The basic theory behind the shot is simple: leave the camera shutter open for a long time but block the lens most of the time. So, what we need is something that blocks out the light, is easy to open and close, and introduces a little vibration as possible. Once the light blocker is in place, we start the shot and open the light blocker at regular intervals.
This instructable consists of two distinct sections. The first section deals with creating the light blocker. The second deals with taking the shot.
Here's a list of what you'll need:
- filter holder compatible with Cokin P Series filters
- Square filters lens hood for Cokin P Series holder
- Adapter ring (one for each lens you want to use it with
- Black nylon cloth (minimum size 16"x16" or 8"x32"; recommended size 20"x20" or 10"x40")
- 2 Magnets
- Square food container (bottom should be about 5"x5"), no lid necessary
- Plasti Dip spray
- Glue gun and several glue sticks
- Wax paper
- Old newspaper, a drop cloth, or something to protect your floors
- DSLR camera with full manual control
- Camera remote control or Remote Shutter Release Cable
- extra camera battery (optional but highly recommended)
- For filter holders, there's also an "A" Series but there doesn't seem to be a hood for it.
- The minimum cloth size requires some precision when gluing the cloth to the filter holder. The recommended size will be easier to glue (you don't need to be as precise) and will require additional trimming.
- I used nylon cloth because it's strong and lightweight. Nylon is also less absorbent than some other cloth types, which is a bonus in this case.
- Use medium strength magnets - avoid the neodymium magnets. The magnets should be strong enough hold a bit of weight but weak enough that they pull apart easily. If they're too strong, you'll introduce too much vibration and may actually pull the camera out of position.
- The Plasti Dip spray will be used to make help block out the light and cut reflection. The spray version is easier to apply than the dip version so try to get that. (Check the Plasti Dip site http://www.plastidip.com/diy_where_to_buy.php for where you can find the spray.)
- Use as sturdy/heavy a tripod as possible. This will reduce the chances of the camera moving out of position.
In theory, you may be able to do this by keeping the lens cap on for most of the shot. The main problem with relying on the lens cap comes when removing and reattaching the lens cap. Taking the lens cap off will cause the camera to shake, which may cause a blurry shot and/or the camera moving out of position. If you pause with the lens cap in front of lens after taking it off (to let the camera stop moving), a lot of light may come in from the sides or reflect off the lens cap interior and ruin the shot.