Tag Archives: DIY


Without going much into detail, you can cut shapes that will show up in your Bokeh. Here's an excellent video from Make Magazine on how to do just that. This was a very popular DIY thing with still photographers, you can find tons of examples on Flickr. This technique also can be used with Video on DSLRs too. Best used with a shallow depth of field lens and more prominent with highly lit objects (lights).

Another fun DIY Bokeh video (below) from Vimeo member SuperNormals. Now go cut some paper and see what you can come up with. A good start is to turn off all your lights, pull out those old Christmas Tree lights and blur them away with your shapes..

If you're the lazy type, you can always start out with an already made Bokeh Kit, like the one found below. There's also some additional examples on that product page.

Bokeh Masters Kit
find-price-button Bokeh Kit for Creating Bokeh Effects


Moving focus from point A to point B perfectly is a trick. A follow focus system with marking disc will help you pinpoint that, but then the dollars start adding up. The old Hose Clamp with a Bolt trick is the dirt cheap way to move a lens, but never seemed like a perfect solution.

How about adding that idea to a rig with hard stops? Here's an interesting rig someone is selling online with a DIY take on getting perfect focus points dialed in for that shot. Not a bad price online either, but a pretty cool idea which i'm sure someone else out there will be able to work with. This throws in some new ideas for that DIY follow focus you've been working on, doesn't it?

Found here:
find-price-button DSLR Rig with Follow Focus Hard Stops


Check out this new DIY spin on an old DIY trick from Nate Gallagher. Inspired from the crazy popular Wooden Shoulder rig in which the handle is rotated as a follow focus system, Nate Gallagher takes a simple gear box and some type of U-Joint and transforms it into his own clever Follow Focus whip. The main advantage this design has over the wooden rig is that the FF can be rotated 360 degrees. The whole shoulder rig is a bit raw in aesthetics right now, but mapped out well for functionality, and for me is the most clever 'DIY follow focus' since the Wooden Shoulder rig from Jonathan Clifford Bergqvist. Apparently these parts may have come from a previous salvaged item, and I'm hoping to get a bit more information on the parts used. Just by looking at it though, there's no reason you can't use the famous Traxxas Universal Joint (From RC Cars) made famous by WSCLATER for this type of Follow Focus whip.


Was just reading an article from Timothy Allen explaining some TimeLapse tips and techniques. At the end of the article you'll catch this video (above) of a behind the scenes documentary on some insane TimeLapse planning and rigs. Switch to HD for best quality. I love how they built their own Ladder dolly, used a bike wheel and some string as their motion controller. True innovation happening here and definitely masters of their craft. Here's the link to the Article: https://timothyallen.blogs.bbcearth.com/2009/02/24/time-lapse-photography/

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Rick Q. over at https://www.rcqcreativeworks.com takes a crack at the Johan DIY Plug Wire Clamp rig and comes up with a simple shooter. Great job on this one, I might have to copy this design for my smaller lightweight cameras. The original article for the DIY plug wire clamp rig can be found here.


I always admit how poorly some of my DIY videos are. Many times I just show beginning, skip middle, straight to the end results. I don't explain clearly how it's all put together. Well if you plan on building that Cheesycam DSLR Cage Fig Rig Stabilizer, you may want to take a look at the video above regarding a few important steps I forgot to provide.

Before you begin your DIY, you'll have to work completely shirtless because that's how Real Men DIY. You need to play some heavy metal rock music in a foreign language, cut steel in a boiler room environment, and grind metal while allowing hot sparks to hit bare skin. That's right 'bare skin'. Yeah that's exactly how I was working on my cage too but I didn't have time to edit that in to my video. Thanks Videonik Pictures, that's the coolest DIY Cage video ever!

Next up, Carlo Zappella caught the article I posted about the DIY Variable ND Filter for about $10 bucks, and whipped up his own. Using a Canon T2i and sticking to 'double the framerate' rule with his Shutter speed around 1/50th, he was still able to maintain excellet DOF without overexposing on this uber cheap DIY Variable ND Fader Filter. They say it's possible to lose some sharpness depending on the filters you buy, but I didn't notice anything. It looks much better than without a variable ND that's for sure. They also say it could change color tone depending on the filters you use, but Carlo threw in the Magic Bullet Looks and it came out great. He's also using a DIY Slider for the slow sliding shots, similar to mine here.

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First of all, I want to apologize if i'm not very responsive to many of the comments or emails that come in. I'm pretty overwhelmed with the response this blog has, and being a one man show, i'm trying my best! I'm an average guy, with an 80 mile commute (one way) in the mornings, I get home late at night, hang out with the kids & family, but still try to take time responding to questions, posting informative information, and sharing my most random DIY ideas.

Don't worry though, my eyes are open to the work you do, and I enjoy sharing everyone's hard work, especially those who always link back. Case in point, I just ran into this DIY DSLR support rig video. He never contacted me asking to share this video, but by linking back to the blog, I get alerted by these pingbacks.

I keep saying how I run though my DIY build videos so quickly sometimes, and I may not be as informative about how it all comes together. (sorry!). I'm not that fortunate to have another person interested enough to hold the camera for me. In any case, enjoy some of these recent videos that produced the DIY information better than I could. Thanks for taking the time to clear up things i've missed, and for sharing your work with the rest of the DSLR community. Make sure to leave them some nice comments, thanks guys.

How to Make a DSLR Cage

Another great video I wanted to share is this one by JCN. Using the IndiSlider (see i'm still plugging you IndiSystems), and the Reverse Macro trick, referenced to this blog, JCN pulled off some very nice footage from the Canon 550D / T2i.

A Day at the Beach


Wow, it's amazing how a simple product from the aisles of a home improvement store can be transformed into so many different things by so many different people. In Video world, this is actually becoming a quite popular little DIY stabilizer and feedback has been great about the stability of the tool. Here's a couple more rigs that are popping up.

Kelly Bailey's DIY Rig

Jonathan Olshefski's DIY Rig

Franklin Anciano's DIY Rig

And here's a couple of Photos submitted by Sean Brown. The rig was used somewhere in their 'Lightface' film project.

Check out the Video trailer below shot in what I believe is the Canon 550D / T2i. I get lots of emails, so if I've missed anyone else, or if you have one to share, let me know, thanks.



Depending on the type of Video work you do, Follow focus systems might be more of a 'nice to have' rather than a 'must have'. I'm not shooting the next George Lucas film or anything, so for the most part I really didn't look into Follow Focus systems. I've been getting tons of requests though about a possible cheap solution that I may have thought about. So today I browsed the web, then took a trip over to Orchard Hardware Supply for some possible ways to create a simple, cheap, modular, adjustable Follow Focus system with a geared 90 degree transmisssion.

It's not as easy as anyone would think, but I just spent $13.00 dollars for what I think is going to be a popular DIY on this blog. If I have time this weekend, i'll see about whipping something up for everyone. Anyone else got a DIY solution for a Follow Focus with a geared transmission?