Very Cool Special Effect: Fire Tornado

Here is a rad way to spruce up the background of almost any photo or video shoot. Whoever Unallocated Space is (cant find anything on who or what that is) has created an amazing tornado of fire by using a bunch of box fans and a tub filled with fire. This video demonstrates how you can easily create a beautiful and deadly looking whirlpool of fire in your own backyard. Disclaimer: Fstoppers did not tell you to try this. If you try this, it was at your own risk. Enjoy!

DIY Project: Build Your Own Unique Ring Light

Last weekend, my buddy David Cross who works with our friends over at BorrowLenses sent me a text that he was building something unusual and really cool. When he sent me the photos after he finished his project, I was immediately excited. His DIY ring light (which they are calling the spider light, tentatively) not only leaves really unusual catch lights, but is easy and fun to build. Ok, so it’s not really a “ring” light, but it casts similar light and I don’t know what else to compare it to. So let us show you how to make yours! [more]

FilmRiot Shows You How to Light Moving Subjects in Multiple Spaces While Filming

FilmRiot has been quietly working on a series of educational behind the scenes videos over the last few months, and I think this one is definitely worth a mention (avoid the random skydiving tangent at 6:00). Aimed at beginner and intermediate videographers, this short video will walk us through some techniques for lighting people as they move through multiple rooms. [more]

$30 DIY Tripod Laptop Stand

Before I get started I want to let everyone know to do this at their own risk; we don’t want to hear about how your laptop fell off this stand because you didn’t tighten a bolt down all the way. Now if you’re looking for a professional stand to use every day, I’d recommend buying a specifically designed product, but this DIY stand is a great option for occasional use. Now that my liability is gone, lets have some fun.


Making Your Own Bokeh Shapes

Bokeh is the out of focus or blurry areas of a photograph. The wider the aperture a camera is shooting on, the softer the Bokeh is. In this cool DIY video, Matt from Make Magazine, shows an easy way to add a little flair to your pictures by creating custom shapes for your bokeh. Although everyone seems to break out this technique with stars and hearts around Christmas time, as Christmas lights are a great light source for this technique, here are a few more creative examples.


Taking Your Interior and Architectural Photography to the Next Level

As I promised when I wrote my Anatomy of An Interior Shoot post a few weeks ago, if the interest was there, I’d continue the series. I’m happy to report that I’ve got much more in stock for you. If you’re interested in kicking your architectural and interiors photography into high gear and adding some special sauce to your photos, this post is for you. [more]

A Cheap DIY Alternative To Peter Hurley’s Kino Flo Lighting

Everyone knows Peter Hurley uses fairly expensive Kino Flo lights to give his clients nice soft beauty lighting. Fstoppers reader Tristan Penner decided to build a portable and inexpensive alternative to Peter’s setup using standard Fluorescent lights. The setup might not improve too much on the portability but the quality of light does look really nice. What’s really cool is Tristan is able to travel to people’s homes with this setup bypassing the [more]

Cheap and Easy DIY Alternative For A Vinyl Seamless Backdrop

If you work out of a studio, you know how annoying paper seamless backdrops can be…they always wrinkle and warp. We recently changed over to the Savage Vinyl backdrops and they seem to last a lot longer. The guys over at OKstrobist have an even cheaper alternative for those looking for a DIY approach and it’s pretty clever. Even though this can still cost as much as $170, you aren’t stuck [more]

[Fstoppers Review] The Best Portable Audio Recorder For DSLR Video

You often hear film makers say, “Your video is only as good as your audio”. Obviously video production goes a long way too but poor audio can completely ruin an otherwise great video. Until recently, DSLR cameras have been anything but great at recording audio. The on board microphones are noisy and prone to record camera noise. Plugging an external microphone into the line-in has also left a lot to be desired. So how should someone [more]

[Gear] The Incredibly Smart, 100% Crowdsourced, ‘One Size Fits All’ Follow Focus Adapter

As anyone who has tried to shoot video with a DSLR knows, creating a smooth, professional follow-focus motion can be a bit of a nightmare unless you’re willing to shell out for high-end equipment, and then deal with lugging it all around. How about a $45 solution that gets amazing results and works on any DSLR lens? [more]

[DIY] The DIY $30 Rolling Camera Bag

I have been on the look out for an affordable rolling camera bag for some time. Thinktank, Lowepro, and Pelican all have great products, but when it comes down to it I really don’t want to drop $300+ on a bag. What is so special about these “specialized” camera bags anyway? [more]

[Video] Turn Your iPad Into A Wireless Monitor For Dual Displays

If you have ever used dual monitors, it’s very difficult going back to using just one. I’m forced to use one tiny monitor on my laptop every time I travel and its always made working on the road a slow and painful task. That is until I learned that I could use my iPad as a wireless second monitor and pair it with my laptop no matter where I am. [more]

[DIY] How to Make Your Own Studio Track Lighting

Admittedly this DIY project takes a little more effort than some but the results are pretty damn cool. Benjamin Von Wong takes a page from DIY Photography and makes a pretty slick fluorescent light track system, turning a small one room into a photo studio. Check out the video and if you decided this is something you must do, then head over to the VonStudio Blog for complete project detail. Parts, pricing, assembly, pros, cons, the works! [more]

[Video] A Quick Tip: DIY Wind Machine

Have you ever wanted to give your models that wind swept look. This 56 second quick tip from our friend Benjamin Von Wong can save you from having to lug around a heavy and often expensive fan. So simple, most of us over look it and here is all you need.

Also be sure to check out Ben’s latest project “Von Wong Does Europe“.

[Support] Ben Von Wong’s Behind The Scenes European Challenge

We get a lot of Kickstarter projects emailed to us and sometimes they are interesting and other times they look like a desperate plea for money. We usually don’t feature such projects but today I’m making an exception. Benjamin Von Wong has been featured on Fstoppers probably more than anyone else. This year he plans to goto Europe to produce inspiring photoshoots but at the same time film informative behind the scenes videos. Hopefully this post will [more]

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