swatch detail (with pringles softbox)

In my previous post I have shared how to create a simple and very effective and versatile softbox with the empty pringles tin. Below you can find a close up picture taken with the help of this softbox.
As I have found WITH and WITHOUT the softbox picture remarkably different, I wanted to share the result with you as well. The first shot is obviously taken under the pringles softbox. You can see in the top right quadrant white shape of the long light source. I love the effect, which adds third dimension, adds "liquidity". Overall lightning is evenly distributed.
Nikon D-800, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO 100. Nikkor 105mm micro. 
Remotely fired flash Nikon SB-900 (with pringles tube) on 1/4 of the power.

DIY mini softbox with Pringles

Let me clear this out right at the beginning - this came as an inspiration from And after the "aha moment" I had to try it on my own! So while playing and creating my own Pringles softbox, I have decided to share my version and mainly my pictures - which I found pretty awesome ;). Taking into a consideration what a simple lightning set up has been used.

So what can you get? Pretty cool "softbox", which can direct your nicely diffused light to a very narrow beam. It will utilize your own electronic flash (Nikon SB-900 in my case). And it will cost you almost nothing. Well, 3 bucks for a tin of Pringles, but those will be eaten by your family members anyway! ;)

What you will need:
  • tin of Pringles (no, it really doesn't matter what flavors)
  • duck tape
  • white fabric (old pillow cover, in my case)
  • sharp knife
  • your electronic flash

Cut out rectangular shape on the Pringles tin. Please be careful with a knife! Size is apx. 3 cm (1 inch) wide and will go almost through the full tin. Keep a bit a space on the side, so you can stretch fabric around it and the tin will still hold the structure.
Below you can see the aproximate size of the final cut.

Next step is to fit your flash into it. This is a bit tricky part. Every flash has a different size of the head. My LumoPro flash wasn't able to fit it into a tube. Nikon SB-900 went inside, even very, very tight.

Red beauty

This picture follows my previous post. Extremely simple composition and well... easy lightning set up with one light source only. Picture taken in the middle of our kitchen, hmmmm, excuse me, I mean our studio. And believe or not, is still has something to do with Pringles!

So here's the set up itself, or so called "behind the scenes" picture, where you can see, that for the lightning I have utilized my new softbox, made of... well, Pringles tin! You can find the step by step guideline how to build your own here.

Foggy, foggy, foggy

It was almost scary to watch today afternoon fog surrounding us. It literally came within a minutes! And also created a magic hat above one of the nearby mountain. Obviously, perfect timing, sunset and golden light helped a lot...

And BTW, here's a shot of the fog itself, approaching us in the middle of the tiny countryside road. Those tree and house shapes had disappeared literally in within a 10 minutes! I have to admit it was an experience I never had before. Kudos to all landscape photographers...

© 2013 monika and patrik banas

christmas angel (and pringles?!)

What those two things have in common?!? Well, you will discover soon. Pretty neat! Stay tuned ;)
Meanwhile, have a beautiful pre-Christmas time and lit up some candle too...

photo ©, property of kellogs inc.
= ?

To najlepšie z pražského workshopu

Môj októbrový Zážitkový Workshop v Prahe bol úžasný! Počasie bolo... no nie úplne kooperujúce, ale rozhodlo sa nepršať úplne celý deň, takže nám aspoň netieklo do topánok a mierne chladné októbrové počasie sme zvládli v pohode.
Čo bolo ale dôležitejšie - mal som šťastie na fantastickú, kreatívne nadanú a najmä po nových veciach dychtiacu skupinu, s ktorou sme si užili kopec srandy. Lucia a Dagmar mi už poslali aj svoje zábery a rád sa s nimi podelím... Sú skvelé, však?

© Lucie Portešová

© Dagmar Petrásková
© Dagmar Petrásková

sunny forest

Indian summer in its best! End of October and over 20°C! So great and so unexpected! And so peaceful in the forest we have found just by a chance...

lonely, but very determined surfer

During my Brittany trip I was shooting this monumental arch with the unique view at the Atlantic ocean, when proverbial "photographer's luck" struck and sent me right to my composition this lonely, slowly walking surfer with his fluorescent board. This is what I call adding a perspective and human object into the frame!

shuter speed games

No doubt playing with shutter speed is one of my favorite activity! There are zilions way how you can utilize shutter speed, but panning and zooming is one of the most common. So it is not a surprise we have spent a lot of time playing with a shutter speed during my recent workshop in Prague! And while I am waiting to get pictures from my "workshoppers", here are couple of those, taken during the lovely Saturday in Prague.
Shutter speed used in the pictures below was somewhere between 1/8 - 1/20 sec.

Zážitkový fotoworkshop | Praha, sobota 12.októbra/října Pridajte sa!

Nový termín!

Radi fotografujete, ale zvyčajne na to nemáte dosť času a príležitostí? Túžite po jednom dni, kedy sa fotografovaniu môžete venovať naplno? Chcete sa naučiť aj niečo nové, stretnúť sa s podobne naladenými ľuďmi alebo proste len tak fotiť? Vyjdite z rutiny, užite si jeden intenzívny fotodeň ďaleko za hranicami všednosti!

CEZ OBJEKTÍV - zážitkový fotografický workshop, Praha 12. října/októbra 2013.
Celý deň od východu do západu slnka na viacerých lokalitách - obrysy starej Prahy za úsvitu, makro fotografia rannej rosy, kreatívne techniky ako zooming, panning, rotating s fotoaparátom, tradičné aj netradičné použitie externých bleskov, fotenie ľudí, interakcia s neznámymi ľuďmi, street photography, použitie širokouhlého objektívu pri rozprávaní príbehov alebo fotografovaní zblízka. Použitie filtrov – od polarizačného po prechodové filtre neutrálnej hustoty.

lines 2 (brittany uncovered)

Mystery lines mentioned in my previous [teaser] post were taken during my trip to Brittany (Bretagne), where in the port I was fascinated by all masts lighted by the golden evening light against thick grey clouds. And as always when possible, I was "working my subject", trying what the long shutter could make with such opportunity. It turned out it could make very interesting abstract, don't you say? ;)
More sailing pictures soon!

lines [small teaser again]

I am retrieving my recent folder and I couldn't resist to ask: What is it? Answer will be here soon!

bretagne... is coming!

I had recently a fantastic trip to Bretagne, France. Expect more ocean view pictures soon!

foggy day

It is just a mid of September, but it is already so foggy depressing... I am definitely a summer type!

malmo: at the pier

Third and last post from my Malmo trip. Still only with point and shoot camera ;) At the end of the my morning roaming I have found such a photogenic pier! Monika's envy it! It was probably 100m long and a combination of the elements of the design (in this case line and color) were so irresistible... Enjoy!

Malmo: blue "thingy" and turning torso

Those strange big blue metal things were next to the sea. They looked like some huge old boat spare parts - perhaps an anchor holders? Not really an expert... But they were so attractive, that is for sure!
And below also few shots from Malmo's iconic "Turning torso" tower...
PS: BTW, did I mentioned all of those picture has been taken by point and shoot pocket size camera? Yup! Leica DLUX4 rocks!

Malmo, early morning

My first trip ever to Sweden. To Malmo. This city always reminds me the end of the Jule's Verne and the end of his book 20000 leagues under the sea. For a long time I thought it is the same place as Maelstrom! Maelstrom!, which are actually the last words Captain Nemo is shouting at his submarine Nautilus, before disappearing and sinking...
Anyway, trip was a short one and again, only with a compact point and shoot!
But I managed to get one early morning for myself and it has been proven again, that my little Leica with a combination of a great light can do miracles! Look at this one "snapshot", which has been enhanced just a slightly.
More to come! Stay tuned...

Kiev in all colors (and only with a compact camera!)

Kiev, I do apologize. For my prejudice going there to expect a "little Moscow". Kiev, you are nothing like Moscow, you are much better! Full of colors, green areas, less rush, less traffic and a much more smiles.
It is funny to realize, that I have travel all around the world, but I haven't visited country which is neighboring my home country.

And I also did an experiment. As Monika needed my the most favorite travelling lenses for her sessions, I've decided to travel only with my compact Leica D-LUX4. And it was a fantastic experience! Leica allowed me to shoot in RAW, to shoot in a manual mode, but the most important fact was, that I had no choice of lenses. So I have to milk the situation with what I had. Obviously, that means, I was more in a "street photography" mood, which was a good decision when you get to places like Saturday's flea market or one of the thousands churches in Kiev. Enjoy!

Best of the Prague's workshop

I was so thrilled, when one of my Prague's workshopper - Monika - shared with me her pictures taken during a workshop! You have to admit - it is hard to believe that all pictures were taken just during a one day! Thanks Monika! It was a joy to have you in the group! Full album can be found here.

Ani si neviete predstaviť, ako som sa potešil, keď mi jedna z účastníčok môjho pražského zážitkového workshopu zaslala svoj výber! Je naozaj ťažké uveriť, že takto rôznorodé fotografie boli nafotené v priebehu jedného dňa! Díky Monika, som naozaj rád, že sme strávili taký skvelý deň! Viac Monikiných fotografií nájdete tu.

© Monika Kocourková

© Monika Kocourková

Prague's castle at sunset (FLW filter nailed it again!)

We have spent a beautiful Sunday with my Prague's "workshopers". Starting at 4am, trying to capture sunrise, tram's motion, talking to strangers, jumping in front of graffiti wall, seeking for reflections.. and many many more! And then finishing at about 10pm - where else if not pointing at always photogenic landscape of Prague's castle over Charle's bridge? Touristic boat with a big PRAGUE name was just a cherry on the top of the already sweet cake. Gorgeous cloudy sky and of course - thanks to using FLW filter - beautiful enhanced overall colors and structure of the image. Thanks again for an amazing day!!

Seoul, South Korea (around the world; revisited)

I have spent fair share of my time travelling, literally around the world. Many of those trips happened before this yummy and fresh blog has been established. In the past I have shared some of them with closer friends (and of course with Monika, she BTW inspired me to start revisiting older albums). Some of those pictures taken around the world are part of my web albums, however many of them were never properly introduced, edited and shared as they would deserve. And frankly, I like them. Yeah, I am quite proud of them. So as of today I am opening a new, unscheduled serie, called very creatively "Around the world" and I will bring back some of my trips to more or less exotic places.

Today I am returning back to Seoul, South Korea. Did you know, that 99% of cars in Seoul are either black, white or gray/silver? No kidding. To spot even a blue car is very unusual, overall any colorful car is either orange taxi, or Red Bull promotional vehicle. As I didn't have a lot of time to go roaming and shooting, I have just visited a monk's monastery park near my hotel. Without any specific purpose, just to observe... And apart being positively surprised by seeing colors again I also had  a very peaceful time in the middle of the super busy city (second biggest city in the world, did you know that?) I was also lucky enough to get few nice shots, which will always remind me how in June of 2010 I have changed my attitude to South Korea from not a real fan to very likey... Truth to be told, food and very nice people had a lot to do with that.
PS: I miss kim-chi and bibimpa!!

Pridajte sa! Zážitkový foto workshop, Praha - 30.6.2013

Radi fotografujete, ale zvyčajne na to nemáte dosť času a príležitostí? Túžite po jednom dni, kedy sa fotografovaniu môžete venovať naplno? Chcete sa naučiť aj niečo nové, stretnúť sa s podobne naladenými ľuďmi alebo proste len tak fotiť? Vyjdite z rutiny, užite si jeden intenzívny fotodeň ďaleko za hranicami všednosti!

CEZ OBJEKTÍV - zážitkový fotografický workshop, Praha 30.6. 2013! Celý deň od východu do západu slnka na viacerých lokalitách - obrysy starej Prahy za úsvitu, makro fotografia rannej rosy, kreatívne techniky ako zooming, panning, rotating s fotoaparátom, tradičné aj netradičné použitie externých bleskov, fotenie ľudí, interakcia s neznámymi ľuďmi, street photography, použitie širokouhlého objektívu pri rozprávaní príbehov alebo fotografovaní zblízka. Použitie filtrov – od polarizačného po prechodové filtre neutrálnej hustoty.

stolen clown

Well, they say, that your pictures are good, when people will start to steal them...
Apparently my Prague's clown picture (see this blog entry) has to be a good one, as I have found it on a strange website. Without any credit (obviously). But what is even worse - with a horrible and tasteless alteration. Look and decide on your own! This terrible clowns are located here.
I know, even worse things can happen with your work, but anyway.

PS: I have contacted already the website owner and requested to remove the picture. So let's see...
PPS: Update; two days later...Website owner reacted very quickly, apologizing for unintentional usage (apparently she got a picture from somebody else) and "double  clown" is now gone.

eiffel, part 6 - the last one (and the most postcard-ish one)

Enough teasing. Here it comes. The most classical Eiffel tower view, the most classical postcard shot. Something you HAVE to shot on your own, otherwise it doesn't count and you were NOT in Paris :) Well, mademoiselle Eiffel is very photogenic, no doubt about that. And her illuminated, curvy shape against a dusky, cloudy and colorful sky has no competition in Paris. So here I was. After playing enough with a carousel and flashes shots, I have finally arrived to Trocadero and I am fighting elbow to elbow with all other photographers and thousands (literally!) tourists to get the best available position. Keeping en eye (other one, which wasn't glued to the viewfinder) on roaming individuals who had a tendency to kick to my tripod (yeeah, and this is not something you want at the end of your 20 sec exposure! :)

Obviously - when is the best time to shoot a vertical picture? Right after the horizontal one!

eiffel, part 5 (flash always available)

Back to my Eiffel series. This post is the second to last and then I will give you a break for a while. Picture has been taken just a 5 minutes after the one with carousel, about 200m away. On the way to the top of Trocadero stairs I have noticed this unusual angle and situation, where the tower would appear like growing from the bushes. Obviously, bushes were pretty dark on the picture, just a silhouette of it (see the shot at the end). So my flash came handy and during a 20 sec exposure I have fired a simple burst to lighten the foreground in front of me and achieve a sense of the tower nested in the green.

Nikon D800, 24-70mm at 42mm, f/22 @ 20 sec, ISO100. Manual, off the camera flash at 1/4 of power, with a distance about 1 meter.

Same as above, but no flash

windy (delicate dandelion)

We had so much fun with Monika last Sunday, when she came with this idea. She briefed me: "I want to take a picture of dandelion seeds in the air on the black background". And I had to come up with a solution. Fortunately my flash came handy and with an easy set up. Using flash I was able to create a pitch black background in the middle of our living room - WITHOUT any black background itself! Key is to underexpose your picture 3 or 4 steps and then just manually set you flash power based on the given aperture.

In our case aperture was f/11 and Nikon SB-900 calculate to set flash distance about 50cm. Shutter speed to underexpose the picture was calculated at 1/160 sec @ ISO 100.
Strong direct blow to dandelion and firing the camera at the same time - and voilá! Shot is the straight output from the camera. Pretty cool, huh?
Couple of "behind the shots", just to confirm there is no black background, really.

eiffel very colorful (part 4 )

Ok, now we are getting to a more "postcard" version of the Eiffel tour. As you can see, it was a very cloudy day, and about an hour prior the dusk I was blessed with a 5 minutes of gold sunshine rays. Both of this has been captured in this HDR composite - heavy clouds above the city and a slight moment of the sun greetings, just above the horizon.
But trust me, this is still not THE postcard one Eiffel, that one will come later ;) Stay tuned.

eiffel, part 3 (black and white angles)

Climbing up - and exploring a different angles. Still the same tower, but look how many opportunities you might find!

eiffel, part 2

Getting closer to the tower. Morning of the "visit to the top". Unfortunately, majority of the tourists in Paris has the same clever idea like us, to come early morning for the opening (9.30am) and our line looks like neverending. While moving quickly at the beginnig, the closer we got to the cashier and entrance, the slower it went. At the end we spent 3 hours (!) just in queue. Total time from the beginning of the line to the top and back five hours! All other activities for that day were cancelled... ;) Well, we did it ... and kids were soooo happy. This shot has been taken in the middle of waiting line. Expect more to come

eiffel, part 1

When you are visiting Paris, you can't miss Eiffel tower. It is really visible from almost everywhere!
Obviously I have taken few nice classical "postcard shots" as well (they will come later!), but let me first start to present THE tower from some different, a bit unusual angles.
This one has been taken next to a small carousel and as I LOVE the motion in the pictures, I had to incorporate a carousel into the frame. Mind a beautiful sky - all brought by favorite dusky FLW filter, otherwise picture is almost straight out of the camera.
Nikon D800, 24-70mm at 28mm, f/22 @ 10sec, ISO 100


I'm getting ready for one new exciting trip. Well, I won't fly 747 JumboJet as on the picture below, I just got in to the mood of revisiting one older folder. This United long-hauler has been captured in Tokyo Narita airport with a such a dramatic, cloudy sunset sky. I was homesick and couldn't wait to start boarding for my almost 12 hours flight. Tons of fantastic freash sushi has been eaten, though! ;) Have a safe flight too!


I was visiting office building last Thursday and when I get off from its pretty unique stairs I have looked up and was amazed! Pretty nice, huh? I think I will get back to this place to take few more pictures...