Built Your Photography Travel Dream Case

Built Your Photography Travel Dream CaseI just love this project by Joris van den Heuvel. It is an exemplary project of following a larger skeleton for making just about any travel flight case.

Strobes, cameras and lenses can definitely fit in, but all the lighting modifiers would go in a different bag – a bass case :)

Most of my photo shoots take place in a local music venue. I have great fun shooting various metal bands, using two camera bodies, 4 fast lenses and a remote flash gun, with a replacement value of around €3500 nowadays. Carrying all that stuff into a place with no real safe place to put it is a considerable risk. And I’m not even talking about taking everything to the stage; I usually put my stuff in an area that’s off limits to visitors, and take only what I need to the stage. Still, putting it in bags, however sturdy they are, might not be safe enough to prevent someone stepping on it when I’m not around – Shrug….!

I used to be a performing musician for twelve years, and I kept my equipment and bass guitar in flightcases I built myself. Those cases have been around the country – even beyond, and held up extremely well. So it’s only logical to put my photo equipment in a flightcase as well. Luckily DSLRs, lenses and flashes aren’t as big and heavy as bass guitars, amplifiers and speaker cabinets smiley.

This article is just a showcase. Head over to Fuzzcratfs for a considerably more in-depth article on how to build a flightcase. You’ll see this case as an example project with much more technical details about the tools and materials used. [Read more...]

The Ultimate Guide To Managing Batteries On Location

The Ultimate Guide To Managing Batteries On LocationIf you’re using strobes, pocket wizards, remotes, or RC cars, you are probably using AA batteries. Those are small little wonders of energy.

Here is the big question, how do you manage them on location? How do you keep the loaded batteries ready for grab?

How do you make sure the empty ones get enough charge?

How do you sleep at night knowing that a battery may stop working at any given time?

Good questions! Benny Johansson, AKA Benvelo created a full system just for that and guess what? It is graphically rocking. [Read more...]

Take Extremely Low Angle Pictures With A Floor Plate Tripod

Take Extremely Low Angle Pictures With A Floor Plate TripodSometimes, for various reasons, you need to shoot from a very low vantage point. In my “cozy” studio, which you might remember seeing in my video – “intro-duck-tion”, that happens quite a bit.

The shortest tripod I own is sometimes still not quite short enough, and handholding is not always an option. So I recently made this floor plate.

While the glue was drying, I looked up similar items on the open market and found that there are a few options out there, but they cost between $50.00-150.00, and in my opinion they are often too light and/or too small to offer true stability and support for a heavy – possibly front heavy – camera. Many of the DIY solutions I came across were also overly complicated.

So, I built my own, which cost me about $20.00, and is now already ready for action. [Read more...]

Light Traveling With A Bass Case

My New Lighting Bag - YAY! Goodies!It’s amazing how a new gear bag can brighten up your day. And my new bag is certainly doing wonders for my mood.

Up until recently, I had two modes of operation: Light – in which I traveled with my Bazooka kit – Westcott shoot through umbrella and mini lightstand bunjeed together and held with an M16 strap and Loaded – where I used an old trade-show-stand-bag for an additional stand and umbrella, my softlighter II, and my Apollo box.

It was OK for lagging stuff around, but not very comfy when it comes to packing and unpacking – there was only a top opening, which made it hard to grab the right modifier or to place everything back in.

On my last session with Tomer Jacobson I picked up his little trick. He uses a bass guitar case for lagging his lighting stuff around. I got one today for 35 USD (it was listed 40, but when the store person heard that I’ll be using it for lighting gear, he took 5 dollars off. cool!). [Read more...]

Crossing Over To The Dark (Field) Has Never Been Easier

Crossing Over To The Dark (Field) Has Never Been EasierGlass is one of the hardest thing to photograph. It is transparent, hard to define, and punish for every spec of dust. In this post, we will explore two cheap, easy ways to ease the pain of shooting glass. And get stuffed with Pringles while doing so.

Bright Field and Dark Field are two lighting techniques used to shoot glass I first saw the term while reading Light Science & Magic though the principles are probably way older then the book.

Photographer Steve Bennett came up with a sweet and super cheap setup to perform both lighting schemes quickly and on a budget. [Read more...]

About Available Power, Being Nice To Earth and Saving Money

About Available Power, Being Nice To Earth and Saving MoneyAs a child we used to have a special plastic container in the fridge. The battery container. At any given moment it had a about two dozen batteries.

As I grew up and started to use a camera (a used Nikon F70) and a strobe (A used SB28), and then 5 strobes  it was only natural come up with a better system.

A system that would be kind to mother earth on one hand, and will allow me to shoot as much as I want on the other. The system evolved over the years, and will probably keep changing. This is where I stand now.

[Read more...]

Weekend Project: Family Go Fish (With Your Family Pictures)

Go FishIs it cold and rainy where you are? I mean really cold and rainy. The kind that you don’t wanna go out of the house. Here is a project that is both fun to make and play with.

It is a family flavored go fish. If you have small kids they will love you for it, and for the great family time you are going to have playing with it.

My little one had the Chicken Pox last week. She’s all good now, but that was a week with almost all productivity coming to a halt, as taking care of a small kid who any wants to itch is a full time job. We did spend a considerable amount of time playing go fish. It is a card game with the goal of making four-of-a-kind-set. (The original game is played with a deck of poker playing cards, but they come with any subject imaginable).

Then My oh-so-clever daughter asked for a family go fish. Who am I to say no to a Chicken Pox stricken kid with a puppy eyes. [Read more...]

Strip Light Cheat Sheet Card

Strip Light Cheat Sheet CardThe idea behind this cheat sheet is simple – it features three settings of strip light.

Those should help you pre-visualize the use of strip lights as part of your lighting setup.

I began working with strip lights not that long ago and I really love them. having a light source that is hard on one axis and soft on the other is a very interesting tool to work with. Not so easy to pre-visualize though, hence the card. [Read more...]