Get Your Flash 100% On Axis With Umbrella

Get Your Flash 100% On Axis With Umbrella OK, So if you look at the title and say ??@?#?$%%$@, it’s time for a little umbrella-holder intro.

Umbrella holder AKA umbrella swivel is a piece of equipment that is meant to attach a small strobe to a light stand. They come in verity of prices and flavors, but one thing is common to all. They have a hole on the bottom to connect to the light stand on one end and a metal stud / hot shoe / cold shoe that attaches to a small flash on the other end.

Wait – didn’t you say they are called umbrella holders? Well, yes – this is because they also have a dedicated shaft to insert an umbrella, either reflective or shoot through.

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Voice Activated Lightstands

Ron and Dog - Voice Activated LightstandThere are times when setting up for a shot is not an option. Take the annual family gathering picnic for example. 8 adults, 6 kids and a dog. Everyone is food-focused and no one is photo-op oriented. Also (as you can see on the left) no one is willing to stand still, even for a second.

This is why setting up for a shot is nearly impossible. Well, not impossible – strobes can be tied up (or gaffertaped, or spiderred) to trees. However this solution will provide harsh light. I was looking for something softer.

The obvious option is to shoot with no – trust good old available light. This is a good option and many great moments can be captured using available light. Yet, there is another option, such that will allow you to use off camera flash even in the toughest situations.

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Speed Links for 04-29-2009

speedlinksThis edition of speedlinks is pretty DIY centric. We’ll cover huge boom stands,  gaffer tape holder surprise, flash gel holder thingy,  some wacky flash diffusers and more.

If you like those tiny bites of the web, you can take a look at the bottom right corner where I post the links as I find them (and befriend me on Delicious), or you can watch my stumbles on stumbleupon.

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Taking A Huge Image With No Camera

Room with the viewGoing back to the old days where digital was not even heard of and 35mm might have been a related kin of the .45″. Yet they took pictures. They did is using Camera Obscura (Dark Chamber).

The basic pinhole is a really simple – it is a shoe box with a small hole on one end and a sheet of sketching paper on the other end. In fact is it so simple that some scientists speculate that it was the first evolutionary step for the (infinitely complex) human eye.

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It’s All In The Cards

Trade Secret CardsI love cards. When I was young I collected cards. Cards of anything and everything. I used to collect Rambo Cards, Fame cards (yes I did), The Garbage Gang cards, you name it. I even collected science cards.

I got to reunite with my old trading cards love when Trade Secret Cards came up with a photographer Strobist deck.

So, what is this Strobist Deck? Zeke Kamm, whom you may know from Nice Photo Mag compiled a set of 24 cards. Each card face has an image, and each card back has a quick how to and lighting diagram.

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Endeavours Of A New Studio

Neighborhood watchWell, actually, the right title for this one should be “Endeavors Of A New Home”, since I am building a whole home and not just a studio, but hey! This is a photography blog, so focus is on lighting and studio. Of course the new place will be packed with tricks, but now, it is in the building process. [Read more...]

Grunge Is Not Dead – Using Grunge Overlays To Enhance Your Images

Grunge Is Not Dead Now, this is not a post processing  blog, so there aren’t many Photoshop tips and tricks here. And if you don’t care about those at all fill free to stop reading right here. However, when a Photoshop technique is used to create DIY-print-on-wood look and feel I had to share it. Or rather, Brian Morrell had to share it. Read on to learn how to create wooden/ concrete / paper looks and feel with Photoshop (and some images).
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D3A – 1st Place Winner


OK, so it is time for announcing the final winner of the D3A contest.

Drum roll please!

It was not easy narrowing the final 15. Some of persons and photogs that gave me feedback on the finalists had a thing or two to say about my taste. However this one was in consensus. Both for DIYing and for superb execution.

Read on to see the actual picture and hear the judges’ decision.

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D3A – 2nd Place Winner


So tomorrow the 1st place winner will be announced. Man I’m excited. Just before I go through the final two winners, I’d like to discuss the selection process a bit.

It was not easy to select 15 images out of more than 10,000. In fact one may think it is impossible.

Here is how it went. Initially I went through the "pool posts" and the last few month’s pool submissions to select about 120 images that I loved.

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