Reader B.Stevens has a cool idea for the cheapest most versatile ring light ever (now we have shown some ringlights before, but not that easy to make). The image on the left is using this ringlight (best viewed large). The idea is quite simple: Take a huge apple monitor. If you can get your hands on a 24 incher, you are on the right track. Tape some patterned paper on the monitor. Bring your 1.8 or 2.8 lens and your 1600ISO low noise camera and you are good to go. HEYTHEREWAITAMINUTE you said cheap. So, let me go through this method step by step and see where you can reduce your costs. Click to continue ›
Gridspot (or grid) is a studio accessory that you can attach to your flash. When the flash fires through the grid, the spread of the light rays is limited. The effect you get is very similar to the effect achieved by a snoot, but light more controlled and really hits a small surface. You often want to use a snoot or a grid for avoiding light spillage when you are setting up you back light.
The inspiration for this article came from a strobist article that shows how to make a cardboard gridspot. I thought I can improve it by making it out of plastic known as coroplast. Click to continue ›
Remember those old mice you use to have before computer mice became monsters with twenty five buttons, side buttons, rollers, sliders and what not.
Dave Schlier had a spare oldie (mouse that is) that he recycled into a shutter release cable. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think that clicking a mouse is the most affective way to take a shot. But if that what it takes for you computer addicts to take the camera out of the bag, my task here on earth is completed.
Tim from Chicago was using translucent umbrellas to get diffusion out of his flash speedlights. This was his home grown studio. When he switched to softboxes, the cost of the flash adjustment ring drove him to... Build a cheap flash ring on his own (this studio lighting DIY is not for the faint of heart - it uses a vise and a sledge). When not building stuff Timothy Witkowski also shoot sports. Here is the deal:
I use my Nikon CLS sb800-sb600 in almost every venue that I shoot. I recently switched from translucent umbrellas to using them with a softbox. I bought a generic 36” softbox with a universal ring that I paid I think $25 for. I found a morris ring at b&h for about $60 + shipping which was nothing more then a standard ring and a l bracket. So I went to the garage to make my own. Click to continue ›
As part of the light stand frenzy that's been going on here, I thought I'd introduce you to another way of placing a flash on location in a cheap and fast way. I learned this hack from David hobby at strobist and been grateful ever since. The idea is quite simple. It is similar to the one displayed in the Spatula article (gotta love this word - spatula...), only instead of using a spatula, I am using clamps. And hey! It was from the same trip to the hardware store. Click to continue ›
I finally got my slave flash from eBay. This is extra cool, because unlit now I had to choose between two alternatives - none was giving me the flexibility that I needed for my studio shots. (If you are in to optical, here is a cool slave that you can build @ home)
Studio Slave Flash Option #1 was to use my Nikon SB-800 speedlight set on Slave mode, utilizing Nikon's CLS (Creative Light System). The benefits of this mode were exact flash output (Those guys at Nikon really knows what they are doing). The down side here was that I could only use one flash at a time and that I had an annoying "shutter lag" until the camera and the flash did their negotiation thingy. Now that was sad, because I often needed more then one speedlight, and did not enjoy the lag at all.
So Studio Slave Flash Option #2 came into play, which was setting all my flashes with sync cord. That was nice - I could hook up 2 or flashes and had no lag at all. The trouble here was that sync cord is A - expensive and B tends to get in your way. For awhile I use option #2.5 - One speedlight with sync cord and the other on optical flash (I set the Nikon SB-28 on sync cord, and used the built in "stupid slave" capabilities of the SB800).
I was not satisfied. So I got on eBay and got me a radio slave flash. The model I got is called RF604 and has 4 channels. Shipping was fast and I was satisfied. I also ordered an extra receiver, to attach to my second flash. Click to continue ›
One of the challenging lighting setups that I have encountered deals with setting up a lighting environment in small spaces. Spaces like working dens, children rooms and offices. Those places are sometimes dark and not well lit. The solution for this problem is simple - use flashes. One or two hot shoe flashes can easily give you the light you need. For creativity sake, you would like to take those flashes off camera like one of my favorite sites suggests. So where will you place those flashes? Obviously, you can not use a lighting stand - there is hardly any place for you, let alone your big lighting stands.
So what would you have in abundance in a working den? Let's see.... If you've ever been in a lawyer office, you can't escape the answer - they have books. Shelves and shelves of books. Do they actually read them? I don't know. Can you, as a photographer use them? Heck yes!
In the following article, I will show you how to create a simple, fast to build, cool looking lighting stand from a plaster spatula and some books.
The first thing you will need is a plaster spatula, those come in really cheap. You can get a metal one or a plastic on, and there is no need to buy the high end spatulas, just buy the crummiest, cheapest, made in Taiwan most suitable spatula you can find.
For one thing, softboxes create a smoother light - less hotspots (yea - those are the bright, burnt our noses in your photos), anther is smoother shadows. Most professional models are shot with softboxes to get that glamorous, look. Softboxes are also great for macro shots - they produce even diffused light.
The only trouble starts when you head down the road to the store and want to get one of them nice wonders. They usually cost something like a small county side house. In this article I will demonstrate how to build a homemade studio softbox for just a few $$. Click to continue ›
Pedro G. Dias came up with a way to make one sturdy light box. This article will tell the Story of The Making of the Lightbox.
So This item is all about how information traverses the web, and how by mere coincidence, Pedro got to know about this light box from a fried who got it from a web site, and hoe finally I got the mail that tells me to post the story... here is how it goes:
I've been drooling for a lightbox for a long time now, especially with winter coming, and sun going hide&seek up here in Norway. A good friend of mine recommended a website where a very nice guy had made a project out of it, so I thought I'd try it out for myself, and here are some of the highlights of that feat. A big cheers to the author of this page for letting me know how easy this is to do. The concept and cudos for this goes to him. Click to continue ›
I have two sturdy light stands but with the work I'm doing it isn't really enough, and I'm tired of propping reflectors on wobbly chairs etc. Because I don't have excess room I needed something with a small footprint as well.
So cruising around the hardware store I discovered a great cheap, no assembly required solution and I have two stands for under 50 bucks. Click to continue ›