DIY Strip Box

I’m experimenting more with portrait lighting, trying to dial in something that doesn’t look like a department store. One look I keep coming back to uses a single strip light. Some of the commercial versions are very expensive, and the DIY versions seem to have some inherent flaws that make them less flexible or sturdy than I’d like.

This version is my first attempt at addressing as many of these problems as I can. Total cost is about $20US, and roughly 30 minutes of time.

Wacom Wolverine

Wacom WolverineRecently, I got bored and broke out a backdrop and light stand just to see what I could learn about shooting self-portraits. This is mostly because I don’t have many willing subjects. Also, the majority of my photo projects feature some kind of problem-solving aspect (that’s how I learn), and are typically seat-of-the-pants affairs – I don’t have any real idea of what I want. Inflicting my mental ramblings on a person in real time is not likely to be pleasant for either of us, so I tend towards inanimate objects that don’t complain when I constantly fiddle with lights, camera position, angles, etc.

However, I have LOTS of project ideas for people rolling around in my head. So I figured I should step in front of the camera and do some experimenting.

More dark field and DIY tinkering

My new D800 just came in a few weeks ago, so I’m just learning some of the capabilities. I’ve paired it with an SB-910 flash, which is insanely powerful for a stock unit. I like to test things under controlled setups, but I don’t usually keep any kind of studio or table set up. That means when the bug bites, I make stuff up.

In this case, my son wanted me to get a picture of these really cool insect eggs attached to the bottom of a leaf. What a great excuse for a DIY macro studio!

The Filmmaker’s Eye

I recently received an advance copy of The Filmmaker’s Eye (Gustavo Mercado, Focal Press 2010), and posted a general review up on Amazon.com. You can get an overview there, so I wanted to expand on something I mentioned there: how this book impacts me as a photographer.

DIY Lighting and Photography Resource

I love do-it-yourself sites, and strobist just turned me on to another one: Lighting Academy. There are several great ideas, and I have plans to try out a few this coming week. Here’s an example of the kinds of tricks they’ve got listed: