Do It Yourself Solutions to Professional Photo Gear
By Cyrill Harnischmacher
Publisher: Rocky Nook
Released: June 2007
The serious amateur photographer often faces the problem that even after all the dollars spent on camera, lenses, computer gear, and software, the spending never seems to end. More gear is needed for studio photography, tabletop photography, flash photography, and for accessories here and there. And in many cases, the right accessories are not even available. That is where this book comes in. Low Budget Shooting is the one-stop source where you will find instructions and a shopping list on how to build an array of useful and inexpensive photographic tools.
Filled with full-color images and easy-to-follow text, this book shows how to build essential lighting and studio equipment; how to make the perfect light-table for shooting small objects; and how to build reflectors, soft-boxes, and light-tents that really work. It also tells where to get some of the little helpers that make a photographer's life so much easier. This clever little book is a creative and valuable resource for most any photographer.
A book review by George Hawkins, Computer Operators of Marysville & Port Huron
Photography has been one of my hobbies for over 55 years. Low Budget Shooting, written by Cherill Harnischmacher, and published by rockynook, is one of the most unique photography books I have ever seen. It adds a perspective to one aspect of photography that is indeed eye-opening.
The whole subject of the book is about using and balancing light sources in a studio for near close-up and tabletop photography. It illustrates how you can, with very common and readily available materials and tools, construct very functional light management devices for a fraction of the cost of buying ready-made equipment.
Although not everyone will use each device illustrated, this book makes an excellent reference should the need arise.
Full color pictures of what using these devices accomplish, along with illustrations showing their construction, make for easy reading and understanding. Lacking drawings and detailed instructions for building the devices is not necessarily a negative; the reader, once the concept is understood, is free to tailor the construction to their own needs.
With the advent of digital cameras and the general use of personal computers, the quality of "snapshots" has improved to levels that were reserved for only the serious amateur just a decade ago. This very inexpensive book ($19.95) should be well worth its price for the serious amateur photographer and camera/computer users who want to improve the quality of their pictures.
I was very excited when this book showed up in the mail. I like many amateur photographers don't have the necessary funding to purchase a lot of studio equipment and much of what I have has been hand-made. I opened the book and immediately was intrigued with the photos of the gear and how professional all the setups appeared. The book has great directions with many hints on how to construct and where to buy the necessary parts for the projects. However, much of the materials that are used in construction of these items are very hard to find domestically and much has to be shipped from Europe. The added cost really doesn't justify building the items. Our camera club built 2 items from the book and honestly by the time we found all the materials it would have only cost a few more dollars to buy one pre-made. The ideas are great and many of the products can be built using more readily available products, with slight modifications. The book offers many ideas to everyday items used in photography. On a side note there are also many places in the book that use standard measurements, some places in the book only use metric measurements, and then some places use both. One item we built used some of both but not combined so we had to do some conversion from metric to standard. Overall the book is fantastic and supplies many ideas to the everyday photographer.
When studio equipment encounters the DIY mentality.
By ben hengst
Comments about oreilly Low Budget Shooting:
Low Budget Shooting, published by rockynook , is a great collection of ideas on how to build studio equipment. The book takes the idea that 1) its cheaper to do it your self and 2) you get what you really need in the end. Cyrill Harnischmacher, does a great job of explaining what is going on and what effects you will get with the equipment you build. Most of the book is about light management (softboxes, reflectors, and other diffusers). I was very happy to see his designs for small seamless backgrounds and table frames. All in all this is a very comprehensive book on building your own equipment. One thing that struck me about this book is that its more about the description of the equipment and there are no blue-prints or ikea like instructions to build them. Cyrill, just explains how to build this and why your doing things this way. It gives you the ability to tinker and play with the construction, something that I found very nice.