Friday, November 12, 2010

DIY-ish Speedlite Velcro Strap

Not quite DIY as you don't actually have to make anything. More like creatively use inexpensive products! I have make mention in previous posts to a speedlite velcro strap, to which I attach light modifiers. You could go the expensive route and buy a couple Honl "Speed Straps" for your flashguns at $10+ a piece. Or you can "make" one of these:

By "one of these" I don't mean the flash of course.

Extremely simple to do, yet so versatile.

Read more after the jump!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Floot!

Not quite a flag, not quite a snoot... It's the floot! Okay, so I'm no "shamwow guy" when it comes to being a salesman but this is really cool.

Read more after the jump!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

DIY Beauty Dish

Here it is! I finally got around to making this post and getting the dish painted. Pretty snazzy, eh?

Read more after the jump!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Point of Post

Technology has come a long way to revolutionize the art of photography. I'm not just talking about the film to digital revolution, but also the dawn of computers. Not only does the computer completely change how you can share and get your photography out there but it also give the photography literally unlimited creativity when it comes to their art.

Post-production or post-processing is a powerful tool. With the use of Lightroom, Photoshop, Aperture or any of a host of different programs you can do almost anything from creating a completely false image to giving your image that little extra pop that it needs to go from good to great.

Click for Full Size
My Edit

Read more after the jump!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One Light Wonderland

Lately out of curiosity (or sheer laziness) I have been looking into portraiture in which only one lighting source (besides ambient) was used. Over and over again I see people getting great results from a single light source- a beauty dish. I have not used a beauty dish before. That is until today.

My girlfriend and I went out today for a shoot. Tip: If you are shooting with a model and need wardrobe ideas, pilfer a Halloween specialty store post Halloween. We picked up this and many other sets for 25-50% of their original price. Bonus: They double as Halloween costumes!

Click for Full Size
Canon T1i w/ Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6
1/100 sec, f/8, ISO100, 10mm
Yongnuo 460II- 1/16

Today I finished my DIY beauty dish. While there are many different DIY beauty dish tutorials online I decided to create my own. I will deconstruct my beauty dish and try to get a "how-to" post done up as soon as I can. However, the results were really great and got me really excited!

For those who are wondering, a beauty dish is a light modifier which gives off light which is somewhere between that of a bare flash (no modifier) and a softbox in softness. It is essentially a parabolic (or near parabolic) dish with a hole in the back for the flash to enter. A reflector in the middle that reflects the light from the flash outwards to the dish which illuminates the subject. In short: more harsh light than a softbox, softer than a bare flash which wraps the subject well and gives a nice contrasty, dramatic look.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Painless Panoramas with CS5

So- apparently real life gets in the way sometimes! Thanks to a midterm Monday (Physiology of Coronary Artery Disease... yay!) I was left studying and gorging on leftover Halloween candy! Oh... the irony.

Before I start I would like to thank everyone who has shown support for me in these early stages. You guys are what is keeping me from slacking and continuing to try to find new content to post about. In the first 3 days I have seen over 100 unique visitors! Glad to know people are actually reading!

Now, enough of me blabbing. Blog entry actually starts after the jump!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Shed some light on Halloween

Design Credit to Tianna Bertolo

Happy Halloween! Between scaring the ba-gee-bees out of children and eating obscene amounts of candy I'm sure many of you have tried to capture a part of the Halloween experience in photos. One of the most long-standing Halloween traditions is pumpkin carving ( it also happens to be one of the messiest). Problem is- pumpkins don't last very long after being carved. With that in mind- I set out to photograph my amazing pumpkin carving girlfriend's masterpieces this year.

Read more after the jump!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever!

So- every once in a while I see something interesting and I have a photo-day (or afternoon) where I try to re-create or capture something similar. A while ago I saw a set where the photographer had captured fruit being dropped into water. Amazingly simple, yet crazy cool. On the tail-end of a grueling series of midterms I decided to treat my girlfriend to a bunch of strawberries and raspberries!

Of course she had no idea that I would be conscripting her help first!

Read more after the jump!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You know what would be fun? Smashing something! (Sorry Canon)

A several months back while searching Kijiji I found an inexpensive EF lens- the Canon EF 35-80mm 1:4-5.6. This lens had previously been the kit lens for older Canon EOS film SLRs. The person I ended up buying this lens from had sold his old film SLR body and just wanted to get rid of the lens.

While researching about about the 35-80mm I came across an interesting thread about a macro hack. Apparently by removing the front focusing element the lens performed well as a macro lens. I saw some amazing pictures and decided to try it.

First of all. This is the version of the lens that I bought. I believe there were three versions of it- the importance I will explain later.

Canon EF 35-80mm 1:4-5.6

Read more after the jump!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


So. I have a confession to make. My name is Victor, and I like fish. No, I'm not talking about a nice fillet of salmon over a bed of rice smothered is a rich dill sauce (well I might be now). I'm talking about aquariums. I have/had and am close friends with many people who keep fish in aquariums. And you know what else? I love taking pictures of them.

Believe it or not, even though you don't have to worry about fish running away when they are in an aquarium like you do when shooting most wildlife- aquatic photography is pretty tricky! That is at first.

I love aquatic photography, and I would like to share one of my favourite shots I have captured. While at a conference in New Orleans this past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the New Orleans aquarium. While there I made an effort to take photos of as many creatures as I could to share with my aquatic-loving buddies back home. One of those critters is that seen below- The Pacific Sea Nettle.

This shot took a little bit of creativity because the displays were so poorly lit. So much so that to get a proper exposure I needed to either crank my ISO way up or drop my shutter speed to way below hand holdable (with aperture wide open). Neither option sat very well with me. So what other options did I have with such dismal lighting conditions? Add more light of course! I got out my trusty eBay wireless flash trigger/reciever and my speedlite flash and gave my girlfriend the 'ol puppy eyes. Of course she already knew what I was going to ask as soon as I opened my bag. She was going to be my high tech light stand! Flash at about 1/8 power into the side of the aquarium, aperture stopped down for sharpness and sync'd at my max sync speed of 1/200 sec to freeze motion, I was able to get several of this type of image very easily. The nice thing about hitting a Jelly with flash is light become so soft! The jelly acts like a sponge, lighting itself up like a softbox! These, believe it or not, are not touched very much in post. A little colour correction here and some cloning of debris in the water there and presto! Sharp jelly shots! 

So, the next time you are at a public aquarium- try taking out the flash!

Welcome to the Jungle!

Well, I suppose it's more of an ocean. That's how I felt when I first jumped into the photography scene- literally drowning in information.

Now, almost a year later- I am still learning and invite you to learn with me. Here in this little corner of the internet you will find little tricks I have found along the way. As a student I like to stay as budget oriented as possible (although I do spoil myself... too often) and some blog posts will be dedicated to different DIY projects and how they work for me. I will also mix it up with posts with shots that I have taken and try to walk though what I did.

Research and a thirst for learning has brought me to where I am today. I have learned so much from people who don't even know how much they've helped me and if I can pass on some of that knowledge here I will be thrilled!