If you’ve ever spent time shooting product photography or still life, you probably recognize and appreciate random surfaces and textures that would make flattering surfaces to photograph things on. Here’s an easy and inexpensive way to create leather texture the next time you find yourself in need of a classy surface.
When I moved in to my studio a little over three years ago, I needed a place to hang, store, and use my rolls of seamless paper. I didn’t have many — just a few nine-foot rolls of white, gray, black, and green — but I wanted them out of my way. Storing them vertically wasn’t a good option in the space, and storing them laying down is never a good idea. So, I wanted to figure out a simple system that I could build that would do the trick. Here’s what I came up with.
Gear Acquisition Syndrome isn't just about camera bodies and lenses; it definitely extends to lighting as well. But sometimes, it's great to see someone go back to the bare basics of manipulating light. That's exactly what Daveed Benito does in this great video in which he uses only flashlights, and watching his process is a valuable lesson in lighting.
Although I've professed my love for film many times in many articles, I've always been missing a key ingredient to the analog experience. Namely, I've never learned to print my own film in the darkroom. Sad, I know. Well, no more! My journey to teaching myself to use a darkroom starts now and, whether you like it or not, I'm taking you with me. First things first: Where the hell am I going to put a darkroom?
The YouTube channel Rideable Entertainment may just have created the most impressive DIY camera slider I have ever seen. It's made partially of wood but not in a cheap way. It has more of a Steam Punk look to it with some effort put into the finishing. The most impressive part is that they even managed to make it motorized, something that a lot of affordable sliders in the early days couldn't even do.
DIY projects are in abundance on YouTube and I just can't get enough of them. Back in January I posted about YouTuber Matt Perks from DIYPerks and his amazing project building a 1,000 watt water-cooled LED lamp. Well he has a new DIY project that has me super excited to try and build my own. Perks' new video goes into great detail and lists all the parts needed to build a motorized desk partition that can be added to any existing desk. He calls his a "monitor lift" but the possibilities I've already imaged that I could use it for are even more useful. If you're like me and have a ton of things in and around your desk but very limited and cluttered desk space, then this could be a super easy build that might resolve some of your clutter in a really cool way.
Shooting suspended objects in your images can be done a few different ways, from the use of Photoshop to the simple and effective use of wire or fishing line. My first instinct would be to grab clear fishing line. Not having done any work with fishing line in suspending objects, I would not even have thought about getting brown or even a greenish tint line to use in the set, as Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens packs in his fishing line kit box for various projects and scenes. In this video, he shares all his tips on this approach, including how he decides to use a certain color based on the background.
The Internet is loaded with articles on new gear or popular techniques. Everywhere you look, you will find some new unboxing video or review piece. Everyone promising that they will make you the photographer you have always wanted to be. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy looking at fancy new equipment as much as the next guy -- and I have written a few of those articles myself -- but do all the toys and tricks help my career in the long run?
Photography isn't something you decide as a career path. You rather find photography and then setup your life to do it as a job. It has that effect and it's why it's such a beautiful art form. You'll never be a successful photographer if you are not passionate about it, which is different to deciding a financial adviser or insurance broker. I might be stereotyping, but I am sure there are many who love their job, but also many who do not, but at least get a good paying salary at the end of every month, so they keep at it.
The most creative ideas are often the most simple ones. Here is a video a team from France put together showing you ways to enhance your portraits using cheap and basic tools that you can find at any grocery and hardware store. You don't have to worry, there is no French explanations, it's all done visually and is quite easy to follow.