If you haven’t seen it, here is the original post about the Smart Optical Slave Flash Trigger (SOSFT) prototype built on an Arduino platform. Since I need to free up the Arduino Duemilanove board for other purposes and want to test the trigger in more practical situations, I decided to build it on a small perfboard I found in RadioShack. Read More…

Posted in DIY Photography, Photography DIY on March 5th, 2010. 3 Comments.

Optical slave trigger is the easiest way of getting the flash off camera without wires. However, most of the optical slave triggers are quite dumb. They trigger the flash as soon as a light pulse is detected. This works fine if all of your flashes are in manual mode. If you want to use a dumb flash in TTL flash system, or wireless flash system such as Nikon’s Advance Wireless Lighting (AWL), you will run into trouble. The flash will be triggered prematurely when the TTL metering pulse or wireless communication pulses are emitted. Read More…

Posted in DIY Photography on March 1st, 2010. 16 Comments.

People love photography related hacks and DIY projects. The most popular ones are related to photography lighting such as light modifiers, special lighting equipments, etc. If you want to sample just some of the things you can do, DIYPhotography.net has a pretty good list of things you can try.

Here are the couple of things I have been playing with lately. If you have noticed reduced posting frequency on this blog, that’s part of the reasons. 🙂 Read More…

Posted in DIY Photography on February 3rd, 2010. 4 Comments.

It is amazing how creative people can be when it comes to DIY photography lighting equipment. This Gary Fong style flash diffuser costs only a few dollars to make: just a piece of plastic food packaging (where the name comes from) and an elastic band. We don’t know how well it performs against the real deal that costs ~$50 and the durability may be questionable but the results aren’t bad at all.

Posted in DIY Photography on January 11th, 2010. No Comments.

Do you have a Nikon flash that is dead because of a broken flash bulb? One obvious path to resurrect it is to send it in for service. If you are handy and really understand how to follow safety procedures, you can save some expensive repair charges by doing it yourself.

It doesn’t appear very difficult.

One guy ordered a replacement bulb for ~$20 (including shipping) directly from Nikon and fixed his Nikon SB-80DX. Another guy fixed his SB-600 with a $8.52 replacement bulb. If you are motivated enough to try it yourself, be really careful! Some safety tips on camera flash capacitor probably help.

Contact Nikon Parts Department

  • Phone: 1-310-414-8107
  • Fax: 1-310-322-6979
  • Hours: 7am – 3pm PST Mon – Fri
Posted in DIY Photography on January 5th, 2010. 1 Comment.

If you are not afraid of wiring up an AC circuit, this constant lighting kit may be a good project for you. All the parts can be obtained from home improvement store. The set built by the author cost him $46.07 including 4 100W equivalent daylight compact fluorescent bulbs (but not the umbrella).

Why do you want constant lighting when you already have strobes or flashes? The nice thing about constant lighting is what-you-see-is-what-you-get, which makes adjustments easy. This is particularly helpful for still life photography when there will be no complaints from subject about a constant bright light making the subject uncomfortable. This will also be a good setup for people who make videos.

Source: Nikonian Forum

Posted in DIY Photography on December 23rd, 2009. No Comments.

Lifehacker has just put together a list of great photography hacks. My personal favorites are the following:

Your tastes may differ greatly so please check out the entire list and vote for the best at the bottom of the page.

Posted in DIY Photography on December 12th, 2009. No Comments.

Want to take strobist photos in wet environments but don’t want to get killed by the high voltage in your Speedlight flash or risk damaging the flash? Check out this DIY waterproof flashbox. With this DIY setup, you should be able to make sure both you and the flash are safe when taking photos in showers, swimming pools, lakes, sea, and in the rain.

What does it take to make one? Looks like not much in term of time required but it isn’t very cheap. You need to get the Otterbox 3500 waterproof case (clear), a couple of flash shoes glued inside the box for the flash and a spigot glued outside of the box for mounting the whole setup on a light stand. ~$50 maybe?

If the promises (specs) of the waterproof box is true, you should be able to take this setup safely down to 100ft underwater if you want to, assuming you can trigger the flash somehow.

Check out more pictures of the DIY waterproof flashbox.

Posted in DIY Photography on November 28th, 2009. No Comments.
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