Jan 31

Black Straw Grids

2008 • Posted by Kai @ 11:10 AM

I was thinking to make a grids spot for my flashes, now I just found a tutorial over the internet who uses black straws to make a grids spot. What a grids spot for: “The spot grids take a regular flash and make it behave like a spotlight. They’re made up of a grid of channels for light to pass through and depending on the length and width of those channels they can radically reduce the area light by a flash, while giving the light itself a nice falloff.” A grids spot can be used for lighting the small subjects, emphasizing a part of whole object, or adding hair lights …etc. This tutorial showing the author making a grids with some black drinking straws and cardboard, and demonstrating the effect with his Vivitar 285HV flash.

It looks quite nice and works efficient. The total cost for this conversion takes less than $10. I am going out to check the local dollar store see if I can find something.

A grids spot mounted on the Vivitar 285HV flash

The example of grids spot light

photo credit/ Pinkerton

Jan 25

Dual Flash Bracket DIY

2008 • Posted by Kai @ 2:16 PM

As I am building a new flash system, I currently made a “Dual Flash Bracket” for portable lighting. With this gadget I can mount 2 flashes on one light stand, which giving stronger light when I use it with a softbox.

This bracket was done in guick. I cut a piece of metal (this is the most difficult part because this piece of stainless steel is pretty hard), then attached 2 flash mounts on both sides called “Hot Shoe PC Sync Adapter”, which I purchased on eBay. The next step is to figure out how to trigger both flashes simultaneously.

Jan 23

Flash Trigger Modification

2008 • Posted by Kai @ 7:29 PM

Although my flash wireless trigger works fine, but I still want to boost its signal to make it more reliable. I ordered a radio antenna from eBay, and did a little bit modification to attach the antenna on the trigger. This is a 400-475 Mhz UHF flexible Short Pointed antenna for Motorola Radio, and it fits the trigger’s original working frequency 433MHz. It is not a hard work, only took me about 2 hours to do it. Now the flash wireless trigger not only the signal is stronger, also the working range extended from 10 meters to 30 meter and above. However, this is just the first step of my new flash system.

Jan 16

Light Distributer

2008 • Posted by Kai @ 10:10 PM

I call it Light Distributer. I don’t know what it exactly calls because there is no such product in industry. The idea I making this, is because I want the light coming from both sides when I taking the close-up pictures. If I only use one flash to take macro shots that the single strong light will causes extremely dark shadow. So I did some research over the internet then made this device to separate the light source from flash into two directions.

This piece is made of foamcore and mirror. I haven’t get the chance to test how it works, theoretically should be fine.

Jan 11

Fake IR Picture

2008 • Posted by Kai @ 5:02 PM

IR (Infrared) picture is a special photography technique. You need an IR filter or a modified DSLR to do this job. However, If you are curious and just wanna play around the IR photo a little bit, there are some post process techniques to make a trick. Here is one:

  • Open RGB photo
  • Go to layers palette
  • Choose Channel Mixer from the Create New Adjustment Layer pop-up menu (its the half-black/half-white circle icon) at the bottom of the palette
  • In Channel Mixer window, put a check mark on the Monochrome checkbox
  • Set Red channel to -50%, Green channel to +200%, Blue channel to -50%, then click ok
  • Go to layers palette and drag and drop Background layer onto the Create a New layer icon to duplicate it, then drag and drop this Background copy layer above the Channel Mixer layer at the top of the layer stack
  • Make two changes: (1) change layer mode from normal to Overlay (2) lower Opacity to 50%
  • in Layers palette, click on the center layer(the Channel Mixer adjustment layer) and lower the opacity to bring back more of the original colors (about 10% to bring the color roaring back).

Jan 02

Second Sunrise Of 2008

2008 • Posted by Kai @ 2:38 PM

Yes, it’s the second. Why I took the second sunrise of the year 2008 because I didn’t wake up that early yesterday (was partying too late at new year eve). The wind chill in the morning drops to minus thirty something, it was freezing and my toes and fingers are frozen, but it’s worth because I haven’t see sunrise for a while.

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