Joined September 2008

Where do I start? / I am the Director of StarKatz Photography, with over 20+ years of experience and formal photography education, I...

Some Creative Tutorials.. Watch out for more to come...

The following sliced fruits shots tutorial is by photographer and artist William van der Steen.

The tutorial will take you step by step toward creating an image similar to that wonderful sliced up banana.

Here we go
Selecting Raw Material

The first thing is to select an object to work with. Any fruit or vegetable can work here, as long as it can be cut in a relatively clean way. Hard fruits and vegetables are the easiest to use. After I decided what kind of fruit or vegetable I’m going to use, I’m going to think about how this object is sliced the best way, some fruit is very soft and that doesn’t give you complete freedom on how to slice it.

Working Towards The Final Image

We need a way to make the fruit pieces seem like they fly in mid air. Most of the times I use toothpicks to hold the parts together. Later, those will be removed in editing.

The best way to place the fruit and toothpicks in space is to imagine what it would look like when the toothpicks are removed.

The next step is to carefully add the toothpicks, first to balance the fruit, then to add all the flying bits & pieces.

Some fruits and vegetables look best when they are wet. If you so desire, you can spray some water to make them look fresher.


There are a few ways to light such a scene. I use a light tent to get some good diffused light. Actually, the tent is a simple cardboard box with holes and sketching paper on the sides and paper on the back. Building one is a quick and fun project.

In the setup that I use I have two halogen lights to light the tent. While the tent itself provides some diffusion, I bounce the light on the back and ceiling to get even more diffused light.

Try to place your object in a way that you don’t have to remove too much shadow from your toothpicks. Shadows are always hard to clone (remove) in photoshop especially when they have a soft border.


Once I have a good image to work with, I’ll do some editing o Photoshop.

Aside some basic levels and color correction I need to remove the toothpicks. This is done by cloning close by object.

Just to get some creative juices flowing, here are some of my sliced fruit images along with the magic-removed images.
before and afters

The following post about creating Circles art in light painting was made by Dennis Calvert. Check his excellent Flickr stream here

There’s something magical about the perfection and symmetry found in a circle. Today, we are going to learn one way to make perfect circles with light.

The idea is very simple and all the materials for the project can be purchased at local hardware and department stores.

What You’ll Need:

1) A paint roller and handle

2) A stand (the one I use is from a utility light which was purchased a Lowe’s) Here’s a link to something similar. You can find these types of stands starting out at around $30.00 US.

3) Some lights (LED strips, cold cathodes, neon tubes are some examples which produce great effects. Check the automotive section at your local department store, or search the web)

The Premise

Mount lights onto a paint roller. Place the paint roller on a stand. Use the stand to stabilize the roller while you rotate the handle in a full circle.

How To Make It

The basic principles are broadly applicable.

Secure your lights to the front of the paint roller so they are facing the camera as shown below.

The paint roller fits perfectly onto the top of the utility light stand. Depending on what resources are available to use, you may need to modify this to work for you. The idea is to use something to stabilize the paint roller and have it serve as a guide as you rotate the roller 360 degrees.

Below is the circle maker in action. If the light being used is an LED bar I found in the automotive section of Wal-Mart. Feel free to experiment with all sorts of lights. You will be pleasantly surprised.


Super Macro Your Cellphone Camera With A DVD Lens
I’ll admit, Super Macro Your Cell Phone Camera With A DVD Lens is one weird title.

However, if you just moved to a blu ray DVD player and you’re looking for some good use for your old DVD, cnflikt (who also took the shots for this tutorial) came up with a hack to enable you to take super macro shots with your cellphone. Of course you’ll need a camera phone for that. cnflikt uses the notorious, yet old-skooled K800i, but any camera phone will work here.

1. Lensectomy Your old DVD Player

First thing is to get a lens for your camera phone. Make sure your old DVD player is not connected to power. Then take the screws off. This is a great way to void your warranty. It is also dangerous and you should really never do this.

Anyhow, if you went against my advice, you’ll find the lens under the place where the disk goes. Take it out.

2. Prepare A Lens Mount

Ok, I’m only kidding on this one. You don’t really need a lens mount, you can use duct tape if you wanna go really ghetto or mount it on some cardboard.

If you opt for the cardboard option, just make a round hole in the cardboard.

3. Mount Your Lens

Just use some duct tape (as indicated before) to mount your lens directly, use or blue Tack to hold the card mount.

4. Macro Away

WOW. This is some powerful macro. Enjoy.


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