Here’s a mind-bending video in which someone created the famous checker shadow illusion in real life. The optical illusion takes advantage of the way our brains process lighting and shadows.
As with many so-called illusions, this effect really demonstrates the success rather than the failure of the visual system. The visual system is not very good at being a physical light meter, but that is not its purpose. The important task is to break the image information down into meaningful components, and thereby perceive the nature of the objects in view. [#]
Interesting huh? Our eyes aren’t very good as a light meters, since they’re easily deceived by context. Read more…
The Coleman LED Quad Lantern is an area lantern that features four detachable LED panels that function as individual lights, with each one containing six LEDs, a handle, and a rechargeable battery. While it’s designed for outdoor use (e.g. camping), it can also be used as a cheap solution for lighting your photos on the go. Read more…
Flickr user Steve Kushnir came up with this neat idea of building a cheap DIY diffuser using a Pringles can, two layers of paper towels, and some rubber bands. He attached it to his Nikon D5000′s popup flash and uses it for macro photographs of creepy crawlies. Read more…
IT consultant and photo enthusiast Viktor Takacs didn’t have much success when he tried capturing lightning on camera, so he decided to build this fancy do-it-yourself trigger (which he named “Zeus”) that automatically snaps a photo whenever the photodiode detects a flash of lightning. He even built a knob into the device that can be used to adjust sensitivity. The demo above shows the trigger reacting to manually triggered flashes from a strobe.
Takacs has a detailed post that walks through how he created the device. You can also email him for the code used by the microcontroller.
If Doctor Octopus were to design a DIY flash accessory, it might look a little something like this. German microbiologist Marcell Nikolausz has been experimenting with using fiber optics to split a single flash unit’s light into multiple light sources. Optical fibers are threaded through Gorillapod-style Loc-Line channels, allowing flexible and stable positioning of the light sources. Each individual light source can be controlled using various modifiers (e.g. diffusers, gels, etc..), changing their quality and intensity.
For some sample photographs taken with this contraption, check out this set of photos. You can also learn more about Nikolausz’s experimentation on his blog.
I had some stuff lying around as well as saw some parts as I was out and thought this would be fun to make. I have around $20 invested in parts. On eBay I saw ring lights for anywhere around $40 on up, so this will save you money and it was fun to make. Read more…
You can see sun positions at sunrise, specified time and sunset. The thin orange curve is the current sun trajectory, and the yellow area around is the variation of sun trajectories during the year. The closer a point is to the center, the higher is the sun above the horizon. The colors on the time slider above show sunlight coverage during the day.
This is one of the most creative examples of light painting we’ve seen — Flickr user Janne Parviainen created this unique light painting photograph to show a skeleton jumping out of a body. It’s straight from the camera without any Photoshop trickery.
SonyAlphaRumors received a pretty interesting tip yesterday regarding the design of the upcoming Sony Alpha A77 (which is still a rumor at this point). The anonymous tipster wrote that the camera — successor to the A700 — will have an innovative design that boasts a hybrid viewfinder by blending optical and electronic images:
Yesterday Sony explained the new system that will be used for the incoming a77 (the a750 will use a regular SLR design). Practically the are using two semi-transparent mirrors and a high-resolution EVF to reinforced the live image. They are using a reflexive technology design called 70/30, between each semi-transparent mirrors.
The final image in the viewfinder will have 30% of original image and 70% of electronic reinforced image through the new EVF.
When we featured Strobox back in 2009, it was a simple idea: provide an easy way for photographers to create lighting diagrams and share them with others. Since then, they’ve upgraded their website to include a gallery where you can browse photographs done by others, view their lighting diagrams, and comment on them.
If you don’t have a full arsenal of lightning equipment, you can filter the photos by what kind of lighting equipment was used to browse photos that are more relevant to you. Read more…