Nick Carver Photography Blog

Photography Tips, Tutorials, & Videos

CONTACT  |  LOG IN
 

My Custom Ring Light

I made myself a DIY ring light over the weekend that I wanted to share with everyone. Its design is inspired by the Ray Flash and its materials are inspired by this DIY ring light tutorial. Truthfully, I'd much rather own a Ray Flash, but $35 and a little elbow grease looked much more appealing than $300.


Sorry, I didn't take pictures of the building process, I don't have diagrams and this isn't a how-to post. Why? Partly because there are about a billion DIY ring light tutorials on the internet already that are probably easier than mine, but mostly because I am way too impatient to stop and take pictures throughout the building process. If enough people really love this design and need to know how to make it, I'll do another how-to post in the future. But unless I get bombarded with requests, I wouldn't count on it. It's that I'm selfish, it's just that I'm impatient.

But to give you a short description of it's design, I used galvanized rain gutter pipes (the kind that are really shiny) to reflect the light from my on-camera 550ex down into a clamp light reflector diffused with a store-bought cutting board mat. I think the picture of it on my camera is pretty self-explanatory, but let me know if you have any questions.

Here are the results of my first tests on my niece and sister-in-law. Took some time to figure out how to use this thing with good results...never worked with a ring light before. All pictures are shot with a 1/2 CTO on the flash.






Sorry for the poor image quality of the picture showing the ring light attached to my camera. My 5D is my only DSLR, so I had to use my little point and shoot Casio to get that shot.

Bodie Ghost Town


I took a little day trip to Bodie State Park with my brother and his fiance to get some portraits about a week ago. I needed to blog about it because this place is insane with awesomeness. Seriously, it's out of control. There is no other place like it on the planet. It's a ghost town. But not like one of those Knott's Berry Farm going panning for fake gold after eating your funnel cake type of ghost towns - this place is legit. It's tucked away in these gorgeous rolling hills right near the just as insanely gorgeous Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. It's not restored, it doesn't have any novelty gift shops, there are zero modern structures (except the bathrooms) and no paved roads. It's in a state of "arrested decay." Think "There Will be Blood" frozen in time. There's a crazy-looking church, houses, a mill, a saloon - utter craziness. Check out Bodie.com for more information.


So anyway. We went there to get some engagement shots for my bro's wedding coming up in November. Now the thing about my brother and his fiance, they're olde tyme (that's "old time-ee"). In fact, as my brother has so accurately put it, Carver's are built to be olde tyme. Now when I say olde tyme, I don't mean we won't use cell phones or we think camera's steal your soul. We just appreciate the music and the culture of the late 19th century to early 20th century. And let's just say I look smashing in newsie's hat. Hell, my dad can play the banjo like nobody's business! So basically, this was the perfect backdrop for this couple.

I think the pictures turned out pretty great and my bro and his fiance were stoked with them (which is the most important part). Plus, I got an unexpected benefit from this trip. We drove through Bishop (Galen Rowell's stomping ground) and right past Mono Lake on the way to Bodie. I'd never been in this area before. I'd been to Lone Pine to the south and I've backpacked through the Eastern Sierras, but nothing beyond that. I am so glad I drove through Bishop and around Mono Lake that day. I was having eyegasms left and right. I couldn't get over how beautiful it was up there. The scenery is unbelievable. It really rekindled my fire to take a photo trip. I can't wait to go back to Bishop for a few days to shoot Mono Lake, Yosemite and Bodie. Just goes to show how beneficial scouting can be!

Enjoy the pics!







Storm Drain Shoot

The Tunnel

I did a photo shoot with a friend of mine the other day. We went down to a storm drain in Irvine that has some really awesome graffiti. It was a lot of fun and I'm pretty pleased with the results. Here are some of the final products. Click any to see a larger version.

The Skull

Graffiti

Darkness

Chillin in a Storm Drain

Blue Eye

Hulk Smash!

Walls