Awesome Fill Flash Hack

I've always been the kind of guy who has relied on a simple rubber band and bit of white cardboard to create the perfect bounce for my flash. Sure it looks a little chintzy, but it definitely does get the job done—and at a literal fraction of the cost of fancier systems. The key is that you want to point the flash straight up and let the white card provide a softer, more diffused flash illumination of the subject. Then a guy named Gary Fong invented his "Lightsphere" and I thought it seemed pretty cool—and unlike what my simple card could achieve. The Lightsphere diffuses the flash in every direction, making it very broad, very omni-directional, and a very good idea. Apparently it's a good seller, too—as any device that actually solves a problem so well should be. Still, for those of us who prefer something a little more hacked together there's got to be another way to build this mousetrap, right? Thanks to the DIY Photography blog I now know what that is: a translucent plastic cup. For me any homemade hack has to be simple and minimal at its essence; I don't want to be gluing and cutting and taping a bunch of things together. That can be more trouble than it's worth. But simply slapping a disposable cup on my flash—that's something I can get my head around. And I bet I'll get a few more strange looks than I do with even my homemade cardboard bounce card rubberbanded to my speedlight. Check it out at diyphotography.net, and click through to the original inventor's Flickr stream as well.

http://www.diyphotography.net/quick-tip-a-plastic-cup-lightsphere

DPMag
I've always been the kind of guy who has relied on a simple rubber band and bit of white cardboard to create the perfect bounce for my flash. Sure it looks a little chintzy, but it definitely does get the job done—and at a literal fraction of the cost of…

Kickstarter And The EZ Steady

One of my favorite trends in this web three-point-whatever era is the Kickstarter photo device. I suppose all sorts of industries have flooded the Kickstarter site with devices for sale by entrepreneurial inventors, but the photo market sure does seem perfect for it. After all, we're so often looking for a better mousetrap, and anyone who can make even a decent mousetrap at a significant cost savings… well, we're happy to spend our money with them. I've seen camera straps and buckles and quick releases and all sorts of successful photographic accessories get rousingly funded via Kickstarter, and so it is with the most recent device worthy of your consideration. It's the EZ Steady camera stabilizer. It works with a gimbal and counterweight to make it possible to handhold your D-SLR while shooting video. That's no small achievement, as anyone who's tried to handhold a D-SLR for video knows. For a $225 contribution you'll get your own EZ Steady shipped straight to you in January—saving 100 bucks off the eventual retail price. We've ordered one at my studio already, and I'm looking forward to shooting some handheld video with it—almost as much as I'm looking forward to the EZ Steady's promised simple setup process. If you want to shoot handheld video on a budget, you may want to have a look at this, quick.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1851477510/ez-steady-dslr-camera-stabilizer

DPMag
One of my favorite trends in this web three-point-whatever era is the Kickstarter photo device. I suppose all sorts of industries have flooded the Kickstarter site with devices for sale by entrepreneurial inventors, but the photo market sure does seem perfect for it. After all, we're so often looking for…

Simply Sublime Snakes

Sometimes all I want to do is see beautiful photographs for no particular reason, so that's what I've got for you today. Los Angeles-based advertising photographer Mark Laita has been working on an interesting personal project that's taken him around the world to zoos, breeders and laboratories in order to photograph the world's deadliest snakes. It just so happens that these animals are also amazingly beautiful and photogenic as well. Check out a sampling at the Feature Shoot blog, then head over to Mr. Laita's web site to see more of the Serpentine project, as well as a variety of his other work.

http://www.featureshoot.com/2011/11/graphic-and-breathtaking-snakes-photographed-by-mark-laita
http://www.marklaita.com

DPMag
Sometimes all I want to do is see beautiful photographs for no particular reason, so that's what I've got for you today. Los Angeles-based advertising photographer Mark Laita has been working on an interesting personal project that's taken him around the world to zoos, breeders and laboratories in order to…

Annie Leibovitz Pilgrimage

With the biggest shopping day of the year just a few hours away, I can't think of a better gift suggestion than the newest book from photographer Annie Leibovitz. Though she's most known for portraiture, particularly of the celebrity variety, this book, Pilgrimage, depicts no people at all. Yet it is still a work of portraiture in its own unique way—a portrait of the artist and a portrait of the people whose homes and workshops she visited in her travels. Leibovitz began this project in the midst of a very well publicized financial turmoil that lays the foundation for why the book is important, to readers as well as to the artist herself. Ultimately the pilgrimage of the title isn't about an author objectively visiting iconic locations in order that we, her viewers, can see through her eyes. The pilgrimage is a very personal one, whereby Leibovitz created lists of the important people and places in her life, and then set about visiting those locations to photograph them as an intensely personal project. The book is a recording of her personal encounters with these objects and places, and it's unlike anything else we've ever seen from Leibovitz. In a way, that's what makes it so interesting, so special. It really is a powerful work of art, and one that is sure to be shared by many fans of the photographer as well as the icons she visited throughout the book. I can't think of a more meaningful gift to give a photography lover or historian this year, and I'm sure you'll agree after reading more at the New York Times and having a look at a number of images on display there.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/opinion/sunday/annie-leibovitzs-pilgrimage.html

DPMag
With the biggest shopping day of the year just a few hours away, I can't think of a better gift suggestion than the newest book from photographer Annie Leibovitz. Though she's most known for portraiture, particularly of the celebrity variety, this book, Pilgrimage, depicts no people at all. Yet it…

The Abstract Art Of The Droplet

As long as I'm getting artsy with my posts this week, here's one that's about abstract photography. Courtesy of the Feature Shoot photo blog, I just learned about the interesting abstract water drop photography of Markus Reugels. This German macro specialist doesn't just shoot water drops, though, he uses liquids of a variety of colors and shoots them flowing, splashing and exploding—the latter involves dropping liquids into a water bath and inverting the finished images so that they look more like literal explosions of color rather than simple drops and splashes. His photographs represent one of the things that I find so great about macro photography: the way it can transform something so simple and straightforward into something so uniquely special. See more at the Feature Shoot blog, then head over to Mr. Reugels' 500px site for a whole lot more of his colorful work.

http://www.featureshoot.com/2011/11/explosions-of-color-and-liquid-shot-by-macro-photographer-markus-reugels
http://500px.com/MarkusReugels

DPMag
As long as I'm getting artsy with my posts this week, here's one that's about abstract photography. Courtesy of the Feature Shoot photo blog, I just learned about the interesting abstract water drop photography of Markus Reugels. This German macro specialist doesn't just shoot water drops, though, he uses liquids…

Beautifully Surreal Photocollage

By day Matt Wisniewski is a web programmer. But as far as I'm concerned his real talent lies in the realm of photocollage. Though he's not a photographer, he works with photographs and collaborates with photographers to create beautiful, surreal collage portraits. I'm usually no big fan of surrealism in photography; there are very few artists who I think really transcend the hokey and make something beautiful, inspiring, and wonderful. I think Mr. Wisniewski belongs in that rarified group. See more of his work at his web site, and send him a message if you're a photographer interested in collaborating with a very talented artist.

http://mattw.us/images

DPMag
By day Matt Wisniewski is a web programmer. But as far as I'm concerned his real talent lies in the realm of photocollage. Though he's not a photographer, he works with photographs and collaborates with photographers to create beautiful, surreal collage portraits. I'm usually no big fan of surrealism in…
Subscribe & Save!
International residents, click here.