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on July 31, 2007
This book is a GREAT idea: to show amateur photographers how to build lighting and studio-like equipment using materials and supplies available at the hardware or hobby store (e.g. kite building store for carbon fiber tube connectors).

While I applaud the IDEA, the execution is fairly THIN; after flipping through the book at the bookstore you will quickly realize that it's 90% good looks, and only 10% useful content. Yes, the 10% can easily be described as VERY USEFUL content, but what's in here would easily fit in a 3-page article in Popular Photography or Digital Camera.

Further, it looks to me, like the supplies used in the examples were those available in Europe, so there is no USA-specific advice on where to get that stuff, and no mention of possible brand names that might make online search much easier. In fact, the publisher chose to leave the last SEVERAL pages completely blank! They may have been used more wisely for a list / appendix of US stores or online places that sell some of the stuff shown here, as well as brand names under which some of the materials may be sold in the US. Hopefully, for the next edition, the publisher will take some time + effort to adapt this better to US needs. If would be nice it the book were 50% good looks and 50% substance.
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on December 21, 2007
This booked is jam packed with lots of great ideas for studio gear you can make yourself. Of course it's pretty much just ideas it horribly falls through when it comes to showing you any details on construction. If expanded with more construction details would be one of my favorite books, as it is best comparison I can think of is a cook book that shows you wonderful foods and a list of ingredients and leaves you to figure it out yourself.
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on July 2, 2007
When I requested a review copy of Low Budget Shooting: Do It Yourself Solutions to Professional Photo Gear by German photographer and designer Cyrill Harnischmacher, I was hoping to see something useful. I was first taken aback by the thinness of the volume - 72 pages with a hardback cover and paper thickness that only seemed to emphasize the lack of wider content. And yet when I flipped through, I realized that the $19.95 price was something a photographer could recoup multiple times in a single project. Just learning to create a custom soft box out of maybe $10 or $20 worth of material - without needing much in the way of skills or tools - is a money saver. You can learn to pretty easily make reflectors of all sizes, diffusers for a hand-held flash unit, even a table with continuous background for shooting products. There seems to be a bias toward table-top and close-up work, but the techniques he suggests are actually a jumping-off point. For example, you could adapt the soft box construction to a studio flash, or even series of flashes, or create large area reflectors using thin PVC pipes instead of fiberglass tubing. If you have the slightest inclination toward do-it-yourself projects, then this will give you great suggestions for building and improvising a lot of your own equipment without going broke in the process.
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on April 26, 2009
This book has already had some criticism because of its lack of substance (and/or pages) so I won't add to this. In my experience I cannot find most of the construction materials the book refers to here in Australia. I even tried on the internet for carbon fiber kite spars with no success. I also suspect that such materials are not really "low budget". Nevertheless if one is prepared to use ones own ingenuity to find substitute materials; then the book servers as an excellent source for ideas.
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on April 4, 2014
Photography is a good way to spend a lot of money. Cyrill Harnischmacher provides you with some ways to take good shots and not have to buy a lot of extra equipment. He writes well, is engaging and easy to understand.
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on July 13, 2007
Low Budget Shooting is the latest in no-nonsense books from the people at Rocky Nook. Filled with full color images and very easy to follow instructions, Low Budget Shooting will show you how to create studio and lighting equipment at a low budget price.

As I said in my full review on, you will learn how to build a light cube, reflectors, diffusers, a flash mounted diffuser frame, softboxes, strip-lights, close-up diffuser and a light brush. Each item has a list of materials and great pictures that not only show you how it is built, but wonderful photographs that show the kind of pictures that can be created with this equipment.

Even if you are not on a budget, Low Budget Shooting will provide plenty of new techniques and ideas to enhance your photography.
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For the person with more time than money this book provides specific low-cost methods to make your own ancillary photography equipment. That being said, I should point out that the projects focus almost entirely on lighting and include softboxes, reflectors, and diffusers. In addition, most of the projects are focused on tabletop photography needs. That does not mean that they cannot be applied in other types of photography and I found that with some minor adaptations some of them were useful to my style of outdoor photography. What I found particularly useful was the fact that so many of them could be adapted to be a truly light-weight and highly portable solution to my outdoor needs. Low Budget Shooting has some very creative ideas for those on a low budget that can help you produce professional quality photography and is a highly recommended read.
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on July 17, 2008
When I opened my shipment from Amazon, I was a little disappointed when seeing this book. It's thin...

But you shouldn't judge a book by looking at it's cover, right? The content of this book is interesting, and it's not unlikely that I will try out some of the projects shown. However, for amateurs like me, I don't feel I need such a great variety of equipment. And for pros, professional equipment is better. But for serious amateurs on a budget, this book is probably a good investment. And after all, it's probably the last group mentioned for which this book is intended. So if you want to build your own light tent, reflector, diffusor or soft box, go get it!
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VINE VOICEon June 5, 2008
This book does contain good ideas, but I think the book could have included more build it yourself projects. The book is too brief; but it is worth the cost. It just leaves the reader hungry for more. Maybe this is intended by the author. For a fact, "Closeup Shooting," by Cyrill Harnischmacher, is a solid five star work. Readers who enjoy "Low Budget Shooting" should also get "Closeup Shooting."
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on July 17, 2013
This book is high on glitz and low on substance. Although it may present some good ideas instruction on how to implement them are weak. The items needed and their sources may be available in Europe but not in the United States. All of its sixty two pages could be easily condensed and presented as an article in some photography magazine.
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