Gobos can be wonderful things. They’re essentially stencils or templates that go between the light and your subject. They’re designed to help shape the light and project patterns. But you don’t have to cut them out of card yourself. You can use pretty much anything to cast a shadow on your subject or the backdrop. In this video from photographer Bill Lawson, we see 7 household items that we can turn into DIY gobos.
If you are into light painting, you know that light tubes can create plenty of stunning effects. There are a few ways to make your own light tubes, and in this video, you’ll see a really cheap, yet effective one. Eric Paré and Kim Henry bring their passion for food and light painting together and create a glowing tube out of cake collar. It’s cheap, super-easy to make, and all the materials are available pretty much everywhere. So, let’s get to it.
Camera straps are a very personal thing. We all have our own preferences, straps we like and straps we hate. There’s been a lot of variety come about in the world of camera straps over the last few years. Now, instead of just the standard “neck strap”, we’ve got wrist straps, hand straps, full-on holsters and a whole lot more.
One brand that’s been popping up a lot lately is Dsptch. They make a line of paracord neck & wrist straps, and they’re quite nice, but not exactly cheap. Photographer Evan 5ps has been using one of these on his Fuji X-Pro2 for a while. He needed another for Fuji X100F, but he decided to have a go at making his own, and compare it with the Dsptch original.
There is an almost endless supply of lighting modifiers available on the market right now, some are cheap and some of the better ones are certainly a lot more expensive. But does cost directly relate to quality? Well, a lot of the time yes it does if you’re referring to build quality.
In general, the more you spend, the more well-made and durable the modifier will be. But does that extra money you spend mean you’re getting a better lighting modifier overall? I would have to say no, in fact for less than £15/$20 you can get some stunningly beautiful light from a homemade lighting modifier. Read on to see examples of the stupidly cheap DIY lighting modifiers I’m referring too.
Getting professional-looking product shots doesn’t need to require you to have a studio and tons of expensive gear. With some DIY magic and good will, you can get neat product photos without too much money. Photographer Brandon Adam shows you a setup for product shots using only a single light source, a few DIY modifiers, and some cardboard.
LEDs are developing at a ridiculous pace lately. They’re getting more colour accurate and much more powerful. The power of LEDs often comes at some expense, though. While LEDs do run much cooler than traditional tungsten lights, they can still get rather hot.
In this video, Matthew at DIY Perks unboxes a very beefy 500 Watt LED. After hooking up the power, we see just how bright it is. What’s particularly crazy about it, though, is that the LED itself isn’t much bigger than a postage stamp. Everything else is just to extract the heat to prevent the LED from burning itself out.
I love these Frankenstein setups for supporting our gear. Whether it’s for cameras, lights, microphones, whatever. It’s rare that a single commercial option offers us everything we need, and sometimes we just have to mix it up. It’s why products like the Manfrotto Magic Arm exist, because a straight up light stand or tripod on its own just doesn’t give us what we want.
In this video, Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter shows off what he calls “the best light stand setup I’ve ever used”. Which is essentially a regular light stand, an articulated microphone boom arm, a ball head, a 1/4″ spigot and a couple of washers & wing nuts. It’s repurposing gear to work in a way it was not originally intended. But work it does, and very well, according to Caleb.
Strip modifiers like LitePipe P and SaberStrip are applicable for portrait photography, both indoors and outdoors. But according to Joe Edelman, their biggest flaw is their price, which he considers too high for something you’ll use only occasionally. So, he came up with his own DIY version of a daylight-balanced strip modifier. It’s easy to build, useful for portraits both in the studio and on location – and it costs around $50in material. And I think it’s a plus that it looks a bit like a lightsaber.
Cardboard is such a wonderfully versatile product. You can use it for all sorts of photography related things. Most of my cameras have arrived in boxes made from the stuff. But what can you do with it instead of throwing it away or leaving it to gather dust in the attic?
Well, here’s the folks from COOPH with 8 ways you can utilise cardboard with your photography. These are simple tips and tricks that can have a great effect. Most of us already have cardboard laying somewhere around the home, so there’s no cost, either.