Exploring Small Strobes: Why should I Use a Speedlight

Exploring Small StrobesWelcome to this multi-part series of articles on Exploring Small Strobes by Yanik Chauvin from Yanik’s Photo School.

You’ve probably heard or read this a gazillion times by other photographers so I thought that I would be the gazilionth and one to tell you that creating a great photo is all about lighting. Light is what sculpts your scene. You can have the best composed shot but if your lighting is crap, good chances that your shot will be also. And sometimes to get good light, you’ll need to work with artificial light sources. One of the most popular light source used by photographers are strobes; also called flashes.

So I figured that I would give you my insights on small strobes (also known as flash guns or speedlights) in this multi part saga here on DIYPhotography.net. So let’s get right to it, shall we.

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Two Great Series Coming Up

I guess it is no big secret that two of my photography passions are children photography and using small strobes. In fact, lots of images in DIYP are images of my son and daughter and were taken with off camera lighting. 

This why I am so exited about two new series by two great guest authors starting this week: 
Exploring Small Strobes by Yanik Chauvin and Baby’s Growth Stages Captured in Photography by Shannon Kietzman. [Read more...]

Having Fun @ The Pool #5

It is time for another great collection of DIYP reader’s images.

I could not resist watching the images submitted to DIYP Flickr pool, no matter how late it became and mark a few favs.

The range of images, as always, is a great variety ranging from portraiture to still life to abstract. 

I am going to try something new and make the next pool-fun all about portraiture. 

Do submit studio portraits, opportunity portraits, kids portraits, on location portraits, off location portraits, self portraits, black and white portraits, friends portraits, OK, I think you get the point.

Acute Viral Nasopharyngitis (Week Eight of Fifty-Two) by Auzigog On The Playground by paggre Razor by Bald Monk jason-safari-28 by spudcheyne  by Ryan Holloway Photography The Great Eggscape by Bald Monk
Taking the Trash Out by Brian Auer Our court R.I.P by beldyga.com Chuckle Brother by JonathanRobsonPhotography.com confusing...or somewhat confusing by anvancy Chris & Jessica Engagement - Falling by Auzigog Bike trick by Salvatore Falcone
Night Sky Over Country House by neilcreek DSC_0148 by chris challoner _MG_6184 by JonathanRobsonPhotography.com x by Victor Bezrukov Marcus Fenix by Will Nickelson | Clueless Photog Bluebottle by Bald Monk
Chair dance by grilkip yellow by Salzer studios Pencil Party by Scott Coulter Sea of green by Bald Monk Coffee Legends by rivm Worlds within Worlds by Bald Monk
Belladona presenta "Show" by Yon Pol Fotografía Like An Old Pair Of Shoes by Latente ?? Ho accidentalmente Port-125 by Victor Bezrukov Pure Fire by Touzeen Hussain 092708000678 copy by taylorjonesphoto Dude, why won't you look at me? by Will Nickelson | Clueless Photog
Guitar by TrixSigio Alternate Realities by Julian Chin DSCF7632 by anvancy Olympus 35 RC by Brett Dickson NorthWestern by Adam Melancon AppleJacks Acoustic Set #3 by Salvatore Falcone

More Photodumps:
- Having Fun @ The Pool #4
- Having Fun @ The Pool #3
- Having Fun @ The Pool #2 – What a Splash
- Having Fun @ The Pool #1

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What Happens When You Provoke the Guerrilla

What do you get by provoking a guerrilla party? Apparently, if you provoke the right guerrilla party and do it just the right way you can try out one of it’s nifty lighting devices.

Bert Stephani had an insightful comment about the “Guerrilla”ness of the Florida based California Sunbounce Guerilla video by Michael Grecco. In short he said that going out to shoot with a bunch of stylists, assistance, hair dressers and models is not really Guerrilla. Bert also suggested showing the Sunbounce guys what’s real Guerrilla.

Whadayaknow? They picked the glove and sent Bert their Micro-Mini to try out. Here is the funny yet informative video Bert took:

Hey, this is also a great chance to browse around Bert’s site – Confessions of a Photographer. The Great insights and videos will easily chew your evening away.

Grab the full Bert Stephani Video and post here.

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Your Cute Kid – Everywhere

Wouldn’t it be nice if your kid was sooooo cute, he’d be on every bulletin board, feature internet campaigns and smile at you from the highway signs?

Wouldn’t it be so uncool if this happened without your consent?

This is going to be another you-must-read-the-TOS-before-you-enter-a-contest post, so if you are just here for the DIY stuff, feel free to skip it. If on the other hand, you’ve ever entered a contest without reading the TOS (Terms of Service), man, you’d be happy after you read this one. [Read more...]

More Power To Your Flash – External SLA Battery Flash Mod

More Power To Your Flash - External SLA Battery FlashIf you’ve been shooting with a flash for a while, I’m sure you had some battery problem or another at least once. Like when one of four batteries goes bad and quickly discharges the other three. Or when it’s cold and the batteries don’t hold their charge so well anymore. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a more reliable source of power? One that virtually lasts for ever (well, not forever, but for a darn long time). This is probably on the wish list of anyone who is shooting off shoe and don’t care much about weight, but do care about recycling time and number of pops that can be squeezed in a session.

Konstantin Sirotkin describes how to make a Flash mod that will allow you to connect your flash to an external power source.
Yes this is an external power source, no mater how bomb-like it looks.

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The DIY R-Strap

The DIY R-StrapThere are several ways to wear your camera strap, you can wear it on your neck in what I’d love to call “The Lunchbox Carry”; you can wear it on your shoulder in a “Lazyman Hang” or you can wear it across your body, like soldiers are wearing their weapons in a “Weapon Cross”. Which one is your favorite?

Now, each of these hangs can be rated on three factors:

  • How fast does it take you to bring the camera into a nice shooting position?
  • How comfortable is it?
  • How safe is it to your camera?

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Speed Links for 09-21-2008

speedlinksToday’s speedlinks is a bit eclectic, as I tried to touch a little on each of the aspect I love about photography. There is a film lover link, a techie link, a few workflow links and of course an art link.

If you enjoyed a link, leave a comment on the linked site, let them know you like their work.

 

  • 80 Film Cameras for Under 50 Dollars!
    Epic Edits
    One of the more fun things I did in the last month was joining Brian’s 50$ camera project. Brian and the Epic Edits community formed an unbelievable repository for old film cameras. Aside from siding with Jim Talkington, I also had a funsees submission featuring the Lomo Action Sampler
  • Jeffrey’s “Export to Flickr” Lightroom Plugin
    Jeffrey Friedl’s Blog
    I just love Lightroom, but I have always felt that it lacks flickr integration. No More! Jeffrey Friedl came up with a Flickr Export plugin. I’ve been using it for about three weeks and have only good things to say
  • Lighting Q and A, 9/19/2008
    Strobist
    David is giving full attention to using flash in conjunction with ambient. In a post that starts as a simple comparison between working with and without a flash meter, David provides a detailed workflow for working with ambient (and without a meter). You may also want to check out Beyond Megapixels Histogram 101. The histogram can be a great tool when you are not using an exposure meter
  • This Post Not Made In Chrome; Google’s EULA Sucks Is Fixed
    Tap The Hive
    Sometimes the blogosphere can have big impact on multi-gazillion dollars companies. Djlosch point that Google Chrome’s EULA gives Google rights to everything that goes through it. (Yes the big G is into internet browsers now as well). The impact on photographer is huge. It means that almost everything that if you uploaded something to Flickr, Goggle owns it. Goggle took notice and changed Chrome’s EULA
  • Lightroom 2.x Enhanced Keyboard Shortcuts
    Gordon McKinney’s Photography Blog
    A while ago I discussed how to make an enhancement keyboard to Lightroom. Gordon posts a AutoHotkey script that will add some fastkeys to your Lightroom workflow without attaching a second keyboard
  • Fifty cent flash bounce
    Instructables
    Diffusing the on camera flash is always better then direct flashing. Here is one more cheapo alternative to the commercial products. You read right – 50 cents.
  • 8 craft store items every DIY photographer needs
    Exposure
    Here are eight items that every DIYer must have. While the list is not complete, it is a good base for starting some great projects. Feel free to add to the list
  • Nikon D3 Shutter Release in Super Slow Motion
    Jeffrey Friedl’s Blog
    This is an amazing video shoeing the Nikon D3 shutter sequence in slow mo. You can see how the mirror goes up, the first and second curtains and the mirror goes down again.
  • I Started a $2 Portraits Group on Flickr
    Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection
    Thomas Hawk started a new project where he give 2 dollars to any homeless that asks, and take a picture in exchange. A great project that involves community and photography. And there is a Group on Flickr to support it
  • Extreme X-Rays: Photographer Nick Veasey Takes You Inside … Everything
    Wired
    Here some cool experimental photography. Actually, it is not longer experimental. Nick Veasey takes X-ray photographing to the extremes in this wonderful art.
  • Fine Art Photo Show or Why Nice Photo Mag Sucks
    Nice Photo Mag
    Zeke is adding a new project to his life called sleepless nights adorable baby. He thinks he will slow down a bit on his blog. On the other hand he is sooo going to be awake all the time, so maybe he’ll blog more. On a happier note, He has his own show now. if you are around the LA area it will open on Oct 2nd. It is annoying, attentions grabbing, it is everything but nice!

Last and not least is a new video from Jim Talkinton over at Pro Photo Life. Jim has a new video that explains just what a color profile is. It is not an in depth tutorial, but a good overview to get you started thinking about managing your color. While you’re at it, Jim just launched a new clean design to Pro Photo Life with clear categories and a great video library. If you did not visit him before, I encourage you spend some time there. It is a great resource to the studio photographer.

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Two Power Tips For The Traveling Photographer

travel photography - power stripSo, I’m going on a few days trip abroad, let’s see what’s in my bag: Laptop, Image bank, battery charger for my flash batteries, Camera battery charger and cell phone. Socket adapter for laptop power charger, power line for laptop charger, Socket adapter for cell phone charger, socket adapter for Image bank, power wire for battery charger … Are you bored yet? What’s with all those wires and socket adapters?

Here are two tips for the traveling photographer that will save you precious suitcase space and money. Not to mention reduce the number of items you need to cross of your traveling check list.

Of course, you can always take your power with you and avoid the need for any adapters, but some why I think that an 8 Kg battery will consume you entire suitcase.

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Drinking Beer – Out! Snooting – In!

Photography and Lighting - DIY SnootAttending a great software conference like the Agile 2008 conference does have its perks. Aside from the great lectures, fantastic food, and excellent developers to hang out with, you have your freebies. Freebies are the cool little things that vendors will give you to make you come to their booth, and listen to what ever it is they have to offer.

It is only natural that in a software conference you’ll get your USB mini-hub, cool agile poker cards, snoot, assorted candies … did you say snoot?!?!?

Well, not at first sight. One of the Agile consulting companies, Improving Enterprises, was giving away free blue beer holders. Yes, software developers do drink beer hold beer holders. Now, let’s see: made out of foam? Check! Will fit a Nikon SB-800? Check! Black interior? Check! Will look professional on a set? Check! [Read more...]