DIY Articulated Camera Stand from a Desk Lamp

DIY articulated camera stand

An articulated “desk lamp” camera stand photographing a mechanical drawing

Here’s a an interesting articulated camera stand that many of you may not have considered before.  This video by Make shows how to modify an adjustable desk lamp to hold a small camera offset over your subject.  The video is embedded after the break, but the crux of it is to remove the light and instead insert a camera.  You’ll need to build a mounting bracket to sub in the camera.

This kind of setup is useful for capturing drawings as shown above, or anything that requires the point of view to hang over its subject.  I’m tempted to build something similar to use when photographing stuff for my DIY projects blog.  Check out the video after the “read more” link to get the rest of the story. Continue reading

Upgrade your Point-and-Shoot Camera with CHDK

firmware-update-CHDK

So you have a Canon point-and-shoot camera, but you’d like to take advantage of such functions as timed sequential shots for time-lapse photography, or full control over your exposure setting.  A DSLR is certainly a good option, but if you don’t want to spend $500 or much more for one, CHDK is definitely worth a look.

CHDK, or Canon Hack Development Kit is a piece of software that can be loaded onto an SD card and used to update your camera’s firmware.  If you’re worried about damaging your camera, the software is loaded only onto your SD card, and not the camera directly.  Install a new card and you should be back to normal.

“Should” is an important word there, since this is an experimental package that includes no warranty.  On the other hand it is free, and has many impressive features that can be taken advantage of.  Check out the video below from GetConnected to see what CHDK is all about. Continue reading

Universal Camera Clamp Mount

universal camera clamp mount

For use on the table, a 2×4, tree branches, whatever!

I’ve seen similar setups, but this camera clamp mount with a built in ball-joint is quite clever.  If you really wanted to cheap out, you could just use a 1/4 – 20 bolt and some combination of nuts and washers, but you wouldn’t get the same level of versatility to point it where you want.

As listed on the video (along with some use ideas), the tripod that he takes apart is a little Targus model (Amazon), which is combined with a clamp that you can probably find at any hardware store.  The Targus tripod is pretty cool in itself, almost seems like a shame to take it apart for this!  The method would probably be best for a small point-and-shoot camera or GoPro; I’m not sure I’d trust my DSLR to it!