makeshift

Photo Studio Polyboards and Thrifty Alternatives

Nearly every professional studio I’ve ever used has these "polyboards" and you‘ve probably even seen them yourself but may not have known what they’re used for. Polyboards are polystyrene boards that usually measure 4 feet wide by 8 feet high and are normally 2 inches thick. One of the other defining characteristics is that they are often white on one side and black on the other.

How to Make a DIY Beauty Dish for Less Than $7

Beauty dishes are great pieces of equipment to have in your lighting arsenal, but they come at a price. You can spend hundreds of dollars on a dish, yet using a cheap shoot-through umbrella can easily produce the same effect, as this 10-minute tutorial by Joe Edelman shows.

How to Build Your Own Monitor Hood for Less Than $12

I needed a monitor hood for quite some time but wasn't willing to pay the retail prices charged for them, so I decided to build one myself. In this tutorial I'll show you how to build your own DIY monitor hood for less than $12.

How to Shoot Pro Portraits in Everyday Places

My name is Nick Fancher and I'm a portrait and commercial photographer who specializes in lighting, specifically with the use of small flash in unconventional locations.

This Photographer Turned a Potato Into a Camera

Low quality photos and videos are often referred to these days as being "potato quality," or so bad that they look like they were taken using a potato. But for photographer Colin Lowe, "potato quality" is a spot-on description for some of his photos because they were literally taken with a potato.

You Don’t Need a Great Studio Space to Shoot Great Portraits

My name is Philippe Echaroux, and I'm a French celebrity photographer and an ambassador for Hasselblad and Elinchrom. I recently had to do a portrait shoot at a large studio in Paris, but for this shoot I decided to have a bit of fun.

How I Lit a Photo Using Only Candles and iPhone Flashlights

This article is about how you don't always need fancy lights for photo shoots: I recently shot the outdoor nighttime fantasy photo above, titled "The SpellBinder" and featuring Kara Markley, using only the light from candles and iPhone flashlights.

This Large Format Camera Was Built with Garage Scraps and a DSLR

I recently built my own DIY large format camera using scraps. The idea of this camera started with vintage profile spotlight that I wanted to restore, only to discover that some of the internal lens elements were shattered. The only lens element that was undamaged was the front element. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that this element can project an image circle big enough to cover an 8x10 area.

Making Gobos Out of Unusual Things for Creative Portrait Lighting

Typically, the term “gobo” is reserved for the lens filters and patterns that are affixed to theater lights. The terms “flag” or “cucloris/cookie” are actually more accurate for what we’re going to be using in this post, which is an object placed between the light and the subject, but not attached to it.

Wirelessly Control Your DSLR for Less Than $40

For several years now, Camranger has been pretty much the only choice if you want to tether your Nikon, Sony or Canon DSLR wirelessly to your phone or tablet.

How to Build a DIY Camera Stabilizer Using LEGO

Advanced camera stabilizers are becoming cheaper and cheaper these days, but if you're the type of person who enjoys building the things you use, here's a neat tutorial for you. Product Tank released a 7-minute video showing how you can create a DIY stabilizer using LEGO pieces.

Use Welder’s Glass as a $1 ND Filter for Long Exposures in Daylight

Want to shoot long exposure photos in bright daylight without having to shell out big bucks on a neutral density (ND) filter? Try using a piece of welder's glass -- the kind that protects your eyes while welding. The 13-minute video above by photographer Mathieu Stern provides a nice overview of this photo hack.

How to Get a ‘Ring of Fire’ Lens Flare in Your Photos

In late 2014, I was given a few pieces of piping -- what you might call trash, but which I call the "ring of fire." It ended up being an incredibly useful tool in my photography. I quickly decided to add it to my (now literal) bag of tricks along with Prisming, Lens Chimping, my Broken Freelens, and Anamorphics.