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This indestructable serves to teach people how to make a cheap (under $15USD) setup for taking meet your neighbours-style photographs of nature. (It is assumed that you already have a camera, tripod with removable head, and external flash.)

Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need the following materials (with their prices in USD and perspective US stores):

  • The Home Depot
    • $5 each — (2) lexan polycarbonate sheets, size 8"x10"
    • $0.99 each —(2) spring clamps with rubber heads and handles
  • Michaels Craft Store
    • $0.29 — (1) 9"x12" rectangle of white felt
    • $5 — (1) Basics Acrylics Studio Decor picture frame 8.5" wide by 11" long by 1/2" deep
  • Target
    • $0 (free) — (1) shopping cart cup holder from Target (go to the cafe to get one)
      • or something else just to secure the flash onto the tripod leg.

Step 2: Set It Up!

  1. make a polycarbonate and felt sandwich
  2. fold over the excess at one end to protect the poly from the clamps
  3. secure flash to tripod leg using cup holder or security equivalent
  4. place whathaveyou on top at this point (if it doesn't move)
  5. if there's risk of your subject crawling away, or it's aquatic, place the acrylic picture frame that's 1/2" deep right on top of the surface and your subject inside! :) (fill with water if needed)

PORTABLE, CHEAP, LIGHT, and EFFECTIVE!
win, win, win, win.

From there just follow standard Meet Your Neighbours protocol for photography.

<p>This is cool. Did you take all those photos at the top?</p>
<p>Thanks for the comment! Yeah! Except for the pink sea slug. These were for a documentary film for the San Diego US Fish and Wildlife Service to highlight the biodiversity of the bay! Check the film out here: http://youtu.be/jXIfMzg7VRM</p>

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