Shooting the Team – Surf’s Up

the-little-professor.jpg After sharing two posts of the Shooting the Team project, I believe you get the idea: Do an assignment like photograph, using journeyman flash accessories.

By telling the story of how I shot Omer, I’ll almost wrap up half of the team.

What I wanted to show in this portrait is Omer’s light and fun approach towards life (and work). “Surf’s up – Lets jump in” is just what you’ll hear him say at the beach or facing a challenging task at work. (Of course it was easier to convey the mood using a beach accessory).

So this is what Omer and I thought of – making a light feeling portrait while showing off Omer’s abs.

Shooting the Team - Surf's Up

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The Photo Book Made @ Home

America at Home Photo Album Custom CoverWhat if someone told you the following thing? "Your home, your family are so special, that if you took their photo, I’ll put the photo in a fine photography best selling photo album".

This is exactly what happened to tens of thousands of amateur photographers (and about a 100 top class photo journalists) when Rick Smolan decided to take on the (my) America at Home Photo Book Project.

Rick has dome several successful photography projects before (among them the America 24/7 photo album). All had a thing in common – Mix some pros and amateurs, throw in some directions and let the party start.

This is why I was not surprised when Rick decided to make America at Home a community project as well.

So why do I think this book deserves a DIYP post? Mainly because is shows that amateur photographers are good enough to compete with pros. Although the rate of images that entered the book is way higher on the pro side. Quite a few amateurs have made their signature on this book.

The second reason to feature this photo book is the book’s subject. OK, how many times each and every one of us was lacking inspiration? With over 250 photos taken at home, this book definitely shows that home can provide ample inspiration. Of course if it is not enough, you can always get some more inspiration here.

To see what I am talking about, jump here and see the actual pages of the book. (Well not the whole book, but enough to get you hungry).

Another bonus to this book are the articles written by Amy Tan, Dominique Browning, Terry Teachout and Matt Groening (Yap, this is the Simpsons dude)

As anything else in the world, you can get America At Home from Amazon, but if you order the book here, you can make a cover with your family in it. (See my family and custom cover in the pic above – trust me, it looks better on the real cover)

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Readers Projects – The DIY Magic Arm

diy magic armJake O’Connell has come up with a great Idea to create a Magic Arm. What is a magic arm you ask? (You can have a look at the Bogen Magic Arm or read on). – Yes it is time for another Reader Project.

A magic arm is a photography magical instrument much like a tripod, but with two major differences:

The first difference is that (unlike a tripod) the non camera side of the Magic Arm is equipped with a stud (or a stud socket) which allows you to mount it on virtually anything. (Well the spiderpod also does this, but I wouldn’t place my Nikon D2x on a spiderpod).

Alternatively, you can use the magic arm to mount a lighting device like a flash or a flag.

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Having Fun @ The Pool #2 – What a Splash

It has been about 20 days from when I asked DIYP readers to jump in the group pool. Well, you made quite a splash. In less then 20 days the pool has grown to more then 2000 members. Actually we are at an interesting point where the pool is three members short from matching the number of members to the current year. (Making it as the 2008th member on 2008 is known to grant three wishes to the user).

Slowly but surly the pool is becoming a rejuvenating dip. While great DIYP projects are still being submitted to the pool, I see and interesting (and blessed) change where photographers (Pros and amateurs alike) are also submitting great pictures (1,110 and counting). There are still one or two favs here from my contacts, who did not submit their photos to the pool. If anybody knows how to search for favorites within a pool, please ping me at the comments.

Building Society by rsplatpc We are choosing hope over fear. by sharaff Bright Eyes by LeggNet Desert Junkyard by zebthepilot Shine by www.intofotos.com 2 lillies by Rob1690
Smiles and Rubiks by walkersharpe greetings, human by a.m.n Ethereal by like_shipwrecks hand by FotoKong Prambanan by r_o_n_n_i Spectacular strawberry splash by robgr85_PL
read lines by rsplatpc Fly portrait by robgr85_PL smurf by FotoKong smena macro by second_color tracks by rsplatpc lighting experiment by tim rudder
Stop and Smell the Flowers by auer1816 Im flying... by NAPIE -13 by mmhappypants Hidden Emotions by heckcare_der Man on Subway by rsplatpc D Street by auer1816
Veering Left by Darren C. DSCF8180 copy by Charles Key May You Find Some Comfort by Only This What's Your Poison by nickwheeleroz 080420-Boxing-513 by c71clark gloriosa macro by gnackgnackgnack
Scanner Photography 19 by pyuri Spoons 2  by Bald Monk Vini #2 by kos_mos No Smoking by Justin Elbert by justin_elbert You Big Wet Drip by nickwheeleroz After the storm by Gilad Benari

More Photodumps:
- Having Fun @ The Pool #1

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The DIY Speed Strap – Accessories And Samples

photography_speed_strap_2465826296.jpgIn the previous post I demonstrated my lack of patience by constructing a Honl Speed Strap, while waiting for my Amazon Honl speed strap to arrive.

In this post, I’ll show the accessories I built, and explain their various effects on a picture taken.

All my DIY accessories have real commercial products made by David Honl. While the lighting result is usually similar, I must say that Honl products look way more professional. (In fact they look professional enough that I bought some of them, even when I knew I can make them myself).

But, just before I go into the details of constructing and demonstrating the different accessories, I would like to highlight some of the comments on the original post, dealing with different materials that can be used to construct a better model of the speed strap. [Read more...]

Camera Firmware Exists

firmware_108975854.jpgIn my last post titled Everything You Wanted to Know About Camera Firmware I boldly stated that there is no such thing as camera firmware.

That statement raised quite a few eyebrows asking if indeed there was no such thing as Camera Firmware (as I boldly stated in the first sentence of the post).

After the dust cloud settled, I wasn’t sure myself, so I went to my Nikon and turned the menu on. Under the settings menu it definitely said "firmware version" so I wanted to shed a bit more light on the subject of camera firmware. (And send my apologies to the little boy from matrix who boldly stated that there is no spoon). [image by julian-] [Read more...]

Speed Links for 05-09-2008

speedlinksToday’s speedlinks comes a little bit before the usual monthly time for the speed links. The reasons for this is that there are several links that I wanted to share and that will have less relevance if they were not published today. Specifically, I am talking about the monthly TimeShoot project which will expire today.

I tried to get a little bit of everything on today’s post and cover studio, digital workflow, photography fun and heavier articles discussing copyright issues. Enjoy the mix.

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Related Links:
- Speed Links for 4-20-2008
- Speed Links for 2-23-2008
- Speed Links for 12-20-2007
- Speed Links for 12-11-2007
- Speed Links for 11-20-2007

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Camera Firmware

firmware_108975854.jpgOk, so I’ll bring you in on a secret there is no such thing as camera firmware. Keep reading to find out why.

Every once in a while Canon or Nikon will issue an announcement calling everybody to upgrade the camera firmware of one of their cameras.

The last camera firmware event to flood the web was Nikon’s firmware upgrade to the D3, which was announced with great PR, withdrawn with even greater PR and then finally re-published.

Let see what exactly is camera firmware and why do we care what is the firmware version inside the camera. [image by julian-]

UPDATE: there is such a thing as camera firmware – firmware is a spesific kind of software.

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DIY Photography Lighting – The DIY Speed Strap

photography_speed_strap_2465826296.jpgI really wanted a speed strap. Ever since the restrictive light post over at Strobist, I wished for one of those magical straps. If you are not familiar with them look at David Honl’s site, it is filled with goodies.

“Why do you need one”, you ask? Because they are A – Really good at blocking light. B – Small and can get in my small bag when I go out for a shoot and C – They are just too cool that I could not effort not having one.

I even designed a new one. (Not so good, more on that in a few lines).

Then I decided that I am going to get one from Amazon. Since I (like my eight months son) can not delay satisfaction, must take photos to live, I made a new one that really works (and inspired by the Thomas Schwenger Complete Two Seconds Lighting Kit). [Read more...]

Readers Projects – DIY Spider Light by Alex Campagna

spiderlight_2435827940.jpgThe Readers Project column is one of my favorite columns in the DIYP. It is a column that brings you DIYP readers to front page and let you share your experience with the rest of DIYP community. (See the bottom of this post for more projects).

There are actually a few ways to get featured in the Readers Projects column: you can post the setup and explanation to the Flickr Image Pool or Discussion threads; you can drop me a note, or you can give me a call (ok, no one has actually done this yet, but I am open…)

Spiderlights are a great source of light. Basically a Spiderlight is a mount with five sockets with which you can do whatever lighting you want: fluorescent or PL bulbs, hot lights or bulb-strobes (Jim from ProPhotoLife has a great comparison of your options here). The only rebuke is the price: if you want to get your hand on one of those, be prepared to bye-bye a few hundreds of dollars. [Read more...]