A V-flat is a versatile and useful tool to have in your studio. While you can certainly buy one for around $200, it’s one of those things that’s pretty simple to make, and it will cost you half that much or even less. In this video, Nicole Bedard will show you how to make your own V-flat. It’s large, yet collapsible, portable, lightweight… and pretty cheap.
If you want to do astrophotography, a star tracker is a must. Sadly, they’re far from being cheap, which is an obstacle for many of us. Thankfully, there are folks like Nico Carver of Nebula Photos who teach us how to make a DIY star tracker for only $30. In this video, he guides you all the way through making and using a simple barn door tracker: from the parts you need to the finished images you get with it.
There are a lot of options out there for scanning film these days, but there’s just something about building a device yourself. This one from Benjamin Bezine does so using Lego and a Raspberry Pi. What makes this solution a little special, though, is that it uses machine learning and vision AI in order to determine the edges of frames, so you don’t need to sit and operate it manually or worry about the number of turns changing as roll thickens and thins out or counting sprockets.
It’s called RoboScan, and Benjamin’s been working on it for a while now (it’s his “lockdown project”) but he’s not finished yet! It’s an open-source project and he’s been uploading the code to GitHub. Only 80 images were used to “train” the Raspberry Pi so that it knows what to look for, but it seems that it’s very effective with just that limited set.
The Raspberry Pi is a wonderful thing, and we’ve seen many cool photography and video projects based around it. But thanks to the MLX90640 thermal camera module, you can turn the Pi into a fully-fledged thermal camera of your own with software you can customise to your own needs. And that’s exactly what Tom Shaffner did.
He built a thermal camera using this module and a Raspberry Pi and even wrote his own software for it. Fortunately, Tom made the software completely open-source and posted the code up to GitHub so you can have a go at making your own and even tailor the software to your own needs.
Trail cameras offer a wonderful insight into the natural world around us. Often they’re fully automated to capture what wildlife does when we’re not around. After all, they usually get spooked pretty easily. I have a camera set up in the backyard for that very purpose. We often get foxes, deer and badgers entering the garden during the night.
But what wildlife photographer Levi Dojczman has done, however, is take it to the extreme. He built a custom trail camera with a DIY tree-bracket, Sony A6100, 200-600mm lens and a 60ft remote cable to let him shoot the animals he wants to see without being anywhere near them.
Sometimes, you have a camera rig and you need a thing, and there’s just no real commercially available solution out there to give you exactly what you need. So, you make your own. And that’s exactly what filmmaker Maximillian Wasinger did for his Z Cam E2 rig, with this rather fetching looking wooden side handle that also acts as SSD storage.
And when we make such things, sometimes we document the process to share with others. And, thankfully, Maximillian did that, too. DIYP spoke with Maximillian to find out more information on his process to design and build this handle, and he was more than happy to share it with us.
There are a lot of great tools out there for moving your camera these days, and there are plenty of more affordable options out there for most of them, too. Including camera cranes. So, why did Ivan Miranda decide to build his own? Well, when you break your tripod, need to replace it and have a whole bunch of large 3D printers at your disposal… Why not?
This is a pretty large build, as you can see from the thumbnail above and it’s very different to the one we saw from Alex Chappel a few months ago. Ivan’s is more of a traditional style crane, rather than the stand Alex built, but like Alex, Ivan utilised some metal tubes and 3D printing to turn his vision into a reality. And I think he pulled it off quite nicely.
When in lockdown, you gotta work with what you’ve got. And even if you’re not in lockdown, it’s always fun to make photography props and gadgets from stuff you have lying around the house. Jason D. Page teamed up with Jason Rinehart to create a light painting tool from something I’m sure we all have at home: a plastic bottle and some tape.
Building your own motorised camera gimbal or slider seem to be the in thing at the moment. In fact, I built one myself recently (that’s for another post, though). This one, though, from Michael Klements at The DIY Life is pretty cool and incorporates a slider with a motorised pan axis so that it can track a subject as it moves from one end of the rail to the other.
It’s a total DIY project with a bunch of off-the-shelf parts and 3D printed components that Michael has designed himself. And while he doesn’t appear to have released the project under an open-source license, he has made the STL files and the source code available to download so that you can have a go at building your own.
Solid stands, especially ones on wheels, that you can mount cameras, lights, monitors to and whatever else you want to attach aren’t that cheap. Even if you have a go at designing and building your own from scratch, they can still work out to be fairly expensive. But if you need a mobile camera, light and monitor stand, there is a less expensive option. And this one comes with a little storage space, too!
YouTuber DIY Tech House recently posted a video on building such a stand on wheels based on a cheap clothing rack. A clothing rack that’s adjustable in both height and width, allowing you to resize it to your needs. Although, I probably wouldn’t go too wide with a big heavy monitor on there.