Build a DIY Mini-Rail Slider

Build a DIY Mini-Rail DollySeems like vidoe is getting bigger and bigger. I am considering to add a video category instead of having it hide under the Camera Hacks section.

After the impressive table top dolly design, Martin Taylor shows how to build a Slider Dolly.

As more and more people get into video the number one accessory they seem to want after a shoulder rig is a slider. A slider allows short trucking camera movements. Commercial sliders run the gamut in price (from several hundred to several thousand) and design. A slider usually has a captive body that you mount a tripod head to. The body runs on a track on mechanical bearings or some low friction material. The tracks seem to run anywhere from 2 to 5 feet and can mount on a tripod themselves or some have feet that allow you to lay the slider on the ground for a low profile shot, or rest it on a convenient table or counter top. [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...]

Quick & Dirty Full Fledged Video Dolly

Quick & Dirty Full Fledged Video DollyThe good guys over at Age of Rockets are sharing their DIY design for a video dolly. Me likey. Unlike the iPhone Dolly or the PVC Skater Dolly which are for small cameras, this one allows you to mount a full fledged tripod on it. Probably a light camera only, but still better than a skateboard :).

The dolly also comes with a set of cheap aluminum angle bars rails (~$10 for 96″ @ HomeDepot) for smooth motion.

Basically it is nothing more than a few pieces of aluminum angle, some wood and bolts and 6 roller blade wheels. Did I say quick and dirty yet? [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...]

Build A PVC Camera Shoulder Rig

Build A PVC Camera Shoulder RigUser knoptop of Instructables came up with a video to show how you can make an HDSLR shoulder rig from PVC pipes.

For the most basic configuration all you’d need is a bunch of PVC pipes and fitting and a conduit box.

If you want a little bit extra you can add insulation foam as padding. I really like these kind of projects I wish we’d see more of them. [Read more...]

Use A PVC Pipe Lock For A More Robust PVC Studio

pvc pipe lockWhat did you built for you studio this weekend? A backdrop mount? A Light Stand? A ghetto glamor contraption?

A dolly….?

If you are one of those PVC dudes (no shame in it. I am a PVC dude), you’re bound to appreciate this little PVC trick that makes binding pipes a snap. (pun completely intended).

Flickr user mr-quad share a great way to make any PVC studio construction quick to setup and quick to tear down. [Read more...]

The Making of Phill’s Pet

The Making of Phill's PetWhen I saw Phil’s Pet on Flickr (on the left. Click for a bigger view) I knew I just had to learn how it was taken. Gladly for us, Trevor agreed to share the setup and production process of this wonderful light painting.

It came as no surprise that this photograph is a very integrative effort. Integrative in the sense that it takes lots of techniques and puts them into one creative vision.

P.S. no birds were harmed during the production. [Read more...]