Author Archives: nine-volt
Here's a really cool DIY way to get wireless monitoring and control for you Nikon and Canon DSLR. The below video gives you a pretty good overview of how it works and what it can do. After watching that, be sure to visit dslrfilmnoob.com for the complete instructions and firmware updates which are necessary to make it all work.
These images come to us from one of our favorite DigiTechs, Johnny Tergo. We're pretty sure this is the first time a DigiPlate Lite with a DigiBase has been used to mount a NASA space helmet to a c-stand so that it could be photographed. If anyone else has any great DigiPlate shots in action (whether they are being used to hold a laptop or not), we'd love to see them!
Did you ever have those snowflake Christmas tree ornaments that were clear plastic or glass and perfectly symmetrical? We did when we were kids and as pretty as they were I never thought a snowflake actually looked that perfect. Well, it turns out they really do look like that. Alexy Kijatov has a blog post where he not only shows some pretty awesome macro pictures of snowflakes but shows you how he did it by taping an old lens to his camera to do it.
The most common questions we get are in regards to the stands, clamps and other mounting equipment that people see in our product photos and behind-the-scenes photos. Unfortunately, you won’t find most of these items in your regular camera store as most of these items are used more by professionals. You can easily get these items online at sites like B&H but with their enormous catalog they may be hard to find if you don't know what you are looking for. So here's a little run down on some of the common mounting grip equipment you'll see here on Nine-Volt. The Rolling Stand Rolling stands work great with the DigiPlate. Most are too big and wide as their legs stick out so much you’ll end up tripping over them most of the day. The one you see a lot in our photos is the Avenger A5017. It is lightweight, folds up to the size of a large Gitzo tripod and the legs don't stick out too far. When shooting tethered to a rolling stand we recommend putting a sand bag or two on the base to make sure it doesn't tip over. Also, most rolling stands have locking wheels—don't use the locks when shooting tethered to your DigiPlate because if you pull too hard on your tether (no matter how much sand is the base), you could pull it over. With the wheels unlocked the stand will just roll a little and everyone on set will start yelling “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” and then you’ll figure out what’s going on. The Cardellini / Matthellini Most pro photographers and film guys refer to this clamp as a Cardellini as it was named after the guy that invented it. But he sold it to Matthews so know it’s called the Matthellini. This is one of our favorite clamps as you can clamp it to just about anything. Not only does it work great for the DigiPlate but it works great for your lights and anything else that will mount on a baby-pin. It comes with jaws from two to six inches and you can even get extensions to go wider (really great way to put a light on a 12 inch wide overhead beam). You can see a selection of these clamps here. The Magic Arm The Magic Arm is an articulating arm with a Super Clamp (also know as Mafer Clamps) on each end. The Magic Arm can be very hand when you need to mount your DigiPlate on something that is not horizontal so you can articulate and level out your DigiPlate. Before we had the DigiBracket we used to use the Magic Arm to mount the DigiPlate to a tripod. You can find a variety of different configurations of the Magic Arm here. The Trusty Tripod The tripod is probably the easiest and most economical way to mount your DigiPlate especially if you have an extra one laying around not being used. It's a simple as attaching a tripod quick release plate to the bottom of your DigiPlate and then attaching it to the tripod. Using this method you can get into a DigiPlate system by buying just a DigiPlatePro or DigiPlateLite and a set of laptop clamps and you are good to go.
No words can describe. You just have to watch.
We've added a new plate to the DigiPlate system which we call the DigiPlateLite. The DigiPlateLite is light on weight but not on features. It weighs about 1/3 the weight of the DigiPlatePro but still uses all the same accessories, clamps, bases, etc. In addition to the reduced weight, the DigiPlateLite breaks down to a very small form factor for travel and storage. The DigiPlate is the most robust, configurable and expandable laptop mounting system. With a multitude of tapped holes, you are not confined to a preset configuration when outfitting your DigiPlate. Start with DigiClamps which will not let go of your laptop and then add mounting options, external hard drive clamps and a sun shade for your outdoor shoots. Learn about the DigiPlate system here.
Here's a pretty sweet do-it-yourself motorized video track dolly project that is super easy to do and very inexpensive. We're always tinkering with things so we were pretty impressed when we saw this and also the source site where you can buy the parts. Simple DIY Motorized Video Track Dolly Project from emmagination on Vimeo.
Chase Jarvis has a great post on his blog with some pointers on shooting from a helicopter. He has plenty of experience and shares with you some do's and don'ts along with gear choices and other technical details. Check out the complete post on his blog.
You don't always need a $12,000 Profoto Pro-8 strobe pack to get creative with lighting. Check out this how-to from SLR lounge where Lauri shows you how he lit a musician just using a two reflectors and small smoke machine.
Joey L. has a great post on his blog showcasing a recent shoot where he created an indoor blizzard. While the how to portion of the blog post is very informative, his advice on why you should be doing test shoots on your own time is really the best part of the post. Below is a BTS video but be sure to check out his blog post here to read what he has to say and also see the many BTS stills.