Brooke Shaden Explains How To Light Portraits With Nothing But A House Lamp

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Brooke Shaden is the kind of inventive photographer who prefers to do-it-herself rather than spends wheelbarrows of money on expensive studio lighting and modifiers. Instead, Shaden challenges us to get creative with what resources we have available to us. In this case, it was one or two basic house lamps from Ikea. (And if you really want to get elaborate with your set up, she also explains how to use a tissue to diffuse the light from the lamps.) [Read more...]

Shooting a Commercial Image With Trash and Walmart Gear

The heart of DIYP is about creating much from little, using what is on-hand or can be cheaply fashioned to achieve quality results. That is exactly what this post is about. Not gun control, not gun rights, or even the timeless tradition of hunting. As we know, there is no better way to send a conversation with an American into verbal bloodshed than by mentioning the Second Amendment, socialized healthcare, or the fact Tampa Bay actually has an NFL team.

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I attribute a great portion of my rekindled interest in photography to the late Bill Simone, a phenomenal commercial photographer whose work for one of my previous employers was dynamic and emotive, especially to a young adult whose previous exposure to photography had primarily been relegated to a 35mm camera. Some of my favorite images from Bill were simple, single-light setups that seemed to draw the viewer into the photo, and they looked great in a glossy catalog!

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Getting Creative With A Master Clamp — Are They The Ultimate Multipurpose Photographers Tool?

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For about $35, you can purchase a Tether Tools Master Clamp (or a Manfrotto Super Clamp) a multi-purpose gear holder that can be attached to just about anything thanks to it’s incredibly versatile design. The aptly named Master Clamp is the perfect tool to call on when you’re in a bind (or not) and need to figure out a way to rig a difficult or complex  setup, as most photographers and videographers inevitably will. This Clamp, under different brands, has already made a name for itself as a must have item in a lot of professionals gear bags and with good reason–you can use them for a lot of different things.
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How To Build A 22 Gallon High Speed Photography Studio

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High speed photography has a tendency to be messy (broken glass, water and other flying debris) and potentially dangerous (guns, and that flying debris again). However it’s the need for darkness which can prove to be the biggest problem. Having built a high-speed laser trigger, I needed a way of actually using it to take some photos. This presented me with a puzzle, as I work in an open plan office and have small children at home. Neither lend themselves to blacked-out rooms, flying shards of glass and small arms. The solution I came up with manages to solve all of these problems and more, and is I think worth trying even by those who are lucky enough to have access to real studios.

My inspiration was the film changing bag, which is simply a light-proof bag with elasticated holes for arms. This is great for times when you need complete darkness but don’t have a darkroom, such as when you’re loading a film into a developing tank. Clearly a bag would be no use here, but perhaps a box would do. I looked at the large, black recycling boxes that we have around here and thought they may be on the right track. A quick search on Amazon for the largest black plastic box I could find turned up this 84 litre (22 gallon) beauty, complete with lid for £21 ($37). It sits comfortably on my desk, and is easily stored underneath it.

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3 (+1) DIY Backdrops That You Find Right At Home

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When I started photography I was very interested in learning everything I can about studio photography. Obviously, I didn’t have a studio back then, so I needed to work with what I had to create photographs that looked just as good as their studio-taken counterparts.

Here are three different backdrops I used to create a high-end feeling to my photos. You can find them all in your house. Plus an additional cool background you can use which is made out of tarpaulin. [Read more...]