Category Archives: diy

How to display Polaroid prints

polaroid_display_1

Recently I was looking for a way to display a few of the gazillion Polaroid prints I’ve amassed over the years. A Web search turned up a few good ideas (if you’ve ever wondered what the phrase “barrel distortion” refers to, click on that last link), but none of them quite did it for me, so I came up with the following, which works well:

  1. Get a piece of 1×2 inch pine, or simple rectangular moulding, at whatever length you want. You could cut short pieces that will hold one or two prints, or get a 12 footer to hang on the wall and hold quite a few.
  2. If you like, sand and paint the wood.
  3. Affix mounting strips to the 1×2 (I used Lineco See-Thru Archival Mounting Strips). Apply them with the adhesive strip flush to the bottom of the wood, and the clear protruding part on top. Butt the strips against each other so there’s no gap between them; that way you’ll be able to arrange the prints anywhere you want them.
  4. Cover the ugly off-white part of the strips with one long piece of ribbon. I painted the wood black and used black ribbon, simply stapling the ribbon to each end of the wood. You could also use thumbtacks or glue to attach the ribbon.
  5. You can mount this to a wall, or place on a table or mantle.
polaroid_display_3 polaroid_display_2

Photographers: beware the mighty Fulgurator!!

Julius Von Bismarck, a prankster genius in Berlin, devised a diabolical contraption for sabotaging photographers: the Fulgurator. (Found via boingboing.net) He gave me permission to run the images below, which illustrate the workings of this badass gizmo.

The Fulgurator in action

Schematic of the Fulgurator

How to make a sound blimp for your camera

A few weeks ago I got hired to photograph a stand up comedy performance. It was to be filmed for a DVD release, and the producer called me a few days before the show to tell me I’d need a sound blimp–my camera noise would be picked up by their microphones. I’ve shot on film sets before, but it was usually during rehearsals or in between takes, so camera noise wasn’t an issue. I called around town and couldn’t find a blimp for sale or to rent. The only place that I know of that makes these is in L.A. So I did some Googling and found this site, which illustrates how David Buzzard made his own blimp from a Pelican case and a length of plumbing pipe. I made my own based on that idea. Since the aforementioned site doesn’t go into detail, I thought I’d share how I did it.

homemade camera sound blimp

Disclaimer: I did this for my Canon EOS 5D with 80-200mm f2.8 lens and it worked out well. I have no idea how this will work with other bodies and lenses.

  1. The main parts: a Pelican 1150 case, with foam, and a length of 4″ PVC pipe. At Home Depot I found that they had precut 2′ lengths. The pipe comes in (at least) two thicknesses; I got the thicker-walled version, because I thought that might insulate the sound better. I’ve heard that most of the camera noise travels through the lens. Tip: look for pipes where at least one of the edges is smooth–you’ll need a smooth edge to glue to the case.
  2. Pelican 1150 case
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How to take a picture of a spacecraft landing

At long last, from Nasa, the photography how-to we’ve all been waiting for. And all you need is a camera High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera and a $720 million dollar multipurpose orbiter. Check your basement or your garage–you’ve probably got those lying around in there somewhere…

How to Take a Picture of a Spacecraft Landing

( Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)