Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear

Lesson 1 of 27

Everyday Carry Kit

 

Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear

Lesson 1 of 27

Everyday Carry Kit

 

Lesson Info

Everyday Carry Kit

Why d I y first of all, let's talk about why I'm here and I've been in the business briefly will have been in this briefly, but I've been here for about twenty five years of professional photographer but teaching for twelve, fifteen years, and I started in commercial photography and learn so much about lighting that was almost too much, and it became a wedding photographer, but the cool thing was, is that I knew everything about studio photography, everything about commercial lighting and was able to take that into my wedding photography and apply that to what I was doing in my portrait and what didn't work. And then I realized I wanted to simplify things, and I started to find ways to bring things down toe more understandable, manageable travel, global level so that's what I did, oh, so I think it's kind of cool to have that background of being a commercial photographer and having all this access to gear and stuff all over the place, and yet to take that into the room world of a studi...

o photographer and startup photographer and figure out what I really need to know what I really need to have what I need to use, and I realized that a lot of it is just understanding some basic concepts of lighting. And some basic rules and then I realized I could make my own lighting here this lighting here that you buy is great and I own lots of it sadly enough um but I also realize that I don't need all that gear if I'm just starting out I can make these things myself all right? So that's kind of what I did so we're going to talk about that number one why why would you die? Why that's pretty obvious first costs cost savings if you're just starting out you know the prices of this gear out there eventually it's going to pay to buy good gear because if you're working a lot you need something sturdy reliable may be quicker on and then you just want to kind of look professional I remember when I first started my studio in my garage way back was shooting head shots and had I got this great opportunity to head shot of a of a professional football player is pretty famous guy at the time my studio is my garage and has to walk through my house you know my dirty little house to get to the garage it had set up to make the studio and I built a giant soft box overhead and hung it with police to the rafters there like screwed it into the roof like that got him all set up start shooting and about halfway into the shoot one of the police broke off the box comes their film was falling down almost hit him in the head, you know, like I've got to do that yeah let's just, you know, bring something else up so it became kind of the point I'm thinking, ok, I'm shooting warm or more maybe should invest in at least they think it through more nothing else you know, if not buying better year so that's you'll get to that point when you're doing well and you're shooting mohr and you're realizing there's limits to what you've made but absolutely you can start off and the quality of the light that you can achieve as well we'll see the next couple days can be pretty much identical to what you would get from buying expensive year uh, it just may not be as convenient to use or is pretty or is long lasting, but that's no reason not to get started so may tell you a quick instant um d I y story something guys have heard of lens babies that sort of lends babies, you have one of those, they're awesome and maybe you didn't know this, but the guy who invented lens baby craig strong invented it at one of my workshops we do these workshops and organ like a boot camp and he came to my very first boot camp and I asked him to talk to the audience to talk to my class about some of that he would do the all these d I y projects he goto garage sales and find old lenses and find ways to you know attached them to other lenses and all this kind of stuff and I said we'll talk about how you play with your lenses and do it's like I have no idea howto teach anything about that so we kind of brain stormed a little bit and he came to the class and brought a bunch of vacuum tube that he got at home depot and a buck a box full of old lenses from the garage sale and we proceeded to cut vacuum tube and duct tape them on to camera mounts so that the students could use these in the class and basically that turned in to be the lens baby over the years it evolved and each time he came back I asked him back every year and he came back and he would here's the next version of it the next version then one year he was like I'm gonna go in production we're going to make this thing it's pretty awesome so it's a it's a perfect d I y story that it could happen to any photographer you may have an idea for something that you want to try or do that nobody else has done yet um and it could be the next big product you know, if he was he's just like even the start off that same way with just an idea. So that's why I love d I y and I'll tell you my own d I y story too, coming up a little later too. So what do you give up when you die? Why, um you do give up sometimes safety gear falling apart on someone's head you give up the convenience, sometimes ready made products will open and close quicker, easier, faster. You know, the compact little smaller there may be easier to carry andi give up sometimes a little bit of the quality of the light, but not too much that's kind of cool. Thing is, you don't have to give up a lot on the picture side behind the scenes and they look like crap. But on the set, you know behind when the picture comes out it's going to look great and that's kind of the main thing when you're starting out that your pictures have to look good, right? So that's kind what we're focusing idea what? So here's here's us an example. This is private of the biggest reasons to go dear why, whether you're just starting out or even if your experience, but you want to try out something new before you invest in it build one first see how you like it see if you use it and see how you like the effect the light and then say ok, this is worth it going by the full version, but I did a quick little analysis of the projects just the main projects that we're going to build over the next couple of days and what the costs of those things are pieces to buy them at the hardware store fabric store uh came about one ninety nine if you build all the major projects versus if you were to buy equivalence of those basically for look for an average not the most expensive, not the cheapest, but an average price would be at least nine twenty five for those same things now there's a lot of other little things we're going to play with it or not necessarily big build project but just little gadgets that I used to share with you guys um they couldn't increase that quite a bit and if you if you factor in the fact that that's just an average shine twenty five it's not really the best of the best you could save considerable amount of money so that in itself is one reason todo y right give it a try ok, so let's talk about before we start building stuff everybody has to have an e d c d c is what the cdc is every day carry on every day carry that some people have, like stuff that they everyday carry for me and e d c photo bag is a small little bag by these in a hardware store, whatever whatever you want to use, but you should have in there pretty much every little thing you need to fixing repair on the spot. This is not what you're going to build your stuff with because you're going to have other tools when you're building at home before you make these things, but this is like what I carried to every photo shoot, keep it in the car if you don't really need it. If you're going on location, just keep it handy if you're in the studio. But these are things that I need that I could fix, repair, improvise just about anything on the spot and it's really important to have this if you're going to be a d I y kind of guy, a girl so let's, bust out my ddc bag here if we bring that the table out and I kind of give you a peek into what's in my bag, what's in the bag, mr the surgery right here on the table right now, we're going to look for the brain it's in here somewhere. Okay, so, here's, your little bag. Uh, this is just one that I got to remember where but hardware store something like that, and I'll just pull things out. We'll find out. So, like I said, anything that you might need, you need an extra hand clamp. Something like that. Whatever you need, it's in here. Um, one of things I throw in here is just a piece of fabric that has white and silver. You get this to the fabric store, you can imagine already where this is going to come in handy, right? But nice that it folds up squishes and stuffed into a bag. So if you don't have a reflector, if you're doing something and you need a little fill, you can lay this on a table as you're doing a head shot. You know, someone sit right here and boom, you got this great catch light in their eyes. You can drape this over something I've gone like until you know, hotels. I'm shooting in a hotel for a wedding. I don't know. My reflector is my assistant took my reflector. Whatever you run off with the bride, your middle of nowhere you know those signs they have those little sign boards and say you know, meeting in room six room was able I stole one of those sign boards draped this over it and then I've got a silver reflector board all of a sudden that you can use for a nylite or some like that so just having this stuff in your bag is pretty handy because you little helping hand um speaking helping hands always have this here in my bag too that's that's important uh, this is velcro there's a lot of velcro, but basically we have in here in this wad are velcro straps that wrap around each itself and strapped to itself so you can attach something to thing and then velcro tape philco tape will use this later on tomorrow we're gonna do some fun bigger projects and you'll see what you some velcro take speaking of take every kind of duct tape imaginable uh this is a really cool and this is the thin role of it's kind of a gaffers kind of hybrid. Take a nice thing about this. It doesn't leave a lot of goo on your stuff that you tape and this thin small size I find comes in really handy for a lot of different purposes, whereas the full size tape bottoms after rip it in half to use part of it, so if you could find this half size roll and this is actually gorilla tate everything was interested in it, but this black gorilla tape is really awesome. It works like gaffer's tape, but, uh, for smaller little fix it kind of things. That's, really good stuff. Regular duct tape, gray white force needs and white duct tape. This's double stick mounting tape. You know about this stuff, right? So you sticking both sides? If you wanna stick something upon the wall, say something falls off and you're you're shooting or you just to really mount something to the wall. Boom. There you go. Clamps of all sorts, of course, lets a clamps. Um, elastic. You never know when you could use some elastic. I need to fix somebody's dress you might need. Tio actually can use this to wrap around the back of things. And you put your clamps on the end of this and you can hold fabric talked. So say, for example, you wanted to make a scrim on the spot and there's a little story I have when I was in peru. Have the picture of this right here, actually, but I was in peru just recently. I was teaching a workshop, and I I gave him a whole list of stuff that I needed, you know, just photo gear not did was an idea why class was just photo lighting class and I said, I need a you know, a large diffusion panel scream I need this octu dome that I don't like the recall. You have a guy that we've got it. We'll have everything we get there. So I get there and I fortune brought my own little optimism, but they had basically nothing nothing and nothing ready for me to shoot with. So all right, so what we're going to do? So it was again it was in hotel, so I had some, uh, uh, zip ties, which is another thing that's in here too, with zip ties, you can see. So I rigged up my flashes onto ah, knocked a box that was designed for another lighting system. Clayton, have the brackets for this. Speed, lights, zip tied, all my lights to that which worked great. And then I needed a big diffusion panel, so I got a hanging coat rack. You know, the coat racks for the frame like thing there. Then we stole a sheet off the one of the beds in the hotel room for the sheet over there, but this elastic on the back clipped it back clamps on it there we made a big diffusion scream, so we're basically stole stuff from the hotel to make the products that we needed and the class one ofthe great and you know, because the quality of the light the results were the same as what I would have got it just took us a few more minutes to kind of bring up this stuff in a time of course leatherman tool he was like yeah baby a lot knows knife this knife he sharply things a good okay this's a pair record a type of para court is basically just courting that's strong and using useful for any times tying up people if you need to kids who don't behave these are from night eyes and they're just wired I mean howdy explain these things they're just wire wraps so you can wrap them around things to hold things like that you can wrap your own chords I use these to put my flashlight's you've wrapped this from your flashlight and stick it onto a stand or something to hold the flashlight in place for you for using flashlight lighting which we're going to do later on today as well those old doobie doos zip ties your best friend you got zip ties in your bag all the time gorilla glue these air clamps that clamp onto fabric so this is where you would use for example you could take your fabric and it's basically a tarp clamp okay so you can slip this on the edge of your fabrics for tarp is what is designed for and you clip it tight and then you can use something like this carabiner put that on there like this onto your elastic cord and then run this round the back this is kind of we had to do to hold this around something you guys you feeling me here? We can use that. Okay, so here's our elastic and you can put this to hang this up on a window or rapid over something and pull it nice and tazi have a smooth reflector surface. All right, all right, more things in the bag. These are suction cup clips. Um, I found these come in handy say you're at a client's home and you want to do like a window light portrait they've got a big window with the sun's just beaming through and you're thinking I wish I could soften this window up if you have some diffusion fabric which we're going to use later for a projects not this, but you could just clipped the fabric here, even a bed sheet and then suction cup it up onto the window and hold it up over a window. Now you're refusing that window light and you've got gorgeous, especially the big glass window that's going gorgeous light he's always had a bunch of those on hand the more the merrier uh random clamps this is just a clamp of that will clamp onto any sort of pipe. It could be a leg of the tripod. It could be a light stand could be a banister railing and then it's just got amount so that you put your your flash it on that just a twisty clamp and spigots these little called spigots for photo gear to clamp on to that extra these things because they're just brackets that I've collected over the years just random things to hold flashes on, too, both of things um that's about it in the bag. Lastly, we do have this the's air heavy duty bumpers and these air just rubber bumpers that you stick on two things keep things from sliding around sometimes it's random, but I've come into a need for these on a few occasions so that I know keeping my bag it's not one you things you use every day but will actually use these for project we're going to make later on. Oh, and I've got other things you've been like, I say those so later, uh, good, I do have a comment here from the folks who are watching online and join us in the chat room. We've got c l russ in their short cinema, says kevin, your bag is like a magical so circus clowns bag are we sure that there is no hole in the table? Now no on the table for your weight is about folks are really excited for this class oh boy now let's see whether we go kevin doing so oh god that man ahead so yeah it is a magical bag and it's kind of what I like this this little bag that holds a lot of stuff but it's pretty compact and pending there's more stuff in here to you there isn't is magic but it is easy to carry and just throw that in the back of your car and take it with you everywhere you go and you're set you know that's that's how I can solve most problems as they come up on a photo shoot and as you know if you've been in this long enough you always have problems it doesn't matter how much expensive year you have how long you've been in the industry always gonna have problems on the shooting that's just part of the fun right we like problems one of the other things that I think is more important is to reuse things that you already have in a part of our deal why classes using things in the hardware store I'm going to show you how to reuse something simple like a tube if we could bring out that the lighting to or the paper paper tube because you guys who have studios seem this paper you know about the scene this paper tubes right? We fill these up once they're done to paper out and cut it down, and you can actually cut this into sections and use pieces of it, you'll see later on what we can actually use this for something for a couple of different purposes. So it's. A pretty, pretty handy.

Class Description

You don’t need expensive gear to make professional quality images. In Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear, Kevin Kubota will teach you how to create lighting and photography tools with affordable and readily available materials.

Kevin will walk you through every step of building your own light modifiers and photo gear and show you exactly how to use them, with live models, for beautiful effects. You’ll learn how to:

  • Work with speedlights and mix natural light with flash
  • Shoot portraits in the studio or on location with DIY gear
  • Set up a simple commercial lighting shoot

Kevin will share essential lighting concepts that will improve all of your lighting choices. You’ll learn techniques you can apply to all the gear you use – whether it is from a manufacturer or your tool shed.

The right gear makes getting your best shot easier. Whether you use natural light, speedlights, or studio strobes this class will show you how to augment your gear with affordable, handmade tools to get even better results.

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