Udi Tirosh's Five Favorite DIY Photography Projects

FEBRUARY 21, 2012

Interview edited by Dan Havlik

As part of PDN's DIY issue, we interviewed Udi Tirosh who runs the popular DIY Photography blog. Tirosh was kind enough to share his five favorite DIY Photography projects with us. They're listed below with his comments.

You can also read the stories behind the ingenious DIY cameras created by three photographer/inventors here.

1) Create Your Own Bokeh
The bokeh effect project is by far my favorite venture on the blog. It creates the appearance of magic. After spending five minutes with a black stock card and a pair of scissors, I was able to create a lens cap that changes light into shapes. It always comes in handy around the holidays as Christmas lights and house decorating lights provide the perfect opportunity for shaped bokeh photographs.

There are more resources on the bokeh effect here.

I was also able to develop an actual photo product out of this project entitled the Bokeh Masters kit. You can read more about it here.

2) DIY Light Painting
Light painting is a technique that converts light sources into brushes. Once you set your camera on a long exposure at night, moving a flashlight around acts as brush strokes on a canvas. Results can be spectacular and this post shows you how to create the effect using just a few things around your house or studio.

Here is a project that shows how to give this car a Tron-like look using sparklers to paint with the light. And here we show how to fill a room with imaginary butterflies using stencils to paint with the light.

Click here and here for more resources on do-it-yourself light painting.

3) The $10 Foam Core Soft Box
While softboxes are not the priciest items on the planet, this tutorial shows how you can build a small softbox from cardboard or foamcore at a frugal price. I like this project because it's fast and adds lots of functionality to your starting studio arsenal. (There is a bigger, more advanced project here if you feel brave enough to try.)

4) The Pizza-Box Ring Flash
Ring Flashes are the holy grail of fashion photography. Sadly they are also very expensive pieces of equipment. This project comes up with an innovative way to build a ring flash out of a pizza box. I love it for the simplicity and for the fact that you have to eat pizza to actually complete the project.

Out of this project, we were able to create our own DIY ring flash lighting kit product. More info on it here.

5) Convert Your Old Camera Into a Backdrop Projector In 10 Easy Steps
This project is not for the faint of heart as it involves heavily hacking a camera till it is no longer usable. While this DIY backdrop projector has many creative uses in the studio and on location as a backdrop-on-demand application, I love it because of the way it illustrates the laws or physics perfectly. Whatever image that can be projected through the lens unto a film, can be reversed and projected from the film through the lens to a wall.

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