DIY: Photographer Uses $0.5 TP Rolls To Diffuse $700 Macro Strobes

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Here is a great tip we got from Mark Thorpe and it has to do both with TP rolls and with Macro photography. It turns out that there is a great way to diffuse the the $750 Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite Flash.

At heart the MT-24EX is a dual strobe system that sits around the lens and enables getting the light pretty close to your subject from two sides. Close means soft light (I mean think how huge a strobe at 3cm must look to an ant), and two-sided-illumination means significant shadow reduction.

But PixelHobo who need just a little bit more diffusion, attached two rings made from old desk lamps covered with toilet paper to get an even bigger light source. Not really sure if this is more simple or more clever.

For more information about the rig, visit Mark’s G+ post.

Yup, toilet paper is definitely a must for photographers.

[Mark Thorpe]

The best way to do a focus stacking: Macro Focusing Rails vs Focus Variation

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This tutorial is about how to obtain a large depth-of-field using focus stacking.

The main question is: Is it better to use a macro rail or is it better to vary the focus of the lens?

As Alex, I use focus stacking (or “deep focus fusion”) quite often and most of the time I just shoot a series of photos with varied focus instead of a series with varied distance, using a rail.

Until now I always thought, that approach is a bit dirty, because it introduces changes in the magnification, but often it was the only way, because the depth of the object was far too deep for any rail. Imagine for example shooting a landscape. :-)

But now, I wanted to know for sure what is the better method and and did some tests.

One thing I can say to start with: With complex scenes, it is a good idea, not to change the position of the camera!

But now let’s take a closer look:

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How To Build A huge Macro Tube for $5

Have you ever looked inside a macro tube to examine the optics there? haha. No optics, it is just a big tube filled with air.* This is why it is an extremely easy device to replicate. Maker Vinnie Hirt used the macro tube quality of nothingness to build his own set of an uber extension tube for a mere $5 give or take.

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Variable 3 point LED lighting kit for macro/miniature for $55

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Welcome to my tutorial on how to make a 3 point light setup kit that allows you to vary the point LEDs independently. I wrote this for fun and i hope it inspires you! Warning: ManualMode.ca and I are not responsible for ANY damage caused to you, others or your household while following this tutorial.

I decided to make this kit because i shoot macro a lot and I’ve been disappointed by the macro mini studios i bought mostly because i could not control the light intensity for each bulb and even if I hacked it into a dimmable solution, fluorescent lights do not dimm, so i had to buy special white light tungsten bulb. I was also limited by size of the bulb and the heat it generated. All i wanted is to have positional whitelights that can vary their brightness and small enough so i can use it for macro.

Before I dive in, look at the lead image to see some quick tests I made with the completed setup

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Daniel Boschung’s Cartogaphy Gives Us an Unsettling Look at the Human Face

Screen Shot from ROBOPHOT

For those who don’t know, cartography is the making of maps. The word comes from the french terms carte and -graphie, which literally mean map and writing. Daniel Boschung is a face cartographer, and he does exactly what that title suggests: he makes geographic landscapes out of portraits of the human face.

The maximum resolution of a perfect human eye is around 450 pixels per inch (PPI). That means if you’ve got a smartphone, like the iPhone 5S, you probably wouldn’t notice the separate tiny pixels that make up the screen because of its display of 326 PPI. The screen looks almost as sharp as real life. Keeping that in mind, if you were to take a 90 x 90 inch portrait of one of the faces photographed by Daniel Boschung in this project, the final resolution of the picture would amount to somewhere at 111,000 PPI. [Read more…]