It has been a long time since I have asked for something photo related for my birthday. I usually don’t ask, just because I’m very particular about what equipment I use, and my friends and family know it. But this year, it was different. I thought about dabbling in some old school photography, so I asked for a Polaroid 600 camera. My fiancée stepped up to the plate and delivered, gifting me an awesome 1983 Polaroid Sun 600 LMS. I had some fun with my first pack of film, but then it was time to start pushing the envelope.
An idea hit me one day, and I knew I had to try something that I’ve never seen done before: shooting off camera flash with an older Polaroid 600 instant camera.
Want to illuminate an entire football field for a photo shoot, but can’t find enough friends who will let you borrow their external flashes? Have deep pockets? Here’s a “lighting accessory” you might want to add to your camera bag: the light truck.
Here’s a fun photo idea you might want to try out this Halloween: shoot epic portraits showing beams of light streaming in from the background. All you need are a perforated hardboard, a couple of flashes, and a fog/smoke machine (or some method of generating smoke).
Want to see how studio lighting equipment is made? David Selby of Lighting Rumors was recently invited to tour the Shenzhen factory of a Chinese lighting company called NiceFoto, which sells gear both under its own brand name and to various international distributors under different marques. He snapped a number of photographs showing various workspaces where equipment is assembled.
What do you get when you combine an accent light with a picture frame? Answer: the Geode. It’s a new product by San Francisco-based home furnishing shop Ghost Nest that lets you light up a space while showing off your favorite photographs.
Photographer Kirsty Wiseman didn’t want to shell out money for a real beauty dish — she doesn’t really need one — so she built this funny-looking DIY beauty dish for a few pennies using a couple of Styrofoam bowls, a couple of cocktail sticks, and a piece of aluminum foil. After playing around with it, Wiseman was delightfully surprised to find that her gear hack actually produced decent results.
London-based photographer Tony Ellwood has a project called In No Time that deals with our perception and awareness of our passage of time. All the photographs are of the same pier on a beach that Ellwood visited over a period of six months. His technique, which took him 18 months to develop and perfect, involves visiting the location multiple times for each photo — sometimes up to three times a day for multiple days. Using a 4×5 large format camera, Ellwood creates each exposure across multiple sessions, as if he were doing multiple exposure photography, but of a single subject and scene. Each exposure time ranges from a few seconds to multiple hours.
What if there existed a lightbulb that you could completely control using your phone? And by “completely control”, I don’t mean simply switching on and off. I mean being able to precisely control the brightness of the light emitted, and even the exact color of the light.
It sounds crazy, but it’s a light bulb that’s actually being developed. Created by Phil Bosua of San Francisco, the LIFX is a Wi-Fi enabled LED light bulb that can be wirelessly controlled using an iPhone or Android device. While Bosua imagines a plethora of home and commercial applications, it’s the bulb’s photographic potential that we find very exciting.
Earlier this week, we shared a funky piece of camera equipment called the Bounce-Wall, which features a large card that serves as a surface to bounce your flash off when you’re out and about. While the pricing wasn’t available at the time, David Hobby of Strobist has since revealed that it’ll carry a $99 when it’s released later this month.
If you don’t have any free benjamins to drop on this product — or don’t want to wait — the fine folks over at Lighting-Academy have created a ghetto do-it-yourself version you can build and use. All you’ll need is an old wire clothes hanger, a piece of cardboard, some aluminum foil, a clothespin, and a tripod screw. The tutorial is in German, so you might need to use an online translater or base your build off the pictures alone.
DIY Wall Bounce for 99 cents [Lighting-Academy via Strobist]
Need to bounce your flash but don’t have a suitable wall nearby? Bounce-Wall is a new lighting accessory that puts a large card to the side of your camera, providing a bounce surface wherever you need it. David Hobby over at Strobist got to play around with one, and writes,
Here is the thing: very few people will feel ambivalent about this thing. You’ll either love it or your’ll hate it.
A lot of people just won’t get this thing. But I suspect event and wedding shooters (i.e., for shooting during the reception. etc.) will flock to it.
[...] It’s a run-and-gun mod, rather than something for finely crafting light. Think big bounce card (but up and over about 18 inches) and you’ll be close. And it’s completely self-contained, and thus what every camera-topped fongsphere user should probably have on instead when they are working outside with no walls or ceilings. (I see those guys, and a reeeeally want to walk up and say something. But I have learned to just shut up and watch.)
Created by California Sunbounce, the Bounce-Wall will be launched at Photokina later this month. Head on over to Strobist for a closer look at this unique camera add-on.
Bounce-Wall: The Genius/Insanity Line Goes Commercial [Strobist]
Update: The price will reportedly be $99.
Image credit: Photograph by David Hobby and used with permission