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10 Handy DIY Photography Tricks & Hacks

10 Handy DIY Photography Tricks & Hacks - Here are 10 DIY fun photography projects for you to experiment with. Plus, they could save you some money.

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DIY Tips


 

Not everyone's a fan of DIY but building your own camera and creating your own filters can be fun, plus it's usually cheaper and who doesn't like to save a pound or two? So, here are 10 DIY photography tricks & hacks for you to try on a rainy day.
 

1. Build Your Own Camera

This one does involve spending slightly more than just a few quid but at the end of it, you do get a camera that's fully functional. The Bigshot DIY Camera and Lomography Konstruktor are a couple of examples of the kind of kits you can purchase. 



Bigshot camera

 

2. Create Your Own Filters

Filters, particularly DIY ones, can be used with all types of cameras (including phones) and they can help you create interesting effects without having to break the bank or learn a new photo editing technique. Something as simple as a sweet wrapper (think Quality Streets) wrapped around your lens and secured in place with an elastic band can add colour to your shots while a pair of tights cut to size and pulled over your lens will give you a soft focus effect. 



DIY Filter

 

3. Create Your Own Bokeh Effects

Who doesn't like a bit of Bokeh? But you don't just have to settle for circular out of focus highlights as you can use a few tools and your creativity to change the appearance of the shapes that appear. You need to get a black piece of card, decide on a shape, cut it out of the card then fasten the card around your lens like you would a lens hood. Try to not make your shapes too small or complicated as they won't stand out very well in your final shot. You can get creative Bokeh kits for around £15 which include blank sheets to create your own stencils as well as some which are already designed and ready to use. 



Bokeh


4. Reverse Your Lens For Ultra Close-Ups

Macro lenses are great for getting close to subjects, but as with all lenses, they're an investment and aren't something all of us can go out and purchase. However, with the help of a reversing ring, you can shoot close-up work in an inexpensive way. You simply attach the reversing ring to the filter thread of your lens which then allows you to attach you lens to your camera in reverse. They can be tricky to use but they do offer one of the cheapest ways of capturing macro shots. For more tips on working with reversing rings, have a read of this article: Reversing Your Lens For Ultra Close-Ups



Macro photography


5. Use A Magnifying Glass & Shoot Macros

Another way to shoot macros without a macro lens is by taping a magnifying glass to the front of your camera. You can use most magnifying glasses as close up lenses as long as the magnifier is big enough to cover the front of your lens. For more tips, have a read of this: Macro Photography With A Magnifying Glass



Macro flowers
 

6. Make Your Own Reflector

Nothing beats the tin foil sheet that you'd normally wrap the turkey up into throw masses of light back into your subject. You just need to cut out a piece of card, apply glue or tape to it, carefully roll the tin foil over the glued cardboard, smooth out the tin foil with a sponge or cloth and leave to dry. You may need to trim the edges and you can apply tape around it too, if you want it to look a little neater. 



Portraits
 

7. Create A Beanbag

A tripod is usually the support photographers turn to but when you want to travel light or venture to places where tripods and similar supports aren't allowed to be used, you have to look for an alternative. One of these alternative options is a beanbag and even though you can purchase ready-made models (such as those shown above from Warehouse Express), they're not hard to make yourself and the materials aren't expensive either. Basically, you just need some fabric, beans / polystyrene balls and a sewing machine or needle and thread. There are plenty of tutorials online with step-by-step instructions on how to construct a beanbag, including these found on Instructables: Camera Bean Bag Instructions


 

Beanbags

8. Make A Home-Made Flash Diffuser

A flash diffuser is a useful tool but why buy one when you can create your own at home? Click the following link to view a tutorial that will take you through the steps for making your own interchangeable flash diffuser, with changing filter options, for whatever light source you come across when taking photos: Build A Flash Diffuser


 

DIY Light Diffuser

 


9. Building A DIY Modular Flash System 

Flash accessories can be made for next to nothing, all that is needed is a little creativity and a little spare time, as site member Paul Morgan explained in this tutorial: Building A DIY Modular Flash System



Modular Flash System

 


10. Get Creative With Light With An Old Lens

There's a technique you may not have come across called Lens Wacking and the idea is you allow more stray light to reach the sensor and to do this you shoot with the lens detached from and held in front of the camera body. It can be tricky to master but can create some really interesting, dream-like lighting effects and bokeh with just the help of an old, cheap manual lens you have at home. For more tips on how to perfect this technique that gives your images a cinematic feel, have a read of the Lens Wacking tutorial on Pentax User. 

 

Lens Whacking flower


If you have any DIY photography tips or hacks others should have a go at, feel free to post them in the comments below.
 

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Comments


26 Apr 2017 12:38PM
No.8 wont work as the angle of coverage of the flash unit wouldnt be wide enough to spread onto the reflector surface !!!

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