One of the things I love the most about DIY projects is that they can give a new life to the items that are destroyed beyond salvation. In this video, Matthew Perks of DIY Perks will show you how to repurpose a broken LCD TV or monitor and turn it into an amazing LED light panel. It almost perfectly simulates daylight, and it’s useful for photographers as well as filmmakers.
Balloon lights are an uncommon light source for most of us. But such lights are often used in TV and movie production. They’re essentially huge light sources that are overhead of your subjects using very bright bulbs. The balloon part of it acts like a big diffuser to help soften and spread the light out more evenly. They’re not cheap, though.
But this DIY option from Todd Blankenship at Shutterstock shows us a way to make one fairly easily using some shower curtains, LED strips and helium.
You know what it’s like, you’re walking through the local dollar store (or pound shop, for those in the UK) and you see some interesting looking cheap LED lights. So, you buy a bunch of them and turn them into a DIY LED panel. At least, what’s what Dave Knop (AKA, Knoptop) did, and it only cost him $13.
There are many continuous light options out there these days for video that produce a fantastic quality of light. One such light that’s become very popular is the Aputure Light Storm COB 120D. But at $500, it’s not really an option for many newer filmmakers.
In this video, filmmaker Daniel Shiffer looks at making a $40 DIY alternative. For this project, Daniel wanted something large, circular and reflective, so he used a 14″ cake pan along with some flexible LED strips, and a piece of diffusion material to produce some great results.
When it comes to lighting effects for photography, only your imagination is the limit. In this video, Derrick Freske will show you five tricks that require nothing but your smartphone flashlight as the light source. They’re simple and cheap, but they can give many creative effects to your images.
There are no two ways around it, high quality continuous LED lights are expensive. When you need a good amount of light and a high CRI that passes all the necessary certifications and safety checks, that’s just the way it is.
Sure, there are cheaper LEDs out there, but they’re often not very good. They have colour issues or aren’t very powerful. But if you’re handy with tools and a soldering iron, there may be a better, inexpensive DIY option, as this video from Matt Perks illustrates.
About a zillion years ago (ok, it was February … so same thing basically), I created a self portrait image ( … ok, so it was several images) using ONLY lights from around my house. I wanted an exercise in something outside my current comfort zone and to challenge myself to get back to my photography roots.
I did a whole post about it. I encourage you to go and enjoy that blog post before reading this one, but it’s not required… or is it!? No, it’s not, but do it anyway. I then challenged any takers who might have felt like taking to also create a self portrait image without any traditional photography lights.
If you’re looking for a super-cheap RGB setup for your photos and videos, here’s an interesting video for you. Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter has found a set of DJ lights for only $15 per piece. They produce a wide range of colors, they’re dimmable and you can also use a controller to set the colors and the brightness. Check out the video to see them in action.
We all know how expensive photo gear is. Luckily, if you’re just starting out or you’re a poor photographer, there are plenty of DIY and cheap options you can choose. Food photographer Skyler Burt of We Eat Together suggests a simple lighting setup that will cost you under $30. To show you just how well it works, he compares it to his professional $900 light.
Product photography can be really creative and fun. We’ve often seen it related to interesting DIY solutions, such as the “IKEA lamp hack” or my all-time favorite “garbage can hack.” This time, Eric Strebel shares with you a DIY solution for product photography lighting. It’s a cheap and super-lightweight LED softbox. It’s detachable and adjustable, so you can adapt it to any studio setup you use.