Seven Stores for The DIY Photographer

supplies.jpgAbout two weeks ago, I asked DIYP readers where are you getting their daily DIY supplies fix. I did this because some of the projects like the flash diffuser and the DIY backdrop had supplies that were not trivial to come across. Image by Alistair Craven

Happily for everyone US residents, it turns out you can get most of the stuff in the store next door or from the web (or in most cases, both). European DIY photography hackers will find it a bit more difficult. (The good news is that LightingMods has a great Euro Strobist list).

No doubt the big two winners were Lowes and Home Depot. It makes perfect sense that DIY lovers will feel right at home at a hardware/DIY store.

Read on for the rest of the list.

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Just a Washer And a Bolt – An Ingenious Camera Stabilizer

It is amazing what you can do with one 1/4" bolt, a washer and a piece of string.

With less then 1$ at Home Depot, you’ll get a tiny stabilizer for your camera. The maker of this flick claims to gain 3 stops. I’d bet on around two, but it is good enough for 1 buck.

If you are grabbing this with RSS, you can get the full video here.

For a more complete guide, check out the String Tripod over at DIYP group at instructables. Be warned, though, over there you might end up with a two dollars expense bill as they use more part and get more stabilization.

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More DIYP Instructables
:
- Muslin Photography Background
- Great Way To Build a Ringlight
- Photo Studio Compression Pole
- Altoids To The Rescue – The Minty Strobe

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When Color Temperature Does Not Need To Be Precise – Beaker!

colored_tumblers.jpgBoth the Strobist and Rui talk about the virtues of using gels on strobes to create atmosphere in a shot. Either cold blue or hot read. Uber photographer David Tejada uses gels on a regular basis to spice up his shots.

Reader Tony Bell has an interesting idea on color correction gels. Even though they are cheap and available, you can still beat the price, if you are going for Lomo style and Lomo level color accuracy.

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Spice Up Your Home Made Muslin Backdrop

vinegar_backdrop.jpgDIYP reader, Jerry, made a great comment on the process of making a tie-dye muslin backdrop.

It appears that Jerry remembers those happy days from when Tie-Dye was in fashion, and hair was the best show you can catch on Broadway.

Jerry tells that back is those days Tie-Dye shirts were the thing to wear and making Tie-Dye shirts was a common art. (Well, Digital cameras were very expensive then – they cost was just about a time travel ticket plus 1000$).

To spice up the color of a fabric, Jerry spiced up the Tie-Dye process. After the dying process has finished, but before removing the cord and hanging out to dry, you place the fabric in a fixer container.

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Five Simple Steps To Get a Great Shot

5steps.jpgThis post is all about not getting the wrong images? What are wrong images? Wrong images are images that could be great images, but were trashed for not paying attention to one small detail or another.

Before you hit the road, make sure you are not falling in one of the 5 Most Common Digital Photography Mistakes. Or practice on of the 7 Bad Habits of Digital Photographers. Those two posts inspired me to share my pitfalls. As a matter of fact, I’ve fallen so many times, that I now recheck the five steps every time that I take a shot or push the on knob of my camera.

I would like to share five simple steps that taken before you click the shutter, will transform your images from good to great.

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The DIY Macro Rail

macro_rail.jpgThis is a guest post by Ken Stewart, a real DIY pioneer. Having recently gotten into macro photography with a set of Raynox close-up lenses, I found myself wanting a macro focusing rail so I could smoothly and precisely vary the distance between my camera and the subject to get the focus right. A quick check of the web showed me that the cheapest Manfrotto slide I could find was $80 (plus tax and shipping, of course), but I figured I could do better with a little ingenuity, and an obligatory trip to Home Depot.

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A Turkey Pan Upgrade And Three Cheap Portrait Setups

WizWow and Just Fab have done it again. In this nice fun little video Don Giannatti shares three lighting techniques.

In this short video, Don Giannatti really packs in some stuff. The first setup is shows how to do a single strobe glamour portrait.

The second setup is an upgrade to the Three Dollar Beauty Dish by Just Fab (you may remember her from the Ghetto Studio post). Just Fab has gone from one time aluminum pans to more sturdy IKEA pans. Don also uses foam core and window sun shield (My guess is five more dollars to the setup).

The last setup is has another mode from a lightshere, an old reflector and some tissue.

It is mighty kind of Don Giannatti to share his unique lighting in this video. You can see the picture and some more explanations on lighting essentials.

 

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Where Do You Get Your Supplies Fix?

Nuts, Bolts, Dye, Polypropylene, Muslin, PVC. What do all those have in common? They are all supplies for one or more DIY Photography projects.

Some projects are very easy and you can get the stuff for them by digging through your drawers or junk cabinet (If you read this post, you must have one). Other projects require a trip to the store. But which store?

This post is about helping other photographer find what they are looking for and help you find what you are looking for.

The subject of common mails and comments that I receive is asking about where to get the materials for different projects.

Since I do not live in the United States, I don’t always know where to get some of the stuff. DIYP European readers share the same problem; some of the most available supplies in the US are nowhere to be found in Europe.

So, this is where this post comes to the rescue. In the table below, I am going to list some of the more popular projects and the materials that I get allot of questions about. I’d love it if you can help fellow photographers to find some of the stuff. Post the name of your favorite stores, web stores or links to where you get your DIY supplies.

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Pocket Wizard Mounting Device II

pocket-wizard-bracket_01.jpgOne of the things I like most on DIYP is the strong warm community that has build around it. It is more and more often that readers are sending ideas, hacks and modifications that far surpass any ideas that might be having on the late hours of the night.

Reader Joseph A. Sorrentino (flickr) gets the genius-of-the-week award for moding a cable-wrap into a pocket wizard mount device.

Joe has tested several options before going with the cheapest and easiest solution I have seen so far. Here are his thoughts and reasons for designing a whole new Pocket wizard mount from scratch. In my mind all the other alternatives are very good and offer some advantages, but Joe’s mount is the best of class. (Check them all for great mounting ideas.)

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Light up the Floor – A Floor Lit Table Top Studio Project Part Deux

loor_light2.jpg

After taking some shots with the Floor Lit Table Top Studio by Nick, It’s time to take it up a notch.

The previous article showed how to take great liquid product shots, though the set up can work for both liquids and solids.

In this part of the tutorial Nick will show a modification of the setup that allows you to add some color effects to the shot. If you like it, stop by Nick’s flickr stream and say “Hi”. In addition to showing your appreciation, you’ll get some great studio images and setup shots. Now for todays exiting twist:

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