High Speed Photography – Let Arduino turn The Lights Off For You

High Speed Photography - Let Arduino turn The Lights Off For YouIf you’re reading DIYP for a while you probably know that High Speed Photography is not about high shutter speeds. Au contraire. It is about shooting very long exposures in bulb mode, and using a strobe to freeze the action with a split second light.

This means that once you have a setup read to go, you turn off the lights. go back to your setup and pop the balloon / break the glass / shoot the bullet. Kinda messy and uncomfortable. Ask Edward Horsford, the exploding balloons magician.

Photographer Matt Richardson came up with a better to do it. Matt was already Using an Arduino as the triggering device for the strobe. It only made sense to Let the Arduino turn off the lights and open the camera shutter once the setup was ready.

In the video after the jump, Matt explains this concept, and shared the circuit to make this magic happen. [Read more…]

DIY Lightstand Bag Makes Your Assistant’s Life Easier

DIY Lightstand Bag Makes Your Assistants' Life EasierLagging lightstands is a bummer. They don’t fit in the bag. They are hard and pointy, and in general they create traction. Lots of traction. If you are just going Bazooka with one stand this is OK. But if you have to carry a few of them… Darn!.

Photographer Peter Miesch was dealing with the same issue and came up with a wonderful lightstand carrying system bag much like the Standbagger that puts an end to the photographer’s assistant misery. Of course, if you are like me and you are your own assistant, than the solution is even more wonderful. This project requires some sewing skills, so if words like zigzag stitch and bobbin make you go AUH? ask your grandma for help. [Read more…]

Lexar® Echo Ze 32GB USB Backup Drive Giveaway

Lexar® Echo Ze 32GB USB Backup Drive GiveawayUPDATE: winner selected and announced at the end of the post. Thanks for all the great comments and tweets.

The good guys at Lexar are giving away a super cool Echo Ze 32GB USB Backup Drive (Valued @ $139.99).

Now, if you are a hardware geek like me, you’re forced to like it. A – It carries a nice capacity for a USB drive – Whopping 32 gigs. And B – it is nickel sized. That would have been a problem if you needed to find it. Lucky is has such a small footprint that you can leave it stuck in your laptop forever.

If you are seeking for some backup assurance, this is a good choice. Check out the video at the end. Let’s just say, I am glad I am not a Lexar card.

And it is blue. NICE!    More Details after the jump. [Read more…]

The $10 DIY Foamcore Softbox

The $10 DIY Foamcore SoftboxIn this tutorial I will explain how I built the softbox used to take the image on the left. It is a 40cm X 40cm foamboard softbox that accepts a strobe. Kinda similar in size and effect to the Photoflex LiteDome XS which I use a lot out of the studio.

On the left image this softbox was used as key, see this lighting setup for another use of the softbox as fill.

It is a simple softbox to make and it takes about half an hour if you have mediocre cutting skills. [Read more…]

Pictorial: A Sync Port Mod For The YN-460II Manual Strobe

Pictorial: A Sync Port Mod For The YN-460II Manual StrobeI am not surprised that the YN460II strobe is gaining popularity with a price tag around $60 (or even less if you’re an eBay kinda person) those flashes are pretty attractive.

They cheap price also make them a good candidate for modifications as it helps removing the fear of nuking them in the process. See for example the TV contorl remote for the YN460 we featured a while back.

Today’s hack, courtesy Oliver Hanka, adds a mini jack (i.e. 3.5mm ear plug) to the flash syncing options. Hey if you can do it to a Canon strobe, you can do it to a Yongnuo. You’ll need a solder, and a Yongnuo. [Read more…]

PocketWizard Review – My Two Cents – Part 2

Jump awayAs I was telling a week ago, I got me some PocketWizards. Last week I shared why I thought that PWs were a good choice. There was quite an interesting debate on the comments whether this “industry standard” set is worth its high mark price – $169 apiece and you need two – and I recommend reading those comments and opinions before making any decisions.

In this post, I will share my thoughts on the PWs. My likes and dislikes. Now, this goes without saying (yet, I’ll say it anyway) those are my opinions, there are not absolute truths (and my wife will testify to that). I am also aware of the fact that a lot has been written about this set, however, they are still considered the standard and for that alone deserve the attention. [Read more…]

One Light Portrait Setup #2 – Stick ‘Em In The Corner

One Light Portrait Setup #2 - Stick 'Em In The CornerA long while back I read a semi-theoretical post about using a room corner and a brolli as a full-fledged setup.

As a preparation for an on location job I decided to test that premise, and took a few head shots at my basement studio.This will add up to the butterfly one light setup I reviewed earlier.

Mind you that this little setup can be brought up in any place that features a corner, that is just about anywhere. [Read more…]

DIY Three Strobes Bracket Will Triple Your Light

Three Flashes Mount Will Triple You LightWe’ve had our share of dual strobe mounts before, but this is a first for a triple mount. And you’d need every bit of that light if you are shooting a big modifier like the Westcott’s 28″ Apollo monster.

This tutorial shows you how to make one (or print it out and go to the local shop so they make one).

The detailed instructions were written by Eric Au (Flickr), Calgary based photographer and industrial designer. Always helps to have a Shop at the garage… I wonder how many comments will persuade Eric to go and make this into something you could buy at B&H.

Traditionally, during this time of year, there is a lull in work flow. Not a lot of contracts are signed during late September and October. Things pick up again in November. Typically, I use this time to hone some new technique or try out some new gear. A tiny bit of hackground (pun intended) for you readers, I am photographer and an industrial designer and it was inevitable when those two would collide. I’ve been hacking and developing my own brackets and equipment ever since I could hold a saw.

I use a lot of off camera flash for location work, I sought out to design and develop something that is the size of a palm, but have every feature and the strength of the Lightware Foursquare. Although I currently own and use a Foursquare, it is still not compact enough to throw into my bag (taking into account the handle assembly which makes it work really well).

Instead of trying to copy and reduce the size of a Foursquare, I decided to subtract some light, using 3 instead of 4 Speedlights (I use only Nikon Sb800s). I started with the largest hex, t6160 aluminum I could source locally, 2”. A piece of hex stock offered 6 open, flat sides to mill into features to mount the flashes, the spigot and umbrella thumb screw. [Read more…]

Sling-O-Matic™ 30 Giveaway

Sling-O-Matic™ 30 GiveawayUpdate: The giveaway is now closed. Thanks to the good fellas @ThinkTank for making this great giveaway. Winners at bottom of the post.

Our good friends over at ThinkTank Photo are giving away a very cool Sling-O-Matic 30 Camera bag (Valued @ $189.00). I know, I know, there are plenty of camera sling bags out there. But, there is only one bag (Well, at least as far as I know) that allows you to sling the bag over your right OR your left shoulder.

Oh yea, did I say it can carry a laptop? I did now. Details & giveaway entry after the jump. [Read more…]

Homemade Camera Panoramic Head

Homemade Camera Panoramic HeadThe following post about creating a polycarbonate panoramic head was written by Barry Young. It is a slick design that uses semi-fixed drilled holes for vertical panning and polycarbonate for an even slicker look. In Barry’s words:

Both of my DSLRs, an Olympus E1 and a Sigma SD10, are somewhat limited (by today’s standards) in the number of megapixels they churn out. That doesn’t mean that I intend to upgrade them any time soon.

Occasionally though I want to capture a particular scene in the highest resolution I can and so, like many other photographers, I too have had a go at creating my own DIY panoramic head.

As you can see it is very much like many others you will find on the net, the main difference being that it is made of 12mm transparent polycarbonate, which makes it look slightly different from the norm. [Read more…]