Home – Easy Lighting

Photography Studio @ HomeOnce we have explored location and a few basic backdrops options we are going to hit lighting. The backdrop assignment will be up next. However, I thought it would not be fair to do the first assignment without even a little bit of home lighting discussion.

After all, light is the substance from which your photograph is made of.

There are several lighting options if you are building up your home studio: Tungsten, Halogen, Florescent, small speedlites and the big canons – studio flashes. Each with its vices and merits. I will dedicate a full post to explore the several options. But just to get things started, I wanted to discuss the most available light of all: Available Light.

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The Strobist Corner: Protect Your Strobe With A Frisbee

Free-Style by Iguana JoEver had your light stand taken down along with your precious 5000$ Profoto? Not a fun experience.

Next runner up on the not-so-fun light stands falls is a knocked-down speedlite. While the cost of speedlites is considerably less than the cost of a Profoto, if this is all you have it can still be pretty annoying. Especially if you’re on the beach where it’s sandy. 

Keep reading for a cheap and ingenious solution. 

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Magic Lantern – Photographers Take Control

Just a quick news flash, if you’re not up to date yet with the Magic Lantern.

Similar to CHDK, a firmware hack that allows you to take control over all the hidden features in your Point & Shoot, Magic Lantern unlocks some very nifty features on your New and shiny Canon 5D Mark 2.

Magic Lantern Firmware is mainly focused on video, but hey – if you’re techie enough, feel free to jump in and download the source code and add whatever feature you’d like. (A movie, feature list and some thoughts after the jump).

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The DIY Super-Robotic Panohead

panorama robotic headWhat’s better than Obama? An Obama Panorama, of course.

If you clicked the link above, you will find a 1,474 Megapixel image of president Obama inauguration. Yup you heard right. 1,474 MP.

This image was made possible with a cool robotic device called the GigaPan. The GigaPan is an automated robotic cradle that tilts and pans in small steps to complete huge panoramic views. It even has a little robotic arm to press the shutter release button for you. And now it is going DIY.

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Three Great iPhone Apps For Photographers

iX-ray, by slowburnUPDATE: coolest app added at the end of post.

The iPhone (or THE iPhone) is gaining popularity fast with photographers. Well, it has an in-phone camera. That kinda means that you carry a camera whenever you go (admit it!! you carry your cell anywhere!!). See Chase Jarivs’s Twitpic iPhone pic stream for example. Just another argument to show that it is not the gear that makes you a good photographer.

Another evidence is the ever increasing number of “how to take good pictures with your iPhone” tutorials. Here are a few that I like: Wired, Goodtree & company, Chase, Neutralday, but really, the net is loaded with tons of tips, guides and creativity enhancers for iPhone images.

So iPhone is popular. OK; no news here. The news (at least for me who still wears black headphones) is that iPhone also packs great applications for photographers. The round up below, courtesy of Ladislav Soukup, is probably just the first mushrooms in the post forest rain of iPhone apps for photogs. I’d love to hear (on the comments) what’s your favorite iPhone app.

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Studio @ Home – Full Scale Backdrops & Backgrounds

Photography Studio @ HomeOn the last post we saw how easy it is to set a “backdrop” for any small object.

In this post, we will continue to explore backdrop solutions, only this time the focus is going to be on full scale backdrops. The type that goes better with taking portraits.

The underlying principles remain the same: once you have a space to shoot at, you will want to remove distractions from the background. Again, you’ll want to use a seamless backdrop removing seams in Photoshop is a painful and time consuming process. The standard width for most backdrop, muslin or paper is about 108″ (although 53″ is a common size as well). This width allows for some freedom in terms of subject placement and subject movement.

As with most simple things in life backdrop creation can be divided into two parts: creating the backdrop and mounting it.

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The DIY Light Table – A Weekend Project


Here’s a great project for a weekend. The DIY Light Table, courtesy of Félix Ménard (Flickr).

The idea behind the light table is simple. Things look really great if the light is passing through them. As opposed to light being reflected off them. This is why slides look so good, this is why we love vitrage windows in churches.

A light table is the perfect way to inspect slides, negs and to do some really interesting art.

This project by Felix uses an old desktop (from when desktops were actually made from wood and did not have any chips in them), however, a similar project can be made with more temporary means which are great for a weekend project. I’ll discuss this towards the end.

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