Army Surplus Camera Carrying Belt

Army Surplus Camera Carrying Belt I said is a few times before. Army surplus stores are a great place for photographer to hang out at and find some nice finds. I think that there is a strong connection between the needs of a soldier and the needs of a photographer.

One particular point where needs converge, is carrying equipment. It is only reasonable that both will need systems that will help them carry dedicated equipment. The soldier needs to carry riffle parts, bullets, field accessories; The photographer needs to carry lenses, small strobes, memory cards and so on.

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The Gridspot Project

DIY GridspotNot long ago, I wrote about Saxon PC Gridspots. If you are saying "Hey! What’s a PC has to do with gridspots?" you’d like to read this article about using PC Chassis air flow control honeycombs as great light modifiers.

It gets better.

The guys at SaxonPC asked what they can do for DIYP readers. Can we have some gridspots? Sure! That was it, so there are 5 of those gridspots up for grabs. 

So, here is how it’s gonna go. If you want one of those cool gridspots use the comments section below to let us know what you are going to shoot with it. Yes it is that easy:

1. Decide what you are going to shoot. 

2. Make a comment telling the world about it. Please include your Flickr account / mail address or any other way that will make it possible for me to contact you. Since there are only five of those to give out. Please be sure that you can make the final image in time. If you can not, you can add a comment with something fun to shoot, but tell that you are not here for the gridspot.

3. If you are selected, get ready to get a SaxonPC gridspot in about one week after the selection is made.

4. Take the image you planned and post it in DIYP.

In two weeks from today – that is November first, we will ship five gridspots to the readers with the best five shooting ideas. I am going to the sole judge for this. Two weeks later, we will post those five images here on DIYP.

The idea here is to go though an exercise in planning a shot and making it happen. I will not throw you in the deep water without some help:

- Building a Black Straw Gridspot and Portrait Ideas
- Film Noir Assignment @ Strobist

The other idea is to give away a few gridspots, so the two best shoots will also receive the gridspot mutipack.

There is no restriction on subject, number of flashes or special techniques. You can use an additional DIY gridspot, Gels, and other flashes, and light modifiers. Portraiture, still life and actions shots are all welcomed.

UPDATE: project is no longer taking submissions. Notification mails were sent to the winners. keep watching for final image.

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Making Precious Newborn Memories Last Forever

Baby's Growth Stages Captured in PhotographyWelcome to the second installment of Baby’s Growth Stages Captured in Photography by Shannon Kietzman from My Baby Photos.

Now that your newborn has finally arrived, it is important to capture photographs within the first couple of weeks of your child’s birth. Your newborn baby will be changing rapidly over the first several weeks following his or her birth, so you want to be certain to get some great photos to help you always remember those first two weeks.

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Gel Caps – DIY Light Painting Gels For Your Flashlight

Gel Caps - DIY Light Painting Gels For Your FlashlightZeke K. is the guest author of this post. Of course, you’d probably figure this out yourself after getting to the “Nice!” at the end of the post.

Ah, light painting. Thanks to digital photography, light painting has never been easier to get the kind of effects you are looking for. Lock that shutter open, mess around with your flashlight, check the results on the screen. Didn’t work? Adjust and repeat. Lovely!

But maybe you want more than just lovely. Maybe you want color! That’s where gels come in. Next time you are in a photo store or making an order from an online shop, pick up a pack of the Lee or Rosco sample gels. You’ll have access to every color in the rainbow, even “Cosmetic Silver Rose.” Did you even know that color was in the rainbow? I didn’t.

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Welcome Tronix

Please join me in welcoming Innovatronix as a sponsor for DIYP. Innovatronix are the makers of the awesome Explorer XT battery pack I reviewed just a while ago.

If you did not read the review yet, let me fill you in quickly. Tronix make a killer battery-pack that you can take outdoors and power your favorite studio lighting anywhere in the world. OK, not anywhere, you need to actually be able to be on location yourself.

If you are bummed about using speedlights anytime you leave the studio, you’ll surely appreciate the portability.

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Using A Cooling Honeycomb As A DIY Gridspot

DIY GridspotI just love gridspots. The amount of light control that a gridspot will give you is incredible. So, a while back I ordered some honeycomb grids from saxonpc. It is with two of those gridspots that I took the image on the left, but first thing first. In fact Saxon PC is specializing in making computer cooling solutions, little did they know that their honeycomb is just perfect for light control. OK, they knew, they made a site for it. Yet it was fun to say “little did they know”.

One of the first projects on DIYP was a coroplast made gridspot, which totally rocked, but getting those nice black honeycombs tickled so much and I caved in.

In fact this solution is very similar to HonlPhoto’s 1/4″ and 1/8″ gridspot solutions. If you are willing to settle a bit on the looks and spend a few minutes modding, you can save a few Dollars. Not that a few dollars will take you anywhere today.

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Baby’s Growth Stages Captured in Photography: Maternity

Baby's Growth Stages Captured in PhotographyWelcome to this multi-part series of articles on Baby’s Growth Stages Captured in Photography by Shannon Kietzman from My Baby Photos.

Whether you are expecting your first child or your fifth, your pregnancy is a special time in your life. As such, you will want to capture these remarkable months with photos that you can cherish forever. By keeping a few key thoughts in mind while taking maternity photographs, you will be certain to have some amazing photos to share with your child when he or she grows older.

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Chase + Snow + Good Music = New Book

When I was in summer camp we used to have an evening routine. Each time one of the campers had a birthday, the chief councilor would step up to the mic at dinner time and say: "Every day is special here at ILTC, but today is a very, very special day for Daniel B.". This meant that it was Daniel B.’s birthday and that after a bit of prancing and jumping around the room, he "treated" everybody for a cake. Now, since it was summer camp, it was always the same "mass deployment" chocolate cake. But we were kids and loved it. For me it was those cakes that made dinner that much more fun.

So, let me try something here: Every day is a special day at DIYP, but today is a very, very special day for Chase Jarvis.

Nope, it is not his birthday, but his book’s birthday. That’s right. Chase is out with a new (and first) book called Stevens Pass. And nope there is no cake, there’s a much better treat – a Chase Jarvis Frames video about the book making (if it does not show on your RSS reader click here).

Now this is what I like about Chase. He’ll give you that fabulous book that will make your eyes go out of there holes. BUT, he will also so you the hard work and all the images that did not get in the book so you’ll know this is hard work.

If you’ve ever wondered if it is difficult to shoot from a helicopter check out the frames where the rotor shows. Now, how in the world can you time that rotor to be out of the frame?!?

You can order the book here, and get it signed for no extra charge by Chase. There are only 2,500 copies so you have to be quick if you want one for yourself.

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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 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...]