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Thread: Favourite tools & tricks of the trade

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    21 Jun 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Favourite tools & tricks of the trade

    Not every problem in photography warrants the purchase of *yet* another gadget, sometimes home-made solutions works just as well!

    So what little tricks, techniques or innovative ideas have you up your sleeve? I'll start with some ideas that I have implemented over the years, feel free to add more

    Home-made reflector:
    There's 2 ways to make a cheap and effective reflector, both involves aluminum foil that everyone has at home. First you take a large sheet of foil and crumple it, then carefully flatten it out again.

    Now, here's where you have a choice. You can either stick it to a piece of cardboard with glue, or you can take one of those "magnetic" photo album pages, tear off the plastic protective cover and stick the foil to one side, and then stick a piece of A4 paper to the other side. This gives you two types of reflective surface.

    Tripod:
    Wrap your tripod legs with either padded cycling handlebar tape, or with the matting material that people put under their sleeping bag when they go camping. The handlebar tape looks better and is easy to put on. Having your tripod legs tapped means that it's softer on your shoulders when you carry it, and your hands won't stick to the tripod during a freezing morning (not so much of a problem here in Aust), but will also prevent your hands from getting cold too fast.

    If you are shooting on a boat, wrap all the tripod foot with the camping material I mentioned above. This would dampen the vibration from the boat's engine. You simply cut the foam material into large triangles, and put the tripod feet in the middle of the triangle and wrap it up, then duck tape

    Studio:
    • When you shoot still life, use blu-tac to help position items.
    • Thin plastic bags cut open and drapped over sunny windows is a great way to diffuse light if you are shooting some still-life setup near the window.


    Other:
    • Laser pointers are great as AF-assist lights when all other light fails you
    • Bean bags are great as low angle camera support. If you are shooting mushrooms on the ground, remember to bring a tarp to lie on.
    • Inset repellents are a must when shooting in the forest
    • Bandanna really help on those hot days if you are the sweaty type
    • Remember to bring water!
    • Remember the more comfortable you are during your shoot, the better your photos will be
    When art critics get together, they talk about Form, Structure and Meaning.
    When artists get together, they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine.
    --Pablo Picasso



    Louis Tsai - www.zengalleria.com

  2. #2
    Member
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    10 Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockhampton
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    378
    Great advice, should help alot of people.

    Thanks

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    23 Jun 2006
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    13
    I don't do much flash/portrait work, but here's something that some may find useful. This guy takes you through the process of making a better bounce card for your flash.....it's a 20 minute video, so beware those on dial-up:

    http://www.abetterbouncecard.com

    Cheers, Frank

  4. #4
    foonji
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by dejavu
    [*]Laser pointers are great as AF-assist lights when all other light fails you [/LIST]
    w3rd up on that! also helps you find your view in darkness. providing you have it mounted to the camera and aligned correctly

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    15 Sep 2006
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    118
    Some sound advice and tips mate.

    Cheers

    Michael.


    Canon 5D MkII - 17-40 L - Sigma 105 Macro - Nifty - Slik Pro 713CF II-SH705E head- DIY gadgets

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