The Portrait Photographer's Rube Goldberg

This video has come across my desk several times the last few days but I never really bothered to click play until Ben Andino shared it on my facebook page. Not only did I have to hit pause and rewind it a half dozen times or so but I found myself laughing out loud during some of the segments. Every photographer will recognize products like the Gary Fong Lightsphere, Gorillapod, Lastolite Hilite, Canon Lens Mug, Strobe Snoot, and countless other photography staples. I can't imagine how long this Rube Goldberg setup took to build and get working 100% but I know I'm still not sure how several of the segments worked (like Mario and the instant print). My favorite part was definitely the TSA scanner. What part did you guys find the most entertaining? Check out the behind the scenes below to see how 2D Photography made this.

Behind the Scenes:

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Lee Morris's picture

Wow, that was a huge amount of work... 

2D Photography Inc.'s picture


Thanks a ton for sharing this!! I really didn't expect it to be up here.

Mario:  There's a kind of hidden wireless keyboard just before Mario's role.  It gets rolled over by a black basketball which hits the space bar starting the video that's queued up on our screen.  It was pre-timed to line up somewhat nicely to Mario's movement and I just animated the motion in FCP.

The "instant print" is hardly instant.  Firstly the photo is pre-printed and loaded into the printer.  We set one of our machines to print a blank document, set the print prompt so it just needs to have the enter button hit and we put another wireless keyboard on the table to the right of our model.  We figured that the printer takes exactly 11 seconds to warm up and send a blank document through.  I guess a more in depth BTS clip is in order as well.  BTW the TSA iPad is ALSO triggered by a wireless keyboard that's sitting in a custom built stand about 2 feet to the right of the iPad.  Our green soccer ball rolls over the pin that plays the video on the iPad.

Thanks again for sharing this!  We love fstoppers so it's a great treat.


Patrick Hall's picture

Ha I didn't expect such a thorough explanation so quickly Dave....I thought I had the printer figured out the way you described.  Very very nice.  Prepare for a huge video with this one!

Erubbey Cantoral's picture

It´s amazing guys! 

Corey Melton's picture

whoa, that was ridiculous. The lack of music made it feel boring though. But kudos to all who made that freakin thing! 

Anonymous's picture

WOW...  I kept looking at it thinking...yeah, I have that, and STOP what is that, and why don't I have it...And dear Lord how many Spider Legs (That's what I call them) can one man have?  And not to start anything here, but I found the lack of music stark.... and cutting edge.  I felt the sounds of the balls dropping onto different surfaces strange and wonderful, I can't image anything over ridding the direct tempo of "Clean and White."  PS:  Patrick, I am NOT a stalker, at least not yours, just a student.

Patrick Hall's picture

Stalker?  Not following you?  By the way...where did you get your screen name :)

Anonymous's picture

holy crap-- fucking awesome!  this deserves just as many views as that ok go video which is similar.  i don't mind that there's no music, and i like the natural sound.  very well done all the way around.  i will never be self-motivated or disciplined enough to devote 6 months to an (im assuming) unpaid project, just to promote my business (and of course the artistic satisfaction).  this guy deserves to get a lot of great work from this.. amazing!

Mark Beaumont's picture

I know it's pretty childish, but watching the Canon lens get hammered of the rack, at the 16sec mark, makes me laugh out load! Brilliant absolutely brilliant!

Martin Jensen's picture

Un-fricking-believable!!! :D 

Anonymous's picture

This definitely made my day! Thanks for sharing :-)

Michael Battenberg's picture

Damn... he gave away all our secrets!!  Maybe we all need to show this to clients the next time they ask why we charge what we do?!

Nicholas Gonzalez's picture

Great videos and incredible message from the photographer! 

William Smith's picture

Very creative!  My favorite part was the nod to OK GO and their Rube Goldberg machine at 2:38

Andrew Dobbie's picture

my brain hurts thinking about how much work went into that...

Shannon Wimberly's picture

okay.... that was incredible.....

IM SPEECHLESS!!! THat was the most amazing Goldberg machine ever!! what the.... w o w

Anonymous's picture

That's a lot of Gorilla Pods- I'm with Mr. Dobbie, my head hurts. Amazing, might be better than the one from the Ok Go video, especially considering this probably had a smaller crew.

2D Photography Inc.'s picture

The "crew" never exceeded 3 people at one time for this entire process.

Sim Leiner's picture

I am dying to know how many tries this took till they got it!

2D Photography Inc.'s picture

99 agonizing takes... :/

Christopher-Kasey Breneman's picture

Yay for interesting and unique video
Boo for advertising injections

LOL funny. Thanks. 

JaredC's picture

whats the deal with the x-ray on the ipad... how did that work!?!?!?

Relzlife Ho-Shing's picture

HA!!! dope video!!! the 2:38 mark in the BTS... i was like "is that Kevin Luc?" I bought my AB800 off him.... then i realized he's part of 2dphotography!! DOPE!!!  

Kevin Luc's picture

Derrel! Glad to know you've watched the video!

Relzlife Ho-Shing's picture

word!!! check my vid on the Wednesday run down section R.A.P FLORIDA SHOOTS

MARK P's picture

must be a very slow business month for these guys

Jeff Le's picture

i laughed hard when that canon lens got boned hahaha

thed_cha's picture

that was awesome. AWESOME to the fullest meaning.

Ron Sanchez's picture

awesome, awesome, awesome