Nasty Lil’ Lighting Thing

NastyClampIt is always nice to see a good DIY project turn into a product. It is even better to see a nasty DIY project turn into a product.

This is just what happened with Matthew G. Monroe’s Clamp-It-Anywhere Project A.K.A Nasty Clamps.

In fact he has so many requests to just-make0one-for-me from other photographers that he upgraded the CIY to a full professional grade product. In fact, big part of the production chain is located in Oregon, just near Matt’s house, and the rest of it is done right at Matt’s Garage. Talk about home grown business.

This is why I was so happy to give them Nasty Clamps a go. And they are nasty indeed (in a good way). Read on for the full review.

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One. Two. Three. White Background

Headshot - White BackgroundHow do you take a lovely portrait like this, on a perfect white background? Of course you’ll need a beautiful model. But how would you handle the lighting? Just throw about 10000 Watts/Seconds on your seamless white and you’re good. 

Or use a single strobe and 5$ worth of white Coroplast. Read on for the full details. 

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The Strobist Corner: Protect Your Strobe With A Frisbee

Free-Style by Iguana JoEver had your light stand taken down along with your precious 5000$ Profoto? Not a fun experience.

Next runner up on the not-so-fun light stands falls is a knocked-down speedlite. While the cost of speedlites is considerably less than the cost of a Profoto, if this is all you have it can still be pretty annoying. Especially if you’re on the beach where it’s sandy. 

Keep reading for a cheap and ingenious solution. 

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The Portable Flash Pack

Portable Flash PackIf you’ve read the small backdrops post on Studio @ home, you know I am now on some R&R with wify. Of course I am packed for the ride with my photography gear. Aside from a camera I wanted to share how I pack my flash things. I got this tip from a long while ago at Strobist and here is my adaptation: The Portable Flash Pack.

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Doing More With Less – A Mannequin Case Study

Doing More With Less - Photography Studio LightsWhen I was a young manager, I went to my boss once, and bitched about a resource cut down and the fact the marketing was imposing a hell of a schedule on us poor R&D guys.

I really liked his response and even though it did not get me more resources it gave me good directions on how to make a plan. He looked straight into my eyes, patted me on the shoulder and fiercely said “Any manager can do more work with more resources; only good managers can do more with less“. Okay, strike the shoulder and fierce thing, this is just my father complex kicking in.

However, the same idea also applies to photography, and especially starting photographers where big dollars equipment is rare.

In the story below Martin Kimeldorf (Flickr) shares a lesson on making more with less. Actually, Martin managed to double the amount of light sources he has with just a bit of imagination. [Read more...]

Get Your Flash 100% On Axis With Umbrella

Get Your Flash 100% On Axis With Umbrella OK, So if you look at the title and say ??@?#?$%%$@, it’s time for a little umbrella-holder intro.

Umbrella holder AKA umbrella swivel is a piece of equipment that is meant to attach a small strobe to a light stand. They come in verity of prices and flavors, but one thing is common to all. They have a hole on the bottom to connect to the light stand on one end and a metal stud / hot shoe / cold shoe that attaches to a small flash on the other end.

Wait – didn’t you say they are called umbrella holders? Well, yes – this is because they also have a dedicated shaft to insert an umbrella, either reflective or shoot through.

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Oh, V Cards

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The following guest is written by Matt Haines (site, blog, Flickr). After surfing his awesome Flickr stream, I asked him if he’d like to share his mojo with DIYP readers. I should have known better. Now I am trying to find a new lighting trick to make my face look less red.

I’d like to thank Udi for inviting me to do a guest blog posting (my first!). Initially when he asked me to write about V-cards, I thought…huh? V-cards? Just a couple of foam panels taped together, what’s the big deal?

But Udi is wise. Oh he’s a wise one alright. The more I thought about it, the more I realized there’s plenty to say about such a simple—and cheap—light modifier. They’re so simple, the DIY construction part is hardly worth mentioning. Although I’ll mention it anyway. But it’s not how you build your V-card, it’s what you do with it. And you can do a lot!

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Empower Yourself On Location (Or Two Portable Power Packs)

Portable Battery for StrobeI used to love a good what do you get when you cross jokes. I still do. What do you get when you cross a battery with a pure sine inverter? Read on to find out.

As you probably know, I am a big fan of small flashes. (*cough* Strobist *cough), but sometimes small flashes just don’t have the juice to light up a scene. It may be a big place that needs tons of power or a huge light sucking modifier that eats up all the light from your strobe. (Try using the SB 900 on the westcott 2.15 meters octabank, that would be an interesting strobe challenge). So I do have one big 400WS flash. (Ok, just before you hit me with the “you call 400WS big?? ppffffhhh!”, I’d say that it was big enough for me when I bought it, and it was I could afford.

So anyway, if you are in a studio this is no biggy. Plug the flash to the wall socket, dial up the power and you are good to go. But what if you are outside the studio. On the beach, park, moon? [Image by andyarmstrong]

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31 Angels (And Spidermen, Sportacuses and Doras)

Kindergarten Custom PartyA few weeks back I was asked by my daughter’s kindergarten teacher to come and take everyone’s portraits of a kindergarten custom party.

Of course I said yes. Then I hit me. I am scared sick from staying home alone with my daughter and one of her friends, how the heck am I going to manage 35 kids running around?

OK, I’ll talk about kids a bit later. Before this let’s talk setup. 

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What, Me Film Noir?

Film Noir setupFirst a confession, I really like Flash Frog. FF is a blog with a nifty idea – create great images, post the entire shooting process, help others get inspired. Just before zetson AKA Joakim Tangstad goes into the details of his Film Noir setup, a few words about Flash Frog.

I find FF to be a great companion to strobist readers. Allot of the theory and ideas that David shares on strobist get to life with a creativity twist on Flash Frogs. I really get myself lost whenever I visit FF, finding ideas, techniques and inspiration. This is why I got really exited when zetson (Flickr stream) – the person behind the blog – agreed to do a guest post here on DIYP. Read on for Film Noir setup details.

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