Most of us are always on the lookout for new, inventive ways to get amazing results with photography. While we all love new photography gear, sometimes you just can’t justify a $150 fisheye for a one time shot.
In cases like this, there’s usually an alternative: photography hacks that you can make yourself!
Usually, DIY photography gears are perfectly adequate for temporary use – or for testing out a piece of equipment before you buy. As a bonus, you also get a chance to be creative and come up with your own version of an existing project.
Here, let’s look at a couple of ideas for you to stash in your toolkit.
Want to take a group photo but don’t have a place to set the camera? Just whip the lampshade off a lamp and screw your camera onto the lampshade-holder.
The thread size of the bolt on a lampshade is exactly the same size as the filter thread used on tripods, so your camera will easily attach.
Instant Macro Lens
Looking for an inexpensive macro lens? You probably have one already.
A little known tip is that turning a lens backward creates high magnification! Of course, there is the issue of the lens not attaching to the camera in the backwards position, but that’s easily solved with a gadget called a “reverse mount adaptor.”
There are tons of improvements that you can use when it comes to the flash. The built-in flash that comes with your camera isn’t ideal for most situation unless of course, you want subjects bathed in bright white light and a “deer in the headlights” look!
With a few tricks though, you can take your built-in flash from an unused and unloved addition on your camera to a professionally performing piece of kit.
Try bouncing the flash off of a white business card or index card. This allows you to bounce the light off the ceiling while diffusing the light going forward. In situations where you have nothing to bounce the flash off of, try putting a piece of clear tape over the flash.
While I’ve always loved the idea of underwater photography, I’ve never felt right about putting my DSLR into a makeshift underwater case. But recently I learned that you can use a fish tank as an underwater case. Problem solved. Now I just need a fish tank!
This idea is leak proof, just make sure the fish tank is free from leaks, and ensure that you have a very firm grip on the fish tank when you venture into the water.
Soft Focus Effects
Using unlikely materials is part of the fun when it comes to camera hacks. Did you know that you can create cool soft focus effects using nothing more than a rubber band and a pair of tights?
Just cut the tights into a shape that covers the lens and extends down the barrel, then attach using a rubber band.
Full-Body Reflector From Insulation Board
Circular reflectors are inexpensive and are perfect for reflecting the light back onto your subject, filling in unwanted shadows and highlighting your subject’s face.
But what if you want a full-body reflector?
Those are much more expensive. Improvise by using a large insulation board with reflective silver backing – available at any home improvement store. It’s a simple and inexpensive way to reflect the light back onto your subject.
DIY Fisheye Lens
Most of us have wanted a fisheye lens at some point. Whether it’s an interest in taking artistic shots or a moment of sheer impulsiveness, the urge to rush out and buy one of these lenses hits me every so often.
But did you know that you can make your own fisheye? Out of a door peephole!
While you may want to invest in an actual fisheye eventually if you’re serious about this type of photography, for some of us, fisheye photography is pure curiosity more than anything.
So there you have it – seven ways to hack your photography! The possibilities for creating modifications for your camera extend to the limits of your imagination – or to the ends of the internet, depending on where you get your inspiration!