If you find yourself regularly shooting in the rain and in need of a better way to keep yourself and your gear dry, check out the tripod-mounted umbrella holder seen in the photo above. It keeps an umbrella fixed directly above you and your camera, allowing you give your full attention to photo-making. A quick trip to the hardware store will get you the ingredients you’ll need: a few brackets, a pipe to serve as the holder, and some nuts and bolts. Most of the components come together quite easily, but you’ll need some way to cut sections off your pipe.
Attaching an umbrella to your tripod can introduce some undesirable movement if there’s a lot of wind, but weighing down the tripod and keeping your hands on your camera can help keep it stable. To get started, head on over to Digital Camera World for the step-by-step tutorial.
Stay Dry with a Hands-free Umbrella Holder for Your Tripod [Digital Camera World via Reddit]
If you need a tabletop photo studio for nice-looking product shots, a quick build involves using a piece of poster board and some household lights. If you have a bit more time, money, and carpentry skills, you can do what Nick Britsky did and construct a dedicated mini photo studio. He started the project by creating a mockup of the studio using
Google’s Trimble’s free and easy to use SketchUp 3D modeling program. Once he knew what pieces he needed, he had all the wooden parts cut out at his local hackerspace i3 Detroit. He then combined the pieces according to his model, painted the wood white, added a couple of lights from his local hardware store, and covered the sides with white ripstop nylon.
You can find more pictures of the studio here. If you’d like to build one for yourself, you can grab the Google SketchUp file that Britsky used from his website.
DIY Mini Photo Studio [Nick Drinks via Lifehacker]
Want to light your nighttime photographs with something that can be mistaken for a portable sun? Check out this monstrous homemade flashlight composed of 513 separate LED lights. Created back in 2008 by Ledcreations, the device offers a whopping 3500-4000 lumens of light — way more than the hundreds of lumens offered by other powerful flashlights on the market.
Samuel Cox, the “maker of things” whose Minority Report-style photo viewer we shared last year, was recently invited to a friend’s wedding. He came up with the neat idea of creating a TARDIS-themed photo booth for the wedding reception, an accessible way for guests to leave photo memories in a lighthearted manner.
Israeli photographer Ido Nassimi wanted to geotag the photographs shot using his Nikon D90, but didn’t want to shell out $200 bucks for Nikon’s official GP-1 GPS receiver. Since he had a GPS Bluetooth receiver lying around, he decided to do some research and make it compatible with his DSLR. He ended up successfully building one for around $50.
When shopping for a new computer, online shops often allow you to customize the computer and choose the individual components that go into it. If the computing world can offer that, why not the photography world?
Turns out you can with Leica cameras. The company has a website called “Leica à la carte“, through which you can configure a film Leica rangefinder to suit your tastes and needs.
Mike Warren has written up an in-depth tutorial on how you can build a 360° camera hat using 6-8 disposable cameras. The cameras are worn around the head like a crown, and are simultaneously trigger using a single shutter release with the help of servo motors that depress the shutter when triggered. Warren writes,
With the camera array sitting on your head, you’re able to capture a 360° panorama view of your surroundings. This project requires no special electronics knowledge and can be assembled in about an hour.
I designed this camera array off something I saw on the “Radar Detector” music video by Darwin Deez. But, after making the camera hat, everyone kept asking if it was a low-fi version of Google Street View. It’s more the former than the latter, but people can draw their own interpretations.
We really enjoy DIY projects for photographers, and as such we’ve featured everything from the ultra simple to complex light-painting robots. But what excites us about Instructables‘ DIY tilt-shift adapter isn’t just the durable plunger adapter you end up with, but rather the idea that one could manufacture their own camera accessories with a little bit of design skill and a 3D printer (check out Shapeways if you don’t have one sitting around).
For this particular project you’ll need a camera, an extra lens, some digital calipers, 3D design software like 123D, and access to a 3D printer or 3D printing service. After that just follow the steps in this video and you can wind up with results like the ones you see below. Read more…
Physics guru David Prutchi recently came across a line of professional grade gyroscopic camera stabilizers by Kenyon Laboratories. They cost thousands of dollars each, but Prutchi noticed that the designs hadn’t changed much since they were first patented in the 1950s. He then set out to create his own DIY version using low-cost gyroscopes from Gyroscope.com. His finished device (shown above) actually helps stabilize his DSLR when shooting video or when photographing with non-image-stabilized lenses.
Photographer Allen Mowery has a step-by-step tutorial on how to build a useful DIY flash mounting accessory using a ratcheting hand clamp and standard 1/4-inch threaded screw. It’s a cheap DIY version of the Super Clamp or Nasty Clamp, and can help you place your flash in places that are inaccessible to light stands or traditional equipment.
DIY Photography Super Clamp Tutorial (via DIYP)