Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

Updates and Time Lapse

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Hey there guys,

Sorry I have not been around often. I have been uber busy lately with work and some redesign issues. I am trying to update wordpress 2.7 but it messes with some of my other plug ins so I have had to take it long and slow. But hopefully I will be back to normal soon.

Want to mention quickly… Congratulations to Scalespeeder for buying the 350D – He has released a podcast discussing that!

I wanted to share this video with you about time lapse. I found it at Digital Photography School – An Introduction to Time-Lapse Photography. Its just a interesting look into how to start time lapsing. But the showcase video is from Ross Ching that shows just how impressive time lapse can be! And yes he was tilt shifting while time lapsing… Super impressive!

Eclectic 3.0: The Roads Less Traveled from Ross Ching on Vimeo.

Alternative Photography – Photosynthesis?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Hey there campers.

While doing a little bit of stumbling on the net I came accross this little gem written by Rosemary Horn at

She manages to expose a photo directly onto a leaf. I have to admit this idea is uber geek and AWESOME!

You guys really need to check this out. –>Click Here<–

I for one can’t wait for winder to fade and spring to come into affect. This for sure is something I will try

How I Compile A Time Lapse!

Friday, January 16th, 2009

I got several questions after my recent post about making a time lapse video, about which software I use compile the images into a finished video.

I have several steps I personally us, they might not be the most efficient but since I have some of the software already I don’t have to buy extra software. (I have not been able to find any decent all in one package)


  • Image Ready CS
  • VirtualDub

Step One

Download your images from the camera to a local drive. I found that since  these images are typically nothing to do with my normal work flow and I tend to manually move them instead of using lightroom or canons own management tool.

Step Two

Image Ready – Open Image Ready and select the menu File>Import>Folder as Frames

Step Three

When the one image is loaded you can resize it to a more reasonable resolution 800×600 for example (you can do this before hand by using Photoshop actions which is much quicker but explaining actions is for another post)

Step Four

In Image Ready select File>Save Optimized File As and then save the file as a “.gif”

Step Five

Open the .gif file in VirtualDub

Step Six

Select the menu Video>Compression and then select your preferred compression method. (note: I normally leave it uncompressed for later use but if you select Divx it will give you a frame rate error)

Step Seven

Select the menu File>Save as AVI and name your video

Step Eight

With your finished AVI you can bring it into any video editing software to add music and to add additional movies etc.

My Attempt At Istock

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Following Rob’s lead I thought I would give stock photography a go and sign up to Istock. I thought that since Rob was getting some Fuji S5700 gems into their site that my Canon 450D might just make things that little bit easier.

Unfortunately I got rejected!… I got a quite general email back about 5 days post upload telling me the following:

At this time we regret to inform you that we did not feel the overall composition of your photography or subject matter is at the minimum level of standard for iStockphoto. Please take some time to review training materials, resources and articles provided through iStockphoto. The photographs provided in your application should be your best work. Try and impress us, we want to see how you stand out from the crowd.

Not really what I wanted to hear. I thought at the least they would tell me whats up with the individual photos? I mean thats what Rob gets?

To show you these are the photos I uploaded:

This experience has left me a little lost to what I done wrong if anything at all? So I am going back to basics and relearn everything I have learned. Hopefully then I can get back to the flash stuff I was learning too.

I will admit though that if you consider moving from even a bridge camera to a DSLR you might want to look again over your learning materials. For the Fuji s5700 for example some of the effects and rules are different because its a fixed lens camera. DSLR might not be setting wise all that different but its better to be up to speed.

Lighting – Constant source pros and cons

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Hey there, it’s been a while since I last posted so I am sorry for the delay.

In the effort to learn how to control light I thought I would start with the easiest: constant light source.

An example would lamps, torches and hell you could even use your monitor (but the monitor thing is another post).

I took a little trip to Ikea and bought the following items for my shoot:

  • RIAN – Small white table with metal legs
  • LAGRA – Super cheap and small lamps (I got 3)
  • POLARVIDE – White blanket for background.

I then put them together into the following setup


Using the table I attached the lamps and blanket to it to make a miniature studio. I then used a Canon 450D I had on loan from a friend to make some pretty cool product shots of the cameras I own.






After just before I packed up, it dawned on me that I could try something else. I turned the lamps so they pointed upward and then put a figurine in the middle… This created an excluding effect where only the figurine where in view and the background was not in view. Remember I did this in a dark room in the first place.


As you can see the effect is remarkable. Even the white table with the glare from the table looks like fog.


  • Some bulbs give off a tinted light so that you might get a yellow tint on everything you take.
  • It is messy with all the cables around. Defiantly a heath hazard
  • The lamps/bulbs are not so strong so you always need them near your subject
  • It will never be a bright as flash.
  • Not combatable with store bought filters and diffusers.
  • Outdoor photography is almost not possible.


  • Instead of taking shots all the time to see if you got the setup correct, you can just look up from the camera and decide if you need to move something. Everything is just instant.
  • A much cheaper solution than using flash all the time.
  • If you buy the lamps you can clamp then you have an almost unlimited range to where you can put the lights.
  • When it brakes its easy and cheap to replace.

In conclusion I found this system very effective in lighting product and macro shots. But I still think that flash should be used for portrait photos using the correct setup.

Build Your Own Beach Macro Set

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

The weathers bad, it’s pouring down outside, you’re not feeling too well anyway, so what do you do? Build your own indoor beach set!

I was still feeling the effects of a bout of ‘flu yesterday, but after watching Andreas Feiningers Video on Youtube, I fancied having a go at a similar macro type shot.

If you’d like to recreate the look too, you’ll need an old baking tray, some sand (or pebbles), something to brush the sand, a subject (in my case a piece of potpourri), a printed out back-drop (it’s a strange colour in my set because my printer was running out of ink) and a tripod:

Beach Macro

I used my camera in macro mode, with a large aperture (f3.5) to reduce the depth of field – I specifically wanted the background out of focus. I wasn’t worried about the white-balance because I knew I’d be converting to black and white.

In Photoshop Elements I stripped out the colour, played with the levels, then applied a Gaussian blur to the foreground and background, masking out the subject.

Next time I’ll try and get more texture into the sand, try a different background, and play around with light more.

Here’s my first go:

Feininger Test v1

Cheers, Rob.