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5 Top Photography DIY Hacks That Are Cool, Creative & Clever

Learn how you can take awesome photos using some cheap, everyday objects you can find at home. All you need is a bit of imagination and you'll be shooting awesome images in no-time.

|  General Photography
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Photography can be an expensive hobby but there are ways you can save money, have fun and still capture some excellent images without spending all of your pennies. 

To show you how, our friends COOPH are back with another cracking DIY tutorial that shows you how, with a little creativity, you can capture professional looking photos on a budget. 

The tutorial shows you how to make 5 inexpensive props with everyday objects you can find at home such as mirrors, wire wool and, as Bonfire night has just passed sparklers. 

The 5 creative hacks the COOPH team have come up with this time are: 

 

1. Coloured Filters For Portraits

Coloured light filters for portraits

 

Place coloured plastic sheets over light sources (household lamps can be used - you don't even need expensive lighting kit) to change the mood/look of your portraits. If you're using a smartphone flash as your light source, you could even take a clear, coloured sweet wrapper (from a well-known brand) and secure it over the flash. Just be careful as lamps can get hot!

 

2. Create Smoke For Cool Still Life Shots

Skull and smoke still life

 

COOPH use a vape pen for this but as we're not one to encourage taking up vaping/smoking, you can create a similar effect with incense sticks!

 

3. Making It Rain Fire With Steel Wool

Wirewool Fire Background

 

This is a cool one but you should be very careful and it comes with a health and safety warning! Fire can be dangerous if you aren't sensible so you do this at your own risk!

Set up a rotating plate, add a shiny, fireproof surface (outside please) and get some steel wool from a DIY shop to spread out over the plate. Next, suspend props above it with wire, set fire to the steel wool, spin the plate and shoot a long exposure. Or, you can light the steel wool and hold it (safely) above the prop so when you use a long exposure, it looks like it's raining fire. Obviously, don't use props you really care about and again, please be cautious and incredibly careful when doing this - don't burn yourself!

 

4. Take A Mirror On Locations 

Mirror portraits

 

Use mirrors for outdoor portraits as they can cleverly interrupt the composition and give your portraits an abstract twist. 

 

5. Have Fun With Sparklers

Sparkler spiral

 

Again - we bring you a health and safety warning as mixing sparklers with drills can be dangerous if you aren't sensible so you do this at your own risk. 

The COOPH team stick a sparkler into a drill end and bend it in place. Next, they add lights to it, set it alight and slowly press the trigger button, while walking, so when a long exposure is used, a circular pattern is created through the frame.  

Alternatively, just pop your gloves on and write words or draw patterns with the sparklers (keep moving so you don't appear in the frame) while a long exposure is used. 

 

Want More DIY Photography Tips?

We have a tutorial, also from the COOPH team, on creating a rotating timelapse rig for smartphone photography, another that shows you how to make a smartphone tripod on a budget and we also have a great tutorial on creating a DIY beauty dish

For those looking for DIY lighting hacks, learn how to make a DIY light modifier, a simple DIY lens hood or how about using IKEA lights for a portrait shoot?

 

More Photos From The DIY Shoots:

Sparkler writing

 

Colour light filter

 

Smoke portraits

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