The Hobo Nickel Studio

This page shows you how to construct a little photography aid I call the Hobo Nickel Studio.

It's inspired by Roland Baptiste's clever idea of turning an empty milk jug into a mini-macro studio. He noted that they're made of a thin, translucent plastic that makes a good light diffuser.

I got to thinking about the fact that the biggest two problems for taking shots of small objects are holding the camera steady and controlling the light (ok, those are the two biggest problems for pretty much all photography). What I wanted was a way to hold the camera steady very near to the minimum focal distance. If it could also help with the light that would be even better.

Then I looked at the empty milk jug in my hand...

You really want to click on the first thumbnail and go through the frame-by-frame gallery on this one. It's got the full explanations and step-by-step directions.

To go with the thumbnails, the summary explanation is:

1) Find out where your small camera sits steady on top of a milk jug. If necessary 'adjust' the opening until it does.

2) Figure out your camera's minimum focus distance in macro mode.

3) Cut the milk jug to just a little big longer than that.

Clicking on the thumbnails will take you to a frame by frame gallery
In the frame-by-frame gallery clicking on the picture takes you to the next picture

Back to my simple home page
Roland Baptiste's site

The Roland Baptiste mini-macro studio

Sample shot

Materials needed

Find the fit

See the step?

Finding the minimum focus

Measure it

Mark the jug just a bit longer

Trimmed and ready

How to use it

How it works

Without the HNS

Zoomed in

With the HNS

Zoomed in
Back to my simple home page
Roland Baptiste's site