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12 Coolest DIY Photography Tricks (That Really Work!)

A dreamy still life shot using a sandwich bag for DIY photography tricks

Photography has no scarcity of equipment. However you don’t want to interrupt the financial institution to attempt one thing new together with your pictures. DIY images tips can add simply the appropriate degree of curiosity to your photographs.

You’ll be able to create enjoyable picture results with out post-processing. A lot of the gadgets wanted for these tips could be picked up for a couple of dollars at a grocery or ironmongery shop.

A few of them create fascinating visuals. Others substitute expensive gear with one thing that’s easy to do your self. 

Able to have some enjoyable together with your digital camera, with no huge price range? Attempt these 12 DIY images tips.

Learn This Earlier than You Begin – Or You May Break Your Gear

One of the best images tips use cheap gadgets to create neat results. However the worst will spoil your costly gear. To keep away from that, proceed with warning earlier than modifying your gear.

There’s an alarming variety of probably dangerous images hacks on the market. Some recommend you apply lipstick, a glue stick, petroleum jelly, water, you identify it, to the entrance of your digital camera lens.

Digital camera lenses have all types of speciality coatings. Making use of one thing to the entrance of that lens can destroy these coatings and wreck your lens.

For those who’re tempted by these (we don’t embrace any right here), at the very least put it on an affordable UV filter. That approach all you damage is a $20 filter, not a dear lens.

Additionally, keep away from making an attempt to help your digital camera gear with a DIY rig. You might drop your gear.  Use widespread sense. Hold gadgets off the entrance (and rear) of your lens, all the time make sure that your digital camera is safe, and keep away from any “hacks” which will void your guarantee.

That stated, there are many straightforward, cheap images tips on the market. Most don’t even come close to the fragile elements of your digital camera or lens. Listed here are our favourite images tips.

12. Create a Dreamy Impact With a Sandwich Bag

A dreamy still life shot using a sandwich bag for DIY photography tricks

Head to the kitchen and seize a sandwich bag. That’s all you want for pictures with a pointy middle however hazy, dreamlike edges.

This trick comes from photographer Jesse David McGrady. He locations the baggie round a lens to create a surreal edge to the pictures. Make a gap within the closed finish to suit your lens via. And ensure the other aspect is masking a few of the edges of the lens glass.

The plastic is shut sufficient to the lens to blur, which can create a type of haze to the picture. One other variation is to paint the baggie with everlasting markers first. It will give the haze a coloured tint.

11. Create Cool Photography Tricks With a Prism

A cool still life shot using a prism for DIY photography tricks

Objects near the lens can blur into neat photograph results, past a plastic bag. A prism held near the lens will obscure distractions within the photograph. It may possibly additionally catch a mirrored image of one thing else within the scene. Or it could possibly add a rainbow like mild to the sting of the picture.

You should purchase a prism for about $20 on-line. Place the prism up near the lens. Now experiment with totally different positions to obscure elements of the pictures.

Attempt totally different angles of the prism itself too and chances are you’ll catch a neat reflection.

This DIY images trick isn’t restricted to sandwich baggies and prisms. Putting any variety of objects up near the digital camera lens can introduce neat, uncommon results into the picture.

Something near the lens will blur. So this trick is open to any variety of objects. Translucent gadgets work properly, and even one thing so simple as a glass of water can create neat results.

Strong gadgets aren’t out of the query. However they create a coloured blur blocking a number of the picture as an alternative of a hazy or reflective impact.

10. Formed Bokeh Filters

The bokeh in a picture takes the form of the lens aperture. Change the form, and you may change the bokeh. Bokeh filters do the identical, and whereas you should purchase them, they’re additionally easy to make.

This neat digital camera trick requires a bit of paper, scissors and one thing to safe the paper to the lens. A hair tie works nice.

Reduce out the form that you really want within the bokeh and place the paper over the lens. It helps in the event you depart some tabs of paper on the sides to assist maintain the paper in place with a rubber band or tape.

The paper modifications the form of the opening within the lens which modifications the bokeh. Remember, although, that you’re limiting the sunshine that’s coming into the digital camera. You might want to regulate your publicity.

9. Anamorphic Lens Flare

Lens corporations work exhausting to scale back flare. However typically, photographers need that inventive lens flare.

Anamorphic flare is a horizontal flare that the majority affiliate with anamorphic, cinema lenses.

You possibly can truly create this impact with some fishing line or translucent string.

Clear fishing line will create that horizontal lens flare. And it’s positioned shut sufficient to the lens to not intrude with picture high quality.

To attempt it out, place a bit of fishing line over the entrance of your lens. The flare will go in the other way of the road. If you’d like horizontal flare, place the road vertically throughout the center of the lens and vice versa.

Safe it in place with tape or rubber bands. In the event you level the modified lens into the daylight,  you’ll get that lengthy anamorphic flaring.

eight. Modify the Mild With Family Objects

The appropriate mild could make all of the distinction — and so can uncommon mild. As an alternative of digital camera tips, this DIY images hack locations one thing in entrance of the flash. That is to create an uncommon lighting impact.

Putting a kitchen strainer over the flash will create noticed mild. Any family object with a singular form and, particularly, holes or openings will work.

It’s also possible to use a set of window blinds to create stripped mild. Or use patterned lace to repeat the sample in your mild. And when you’ve got that prism from that earlier images trick, place it between the sunshine supply and the topic. It will create a small rainbow within the picture.

Or, as photographer Joe Edelman suggests, create your personal gobo patterns. Reduce up your personal patterns out of froth board and place them over the sunshine. That permits you to create distinctive lighting patterns.

7. Use Shiny Surfaces to Cut up the Body

Translucent gadgets just like the fishing line and sandwich bag are nice gadgets for DIY photograph tips. However one other wonderful class are reflective surfaces. And as one viral submit exhibits, you don’t should look any additional than your pocket.

The display of a smartphone or pill is a pleasant, black reflective floor. Maintain it beneath or a bit over the underside of your lens. Then angle the display to mirror the highest half of the picture within the backside.

This trick isn’t restricted to a smartphone both. Search for any reflective floor which you can maintain as much as your lens.

6. Make It Rain With a Squirt Bottle or Yard Sprayer

Love the look of wet day photographs, however don’t need to truly get moist? There are a selection of results you’ll be able to re-create. All whereas protecting your photograph topic dry and umbrella free. 

Water droplets could make a superb background. Have an assistant spray water behind the topic utilizing a sprig bottle. For a much less drained hand, use a sprayer like those present in hardware shops to spray fertilizer or weed killer in your garden.

The important thing although, is to put a light-weight behind the spray. It will make these water droplets sparkle. It’s also possible to use a flash gel to provide the water shade. Many photographers use this trick for portraits, from Joe Edelman to Pyre Jirsa.

The moist look isn’t simply good for the background. If you would like that shot-through-a-rainy-window look with out precise rain or an precise window, use that spray bottle on a bit of glass. You will discover a bit of glass simply by taking one out of a giant image body.

5. Flash bounce card

Lighting modifiers make up an enormous chunk of the DIY images tips floating on the market on the internet. From utilizing a enterprise card to bounce your flash to a milk jug diffuser.

This tutorial from 305 Millimeter doesn’t appear to be some random family object. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless low cost. By shaping a bounce card out of froth and velcro, you get the identical advantages, with out the cheesy look.

Creating the froth bounce card softens the direct mild of the flash for extra flattering mild. However be forewarned, the sunshine doesn’t attain fairly thus far as soon as softened.

four. DIY Reflector

Reflectors are among the many most cheap lighting gear. However you can also make your personal for even much less. DIY reflectors aren’t moveable like those designed as images equipment. You may also look a bit foolish utilizing one.

However, a DIY reflector works in a pinch and it solely takes a couple of minutes to place along with gadgets you have already got.

For this DIY images trick, wrap a bit of cardboard in tinfoil. The bigger the cardboard, the bigger the reflector and the softer the sunshine. Use tape as wanted to maintain the tinfoil in place.

As soon as the cardboard is roofed, place the DIY reflector throughout from a light-weight supply. It will bounce some mild again into the scene.

three. Tinfoil Bokeh Photography Tricks

Tinfoil is sweet for greater than a makeshift reflector. In the event you rumple that tinfoil up first, the tinfoil will scatter the sunshine. This creates wonderful bokeh.

Crumple up a bit of tinfoil, then stretch it again out and organize over a bit of cardboard. Then, use that cardboard as a photograph background. Be sure to have a light-weight supply in entrance of the tinfoil.

You also needs to maintain the tinfoil at the least a couple of inches behind the topic. Utilizing a large aperture will even assist.

2. DIY a Backdrop at a Craft Retailer or Hardware Retailer

A cute portrait of a young baby with DIY photo background

This flooring drop is a bit of wall panelling from a ironmongery shop.

My favourite locations for DIY photograph inspiration are hardware shops and craft shops. They’re nice once you’re on the lookout for props or creating your personal backdrops.

For giant, sturdy backdrops, I decide up panelling from the ironmongery shop. The type that’s used to embellish your partitions.

Whereas panelling might be an outdated fashion, at this time there are a number of choices. These seem like an precise flooring and don’t value an excessive amount of. The draw back is that they aren’t as moveable as rollable floor-drops, however there’s a particular value saving.

For smaller backgrounds, attempt the craft retailer. A easy piece of scrapbook paper can work for tiny setups. And quilting material can simply function a background with out the three-digit price ticket.

1. Encourage Youngsters to Truly Take a look at the Digital camera With a PEZ Dispenser

This can be a trick I picked up early on, and whereas I don’t use it fairly the identical means, I nonetheless deliver out the useful PEZ at occasions. The PEZ sweet dispensers will virtually match into the recent shoe slot on the prime of the digital camera.

For those who take a pointy pair of scissors and trim the plastic on the backside, the sweet dispenser will slide proper on prime.

With a colourful man that arms out sweet on prime of your digital camera, it’s simpler to get little youngsters to take a look at your in any other case uninteresting digital camera. The one drawback? You’ll be able to’t use a flash whereas your scorching shoe is busy with the sweet dispenser.

I often use flash to a minimum of create catchlights. When the Pez dispenser comes with me, I maintain him in my hand close to the digital camera. (Be certain that to verify with the mother and father earlier than providing a toddler sweet!)

Bubble machines, favourite toys, and puppets also can assist get little youngsters to look in the direction of the digital camera. And it may assist maintain create actual smiles.


The tips on this record have been used numerous occasions. However mixing your imaginative and prescient with a images trick may also help create distinctive photographs.

Studying a brand new images trick is superb in case you are caught in a artistic rut. Or if you would like one thing totally different with out investing in several gear.

Keep in mind to avoid the glass of the lens and the sensor or mirror space contained in the digital camera physique. A $2 photograph trick isn’t value ruining lots of of dollars of photograph gear.

Attempt these 12 images tips — and if in case you have extra so as to add, depart them within the feedback under.

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Hillary Grigonis

Hillary Okay. Grigonis is a photojournalist turned way of life photographer. When she’s not taking footage, she’s writing images ideas and kit evaluations. She lives within the Nice Lakes state together with her husband and two younger youngsters.