The collective smarts of the MAKE community never cease to amaze, so we’re reaching out to hear what awesome photography and video-related projects, hacks, and mods are on your radar. We’re in the midst of our planning for MAKE Volume 38, which will have a themed section focusing on photo and video. Do you have a great project you want to share with the MAKE community? Is there a new trend in photo/video you’d like to see us cover? We’re all ears. Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
And to get the juices flowing (and just for fun), here are eight photo/video projects that have previously appeared on the pages of MAKE. Pictured above is a shot taken with the DIY Stroboscope by Nicole Catrett and Walter Kitundu.
LED Photo Lights by Charles Platt
Often I have to take photographs of small objects–for example, when I’m selling items on eBay. Electronic flash is overkill for this kind of work, and video lights are bulky and hot. I decided to build miniature photo lights from small, efficient LEDs.
$30 Gobo Arm by Adam Flaherty
If you’re familiar with tabletop product photography and video, you know what a pain it can be to shoot overhead shots while working on your subject. Tripods just get in the way. Hollywood grips solve this problem with what is known as a gobo arm, a lightweight mount that lets you position your smartphone (webcam, etc.) down where the action is without getting in the way. Commercial units run $100–$150, not including the $30 clamp you attach it to. But for the price of one of those fancy clamps, you can piece together your own Mobile Document Camera Stand using easily sourced parts.
MIDI Camera Control by Josh Cardenas
I had the chance to run visuals for a unique DJ act called The Hard Sell, a collaboration of turntablists DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist. The art of spinning and cutting records is usually not visible to dance club audiences. Cut and Shadow wanted to let everyone see, up close and personal, all the action on their 8 simultaneously spinning turntables playing old 45s. Here’s the multi-camera live setup I devised for the show, and a lower-budget version that you can put together without all the professional equipment.
Monkeysailor’s Photo Lab by Andrew Lewis
Traditional photography is fantastic. I love the way mechanical cameras feel in my hand, and I love the way film makes me think about composition and lighting before I actually take a shot. The only thing I don’t like about traditional photography is the cost of having film processed or buying equipment to develop my own. To cut costs and have a little fun with an Arduino along the way, I decided to make my own film processor.
Digital Pinhole Photography by Forrest M. Mims III
Any camera with a removable lens has potential for pinhole photography. Conventional film cameras can be used, but digital cameras with removable lenses are ideal. The exposure time can be easily changed, and results are available instantly.
Bokeh Filter by Sindri Diego
“Bokeh” comes from the Japanese word “boke” (暈け or ボケ) which means blur or haze. The English word “bokeh” has to do with the aesthetics of out-of-focus points of light. Different types of lenses may render different qualities of bokeh, so if you own an SLR or DSLR, experiment! With this project, you can create an effect where the out-of-focus point-source lights in your pictures appear any shape you want.
Simple Scanner Camera by Mike Golembewski
Several years ago, I built my first scanner camera. The idea was simple: I would use an ordinary flatbed scanner with a homemade large-format camera. The camera would focus the image onto the scanner bed in place of photo paper or film. Making and using a scanner camera is a lot of fun as a technical exercise, but more importantly to me, it provides an interesting photographic perspective on time and movement.