Whether you’re using a single-lens DSLR model or a reliable point-and-shoot, there are plenty of different shots and equipment you can experience, and important lessons to learn, that cost less than $ 40. , if applicable. Read on for our roundup of ten cheap or free DIY projects and lessons for budding photographers. photo by Marcin Wichary.
10. Use your scanner for close-up photos.
The blog that we pulled this tip from has ceased to exist, but the tip is true: a lot of item listing photos on eBay and Craigslist, frankly, stink. If you have an object small enough to capture in a simple style, and you have a flatbed scanner lying around, it’s a lot more convenient than setting up a blank background, keeping shadows and highlights from the corners, trying to get your digital camera to focus closer, and so on. Just set, scan and download.
9. Make a remote camera trigger.
It can be very useful to take pictures without having to be directly on your camera, especially if you are supposed to be a part of the shot or if you cannot get your own shadow out of the picture. There are plenty of remote triggers available for high-end DSLR models and standard consumer cameras, but our preferred versions are cheaper and have better range. An Instructables hacker showed us how build a trigger from a $ 3 hands-free phone kit, while those looking for a DIY project that mechanically presses the button for you can check out Free PDF from Wiley Publishing for true freedom of shooting anywhere.
8. Secure your camera with a quick-acting R strap.
The commercial version of R-strap costs around $ 44 and hooks onto the tripod socket of a DSLR, and allows your camera to slide up and around your hip to your hands with little friction. As you can imagine, DIY enthusiasts on the net have clung to this idea and found their own reasons to let their creativity run wild. Of them different projects allows you to use your own favorite shoulder strap, like that of a favorite bag or guitar, and none require more than a few dollars of equipment or a lot of DIY. Discover the original creator video demonstration to see how the R-Strap works.
7. Get a Gorillapod (or make it yourself).
If you’re ready to lug a full-size tripod anywhere you could possibly spot a really nice photo that requires firm hands, go ahead and skip this element. For those of us who like to ride a little looser, the Gorillapod, a flexible tripod to attach anywhere for consumer digital cameras and DSLRs, is an addition to a glove box / back pocket / case. If the price of $ 20 (or $ 40 for the DSLR) doesn’t ring true, we’ve already offered at least two DIY versions that do the same basic work.
6. Take underwater photos with a DIY case.
If you’ve ever seen a special nature on deep sea creatures or purchased custom cases for your camera, you may appreciate the cost and logistics of an underwater shot or video. For the simpler things you want to grab from the pool or the shallow end of the lake, you can certainly seal your camera up without a federal research grant. We’ve highlighted DIY cases in three distinct flavors: the “Navy SEAL” two-condom wrap, recommended for your cheaper camera; a Leak Alert Plastic Bag Case, and one military ammunition box case it’s a little more secure, but requires an auto-shooting camera or video camera.
5. Take wide-angle photos by creating mini-panoramas.
The panoramas aren’t just meant for gigantic and murals of the Grand Canyon or tours of cheesy “virtual” apartments. For those who carry a standard digital camera that doesn’t have a lot of range for its shots, free software panorama tools can help you capture great views (the scenic type, not the OS type. much maligned) and improve shots that could have unfortunate consequences. objects or lighting problems. We previously detailed how stitch photos into panoramas with the free and open source tool Hugin, which I prefer for its fine grain orders. Windows users can also check out the much simpler version Automatic stapling.
4. Learn about time-lapse photography.
The Photojojo photography site has a proven track record Ultimate Guide to Time Lapse Photography, And the results speak for themselves. The video below shows what you can do when you put a camera in the right place and turn off at the right time, often without having to do much but check the batteries every now and then. . And it’s a great way to document the most active times in your life, like Adam did in timing her birthday party.
3. Overload the firmware of your Canon camera.
We have already extolled the virtues of Canon Hacker Development Kit a few times recently, and provided a visit of its characteristics and installation, we will point out here that in addition to giving you much more control and information on your shots, and giving you the possibility of automating time-lapse shooting and shooting in RAW files, the CHDK exists and only works from your camera memory card. In other words, you can play with whatever you want without worrying about messing up your base firmware. Truly a license to polish your camera and see how far your imagination can stretch.
2. Master your digital SLR camera with two tutorials.
It’s easy to think that once you drop the plastic on a professional (or pro-am) swappable lens digital camera, your photos will automatically be Flickr front page-worthy. And to some extent you to do have a better sensor and a lens pointed at your subjects, but great photos aren’t just about hardware. Learn how to ditch âautoâ mode and learn about lighting, flash use, and more with Photographer Scott D. Feldstein’s two-part DSLR Guide for Lifehacker readers. Part one Introduces you to the basics of using flash, ISO modes, and white balance. Second part gets the whole photo lab on you, opening your eyes to shutter speeds, apertures and explaining how all of those settings fit into great photos.
1. Create your own macro kit.
If you’ve ever smelled your mouth water in super close-up photos of food, or your eyes open to ridiculously close-up photos of common surfaces, you need to get into macro photography. Like most cameras, a serious macro set doesn’t come cheap, but you can start with really cheap setups. A British handyman proposed a Pringles can macro tube it’s easy to fit into any digital SLR (after washing, of course). While not the most professional accessory, you can paint it black or cover it with a rag for the esthete in you. As for the things you’re filming, your spotty kitchen table won’t do. Take less than $ 10 worth of cardboard, paper and other equipment, take an hour and install a macro photo studio that makes your subjects really stand out.
What homemade equipment or cheaper alternatives have you adopted in your own photography? What would you like to be able to do for a lot less than the apparent price of the sticker? Share everything in the comments.