Create your own high quality IBL anywhere for cheap

Getting an high resolution image based lighting (IBL) is well known to be requiring a decent full frame DSLR, a fisheye lens, a suitable pano head and a tripod: that is quite a lot of gear and likely to be well expensive to put together.
The solution I have been using mostly in the years is to shoot a mirror ball: results can be good, but still loads of big equipment to carry around.

HDRI production
HDRI final artefact

So that’s what I came up with recently: my phone is a Huawei P9 that can actually set manual parameters for taking pictures, including ISO, shutter speed, EV and white balance.So I decided to put together a small set of inexpensive equipment that can be easily found and bought online and see what I could get out of it

IBL equipment


– Hama tripod;
– Mpow fisheye lens;
– Smartphone tripod head;
– gummy spacer (to have the camera pivotingin Axe with the tripod head);
– Huawei P9 lite smartphone

IBL with smartphone

All of this can be easily carried around and might be a good habit to have it with yourself all the time on any kind of journey or trip.
Next time I will try the Neewer NWP01 who might do even better, as for my first setup I had to arrange a custom fix in order to have the phone camera orbiting exactly over the pivot point.