Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Share your lighting setups easily

I've been following David Hobby's Strobist Blog recently as I've started down the road of using off camera flashes instead of full sized studio strobes. On sites like Flickr you'll often find people listing their "strobist info" along with their photos to explain a little about how they shot it. On rare occasions you'll find detailed diagrams of the setup, this post is going to give you the tools to make the same thing.

First you'll need a program called Google Sketchup and with that you can open this template I made.

Contained in the template are a backdrop, two softboxes, as well as a 3d model of a person*. If you're familiar with Sketchup you'll know how easy it is to tweak and modify this to suit your needs. If you've never used the program before I'd recommend going through the tutorial that pops up the first time you open it. This little program is easy to use and its very powerful, I've used it to design countless DIY projects and even plan renovations in my house.

*To trim the size down on the template I used a low resolution model of a 3d person that is included in the basic sketchup library. The 3d person shown in the image is downloadable via sketchup, just do a search for "3d Woman" and you'll get quite a few results.

[Update: Apparently I didn't look hard enough the first time because I just found the template that everyone else is using here, its a photoshop file with all the light sources etc housed as seperate layers. I guess mine still has some worth since its 3d but for ease of use you can't beat the original.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cool, fun, creative, group photos

Before I start I should mention that I actually got this idea from Photojojo, a really neat e-newsletter that always has cool photography stuff in it.

Nowadays everyone and their dog has a digital camera, we all snap away at parties and post them on facebook etc but rarely are the shots anything eye catching. Here's a simple way to make a fun group photo with your friends that people may actually take the time to look at ;)
The first thing you need to know is how to set the self timer on your camera. Look for the icon shown above in your cameras menu. Often it is selected by pressing one of the directions on the directional pad on the back of your camera [on my Canon point and shoot its the down arrow].

Now get everyone around you and set the camera on the floor, press the shutter, huddle around and smile!
It may take a few tries to get everyone centered properly, the halloween shot was a little off :)