Monthly Archives: November 2009


Showing how Flash is used for Outdoor Portraits

Flash is normally used when you find yourself in a dark lit situation, but professionals often use Flash in Bright Daylight. The flash is used to lighten the areas of Shadows normally cast by the sun. This technique provides a very unique look to outdoor portraits. To maintain Depth of Field in your aperture, you'll need to work with Flashes capable of High Speed Sync.

Featured in the video is this Rotating Flash Bracket

More flash brackets can be found here: !!Click this Link!!

This video from Pocket Wizards explains Digital SLR cameras and High Speed Sync pretty well.

If you're interested in the equipment i've used in this portrait session using High Speed Sync with your Canon Flashes, you can purchase the SpeedLite Transmitter Canon ST-E2 + Canon Speedlite 580 EX II from


I'm not saying this DIy shoulder mount should be used with the new DSLR video cameras, but if you're rockin' a Canon HV20 / HV30 / Vixia HD camcorder or similiar sized cameras, this is a simple solution to getting great steady shots for under $20.00 dollars.

I was asked if I had any ideas for a cheap DIY Video camera shoulder support rig that was easy to put together and cheap.

Not recommended for heavy cameras, but for small consumer-cams, I think it's a great DIY Shoulder Mount Project.

Parts List:
Aluminum Flat bar (bend it to fit over the shoulder).
Foam insulation (used for shoulder padding)
Metal 'T' Bracket (combine this with the flat bar)
Handles (I used Jump rope handles because they already had an easy way to mount it to the bracket)
Black Appliance Epoxy paint (much stronger than acrylic)
A few nuts and bolts to hold everything in place.
I think you'll get the idea....
If you're using Canon DSLR's they also sell remotes that I believe may work with starting and stopping video recording.

If you're not a DIY person, check out this cheap Shoulder Support from eBay. Here's the product.
You can find the shoulder support from eBay by clicking this link, or the image below.

click image


People have asked me about what I used to make the stabilizer. So i've revised the video a bit to include photos of the stabilizer and information about the parts.

I've also attached a few photos of my 5D Mark II mounted 'Right Side Up' and also "Upside Down" for those very low flying shots.

All parts available at Home Depot. I was literally sprinting to keep up with the kids, but the stabilizer worked pretty well.

Camera 5D Mark II with Sigma 20mm. Sorry video isn't HD I was going for functionality of the stabilizer on this demo, not video quality. More photos will be available in the Photos link. More sample videos will be available in the Videos link.

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Here's another attempt at panning around and running along side a shot. As you can see he was running pretty quick, but the shot stayed pretty steady. Although the Steadicam Merlin works well for flying shots, I still prefer to use my Cheesycam DIY Stabilizer when trying to keep up with fast running shots and weird terrain. Also it's a great portable solution if you're worried about bringing out your expensive gear. I once used this camera stabilizer when recording some paintball action. (Definitely don't want to take an $800 dollar Merlin out to that).

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Here's some 'Flying' shots taken with a Tiffen Steadicam Merlin camera stabilizer. The difference with a Merlin type stabilizer is that the camera stays level the entire time. This is not a stabilizer in which you can change up/down angles with. The movement of flying straight and fluid is awesome though.

A Steadicam Merlin can be found here:


You've probably seen these video shots a million times, but never really thought about how the shot was pulled off. Sometimes a full dolly rig is overkill, especially for small product shots. There is a tool called the Skater Mini Camera Dolly designed by P+S Technik. It's an awesome tool that takes some awesome 'niche' video footage, but unless you're willing to dish out over $6,000 dollars, it's a bit out of budget for most of us just getting into vDSLR's. So I decided to come up with my own DIY project to replicate these mini skater dolly tools. Check out the video above for a quick sample of what $10.00 can get you. More photos will be available in the Photos link. More sample videos will be available in the Videos link.

[Update] Pico Flex Dolly and Accessories are available now. Find it below.

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find-price-button Order Pico Flex Table Dolly -