Weekend Project: Magical Plastic Fantastic

Plastic Fantastic 3Continuing with our tradition of weekend projects, here is another quick one. The nice thing about this project is that little bit of camera magic it has, so it si great to do with kids as they will absolutely go crazy after it.

If that was not good enough, this project also uses that Circular Polarizer filter that you bought a while back and never actually got to use. Here is your chance to take out of that filter case and give it a good use.

Plastic Fantastic

This is how you do it courtesy of Jon Gibbons: [Read more…]

Your Complete Guide For Photographing Star Trails

starsEver seen those pictures where the stars streak across the sky in a big arc? Or maybe the whole sky looked like it was spinning?

What you saw was star trails. The streaks were light left behind on the sensor or film from the star as it traveled across the sky in front of an open camera shutter. In fact, it only seems that way. What actually being recorded are stationary stars and the rotation of the earth that makes them spin. Kinda like you were standing on a vinyl record while it is playing. (yes, vinyl record, it is a form of ancient iPod).

For me, the images seem to have a certain magic or mystery about them. You must have heard a photographer talking about capturing that perfect moment in time. Well for capturing star trails you will need to capture the perfect hour or two in time. For such amazing looking images the technique to capture them is really quite simple. Keep reading for a complete set of instructions from start to finish. [Read more…]

Build An Amazing Super Versatile DIY Time Lapse Dolly

I was literally screaming with joy when Derek Mellott (you know Derek, he likes Barbeque and time lapse movies) showed me his latest Time Lapse Slider Dolly. Then, I literally fell from my chair when he suggested to share the build with DIYP readers.

Now, every once in a while we have a “dare” tutorial, one that will kill an entire month of weekends (and then some). Those are not for the faint of heart, but the results and satisfaction from completing one of those projects in unbelievable. (see the battlefield pinhole camera for example). It is the same with this project – it is not an easy task, it takes woodmenship, electronics know-how, and plenty of time, but the results are stunning.

(But hey, you know what, even if you just pick up one of the ideas in this post, it would rock. For example, building the collapsible rails idea to be used with the cheapo motor slider puller)

The movie comes first – this should get you motivated – then the instructions. Embrace yourselves.

[Read more…]

Automating Your Slider for About 20 Bucks

Automating Your Slider for About 20 BucksA while back we featured a nifty way to slide your camera while taking time lapse movies. At the core of that system there was a BBQ rotisserie motor. It is a very common item, but hell to carry on location.

If you own a slider rail or a dolly (or if you hacked one yourself, or if you own a skateboard), you can take the concept of sliding with you on location.

Norwegian photographer Joakim Fjeldli takes the concept of motorizing a slider, an Igus DryLin in his case, and adds portability. [Read more…]

DIY Compositon Frame

DiY Composition FrameThis one’s is just a fun little trick, that you may find useful when you don’t have your camera around but still want to play photographer, or better yet, director.

It’s a DIY 35mm Cropper. that you can use to frame or to wear around tour neck to prove yourself as a true photo geek.

You could buy a fancy version over at ETSY, which is all nice and dandy and copper made, but you can make one your own using an old slide frame.

First, get some old positive slide. Those are getting more and more scarce, so you better hurry. [Read more…]

Light Painting: People On Magical Fire

Thermodynamic EngineeringHere’s a light painting trick you can do on the cheap that yields a neat result. And besides…Who doesn’t want to look like a super hero?

If you aren’t familiar with Light Painting, check out the light painting primer or the tools of the trade posts here on the blog.

If you are familiar with Light Painting, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to pull an image with this technique.

Start by picking up a few of these electric glow sticks. You can find them in the outdoors section in department stores, or on Amazon right here. [Read more…]

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…]

Nothing Can Stand In Your Way, Not Even Gravity

Water defies gravitySometimes it seems that everything is against us. Nothing is working. It’s as if the rules of the universe themselves were built to set us back. Well, not for Andy Price.

If the image above looks weird, it is because Andy found the perfect way to defy gravity.

With a little fairy dust, a Whiskey bottle and some tubing, Andy DIYed his gravity defying device. Oh, yea, did we say this was not a composite?

Andy Explains: [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…]