By Ana Mireles on | No Comments
When it comes to photography, it's not only about mastering technique; creativity also plays a vital role!
Certain photography hacks can assist you in capturing one-of-a-kind photographs, while others can serve as clever alternatives for equipment you may not possess at the moment.
By blending both approaches, you can enhance your photography skills and take them to the next level.
So, continue reading to explore our handpicked selection of the Top 15 Must-Try Photography Hacks:
Creating a narrow and dramatic circle of light for illuminating your subject can be achieved by combining two different light modifiers: a snoot and a honeycomb grid.
However, if you don't have these accessories on hand, don't worry! Here is a DIY solution for you:
With this simple DIY solution, you can achieve a similar effect to a professional snoot and honeycomb grid setup.
Have you ever admired those stunning images of glass objects that are flawlessly illuminated and wondered how it's done?
While the ideal approach involves using professional gear like a strobe light with a softbox positioned behind the glass, there's no need to rush and exhaust your savings.
You can effortlessly recreate this setup by employing a simple technique using wax paper and a window that receives an ample amount of natural light. By placing wax paper or white parchment paper on the window, you can create a diffusion effect similar to that of a softbox.
This will help achieve a soft and gentle backlight, allowing you to capture captivating glass photography.
The captivating bokeh in your photographs is determined by the aperture of your lens, which relies on the configuration of its iris blades. This results in a distinctive shape for each lens.
If you want to get creative and customize the shape of your bokeh, you can create a supplementary aperture using thick paper, such as Fabriano.
Voila! You now have the ability to capture uniquely shaped bokeh in your photographs.
Macro lenses offer the incredible ability to capture minute details in subjects like insects, flowers, and various intricate elements.
However, acquiring a dedicated macro lens can be pretty costly. If you don't plan on shooting macro photography very often, investing in specialized gear may not be practical. Luckily, there's a fantastic trick you can try!
To execute this hack, you'll need a camera with interchangeable lenses and any lens you have on hand. While any lens can theoretically work, a 35mm or 50mm lens typically yields the best results.
Simply reverse your lens by mounting it backward on your camera body. If you're on a tight budget or prefer an experimental look, you can even hand-hold the reversed lens.
For improved stability and optimal results, consider obtaining a reverse adapter ring. This handy accessory assists in securely holding the lens in place, resulting in enhanced outcomes.
With this wallet-friendly technique, you can delve into the captivating world of macro photography without breaking the bank.
A ring light is a popular tool used in beauty and glamour portraits because it provides even illumination on the subject's face and produces a pleasing ring catchlight in the eyes.
If you don't have a ring light at your disposal, fear not! You can fashion one yourself using everyday objects. Here is what you'll need:
To begin, create a rectangular hole in the cake mold. Then, make an L-shape with the cardboard, connecting one side to the hole you just made and the other side to the head of your flash.
Secure everything in place using gaffer tape for optimal light sealing. Duct tape or any other sturdy tape can also be used.
Next, line the inside of the mold with aluminum foil to enhance light reflection. Attach the lid to the mold to diffuse the light evenly.
Once you've assembled your DIY ring light diffuser, mount your flash on the camera and attach the diffuser to it. Now you're ready to start shooting!
With this cost-effective solution, you can achieve flattering and professional photography lighting.
As you may be aware, traditional photographic cameras are based on the concept of the camera obscura—an enclosed room with a small hole in one wall.
When light passes through this hole (aperture), an inverted image of the outside world is projected onto the opposite wall. You can replicate this fascinating phenomenon using a smaller device known as a pinhole camera.
Typically crafted from cardboard boxes, pinhole cameras feature a tiny hole made with a pin on one side and photosensitive paper or material on the opposite side.
Since pinhole cameras don't have a lens, they offer a unique aesthetic. Everything in the captured images appears in focus, but there is often a delightful blur caused by the extended exposure times.
To capture intriguing pinhole-style pictures using your own DSLR, follow this simple hack:
When you are ready to take a pinhole photo, remove the lens from your DSLR and attach the modified body cap in its place.
Remember to set your camera to manual mode for optimal control. Take some test shots to find the correct exposure, and have a go.
This hack is for film photographers. It's an exciting technique known as cross-processing, which deliberately uses the wrong chemicals during film development to achieve unexpected color variations and strikingly contrasted images.
If you prefer to develop your film at home, follow these steps:
Alternatively, if you prefer to have your film processed by a lab, simply request that they use cross-processing. The lab professionals will handle this unique development technique for you.
Embrace the unpredictability, vibrant color shifts, and dramatic contrasts achieved through cross-processing, and prepare to be amazed by the stunning results.
Are you in need of a flashgun/speedlight diffuser? No worries! You can improvise a diffuser using a simple milk jug.
That's all it takes! The sheer white plastic acts as a lightbox, gently diffusing the flash's output.
With this simple DIY hack, you can soften and enhance the quality of your flash lighting, resulting in more pleasing and flattering photographs.
When starting out in photography, you may often hear the advice to avoid using the built-in flash on your camera. While it may not provide the most flattering light, there are times when it's the only available light source to capture your desired shot.
To soften the light emitted by your on-camera flash, here's a simple hack that you can try:
By utilizing this DIY bounce technique with a business card, you can soften the light emitted by your on-camera flash and achieve more pleasing results.
Harness the power of light manipulation with a Gobo (short for "go between optics), a versatile light modifier, similar to a stencil, that is placed between the subject and the light sourced that allows you to shape light into captivating patterns.
To create your own DIY Gobo, you will need the following:
To make your gobo, follow these steps. First, draw the desired shape on a foam board. Then, take an Exacto knife and carefully cut out the shape from the foam board, ensuring to use a cutting mat underneath to protect your work surface.
Once you've created your DIY Gobo, it's time to use it. Position the Gobo in front of your light source, ensuring it is properly aligned. When you turn on the light, you will observe a distinct shadow being cast, displaying the shape you designed on the Gobo.
Experiment with different distances between the Gobo and the light source to enhance your creative possibilities. This variation will alter the effect produced by the Gobo, allowing you to achieve diverse and captivating lighting patterns.
This trick will come in handy when working in low-light conditions or confined studio space.
To simulate the gentle illumination of light entering through a window, follow these steps:
Experiment with different blind placements and angles to achieve the desired lighting and shadow effects for your photos. Keep in mind that the closer the blinds are to the light source, the more pronounced and defined the resulting shadows will be.
With this simple yet effective technique, you can replicate the natural lighting effect of a window, even when shooting at night or in a closed studio.
Softboxes are invaluable accessories for achieving beautifully lit product photography with minimal harsh shadows. With this DIY hack, you can easily construct your own softbox using simple materials:
To build one yourself, you’ll need the following:
Follow these steps to build your DIY softbox:
By constructing your own softbox using this DIY method, you can achieve professional product photography lighting with ease. Experiment with different light placements and setups to capture stunning images without harsh shadows, showcasing your subjects in the best possible light.
If you enjoy applying soft focus filters to your photos using editing apps, why not achieve a similar vintage look directly in-camera? This trick will allow you to unsharpen your images and create that desirable soft focus effect.
Here's what you need to do:
By using this technique, you can explore the nostalgic aesthetics of vintage soft-focus photography directly in-camera. Get creative with your experimentation and discover the unique effects the pantyhose filter hack can bring to your images.
Another trick to achieve the timeless soft focus effect directly in-camera is also a classic Hollywood-inspired trick. Using vaseline on your lens, a technique that dates back to the Golden Age of Hollywood can give your images a beautiful, dreamy quality.
Just follow these steps:
By incorporating vaseline into your photography process, you can create a soft, dreamy look reminiscent of Hollywood's iconic stars like Marilyn Monroe and evoke a sense of nostalgia in your images.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned photographer, incorporating these creative and cost-effective photography hacks into your practice can unlock new possibilities, expand your artistic vision, and capture truly remarkable images.
So, grab your camera, get inspired, and embark on an exciting journey of creative exploration. Happy shooting!
Do you have any other Photography Hacks that you use? Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to try them out! And PLEASE SHARE our tutorial using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!
Ana Mireles is a Mexican photographer and researcher with a passion for writing and teaching. She’s collaborated in artistic and cultural projects in Mexico, Italy, and the Netherlands.