If you've spent any time doing photography, you surely know that there's much to learn. But did you know you can take things even further than what's traditionally taught? Here, we explain 101 hacks that just about any photographer can enjoy.
Check out these general photography hacks.
- Take a camera everywhere: It's been said that the best camera is the one you have with you. Keep a camera with you always so you don't miss an opportunity.
- Never stop practicing: Shoot often so that you can start to see the world through the mind of your camera.
- Pay attention to everyday light: Study how movies and magazine photos are lit, look at the differences of light throughout the day, and think about how if impacts an image.
Spend a little time in your kitchen and the hardware store, and you can make some amazing gear.
- $1 image stabilizer: You can make your own image stabilizer in 5 minutes for less than $1 with this hack.
- Matchbox pinhole camera: Create your own pinhole camera from a matchbox.
- DIY backdrop stand: This backdrop stand is made of PVC pipe.
- Photo cube: This photo cube is frameless, cheap, and easy.
- Army surplus camera carrying belt: Find your next camera carrying belt at an Army surplus store.
- Making a pinhole lens for SLR cameras: Have fun with this pinhole lens for your SLR camera.
- DIY photobooth: Build your own traditional photobooth.
- Your own 3D camera: You can make amazing 3D photos with this camera.
- Image stabilizing unit: This stabilization unit works for a point and shoot or DSLR camera.
- Create a string tripod: Make a decent replacement for a tripod using a piece of string.
- Film developing kit: This kit will let you develop your own film for just $50.
- Use your lightstand as a backdrop mount: Here you'll find out how to make your light stand do double duty.
- Reversing lenses for macro: Get an extreme macro effect by reversing your lenses like this.
- Digital pinhole camera: See how this pinhole camera was created.
- Paper lens hood: Make a simple funnel to protect your lens from glare.
- Fisheye tin cam: Follow this tutorial to see how you can create a fisheye tin lens.
- DIY R-Strap: Find out how to make a super comfortable strap.
- Camera helmet: Attach your camera to a builder's helmet with a mounting bracket.
- DIY photography gels: These gels offer a DIY option.
- DIY Gorilla Pod: Create a DIY gorilla pod with this tutorial.
- Build your own lens: Here you'll find out how to build a lens of your own.
- Super wide angle lens: This tutorial helps you build a cheap wide angle lens.
- DIY camera stand: Attach your camera to this DIY stand.
- LED photo frame: Light your photos us with this frame.
- Bicycle Camera Mount: This mount will help you put a camera on your bicycle.
- The 75 cent sandbag: Pick up ankle weights to use as sandbags for your stands.
Improvement & Customization
Improve your shooting using these hacks.
- Shoot high resolution: Shoot in the highest resolution that you possibly can for the best quality.
- Shoot in RAW: RAW allows you to take the most information possible from your camera.
- Custom paint your camera: Watch this video to see how you can turn a Nikon pink.
- Use a low ISO: Shoot with the lowest ISO that works for your light, so you can minimize noise.
- Extending the GI trigger range: Use this hack to improve the range on your GI.
- Pay attention to framing: You can use natural frames like trees and archways to isolate your main subject.
- Use leading lines: Our eye is naturally drawn along lines, so think about how you place lines in your photographs.
- Follow the rule of thirds: Diving your image into nine equal segments, and position your most important elements along lines or where they intersect.
- Play with eye contact: Catch your subject looking off, within the frame, and at you for interesting results.
- Infinite white: Blow out a white backdrop to create the look of infinite white.
- Take a series: Put your camera in burst mode for a series of photographs.
- Use symmetry and patterns: Break symmetry or pattern to introduce a focal point.
- Balance elements: Balance your subject with other objects of lesser importance.
- Take an interesting viewpoint: Photograph from high above, ground level, from the back, and more, not just eye level.
- Show a sense of depth: Include objects in the foreground, middle ground, and background to show depth.
These hacks offer interesting photography techniques.
- Get closer: Subjects almost always look better the closer you get.
- Light painting with moth trails: You'll make flying insects do your photographic bidding.
- Black and white photography: Shoot in low contrast, low ISO, and more for the best black and white results.
- Camera tossing: You can create interesting photographs by tossing your camera in the air.
- Photographing candles: Read here to learn about creating interesting photographs of candles.
- Use a wet lens: Wet your lens (carefully) for a new effect.
- In-camera HDR: This tutorial explains high dynamic range photography in your camera.
- Photograph through a microscope: You can photograph through a microscope using only your digital camera on macro mode.
- Panoramic photos: This guide will teach you how to take panoramic photos with any camera.
- Lighter photography: These photos are made with your camera, a tripod, and a lighter.
- Turn any image into a tattoo: Preview your next tattoo using this technique.
- Freelensing: You can hold your lenses unattached to create a tilt shift look.
- Cyanotypes: Cyanotypes are easy photo prints you can make at home.
- Develop using blueprint paper and Windex: This DIY Guide explains how to develop a photo with blueprint paper and Windex.
- Fixing airplane photos: Make your photos shot from airplanes much better.
- High speed macro photography: This tutorial will teach you about getting set up with simple high speed macro photography.
- Panoramic photography: Check out this guide to see how you can create a panoramic photograph.
- Tilt-shifting in Photoshop: Check out this tutorial about creating tilt shift fakes in Photoshop.
- Change your white balance: Warm things up a bit by selecting cloudy instead of auto white balance.
- Capturing motion blur: Here you'll learn how to capture movement in images.
- Shoot quickly: If you hesitate, you may miss an opportunity, so shoot as fast as you can.
- Use a scanner: Take an photo without a camera using your scanner.
- Long exposure night photography: You can take photographs at night with long exposures.
- Use polarizing sunglasses: If you don't have a polarizing filter, just place polarized sunglasses placed as close to your lens as possible.
- Smoke art photography: Check out this tutorial to find tips and techniques for smoke art.
- UV photography: Start out UV photography cheaper than you think.
- Aquatopiary: Follow this tutorial to see how you can bend water and reality.
- Look for distractions: Before you capture, make sure that everything inside the photograph you're taking is important.
- Macro photography: This video offers an introduction to macro photography.
In photography, light is everything. Here, you'll learn how to make it bend to your will.
- Super ring light: Create a really powerful ring light with this rig.
- DIY Speedlite snoot: Here's a tutorial for a simple snoot.
- Use the flash on mode: With the flash on mode, your camera will expose first for your background, then just enough to illuminate your subject.
- Honeycomb to gridspot: This tutorial turns a cooling honeycomb into a gridspot.
- Cereal softbox: Create your own softbox out of a cereal box.
- DIY softbox: Diffuse light with this super simple softbox.
- Speed strap: This speed strap is a super cheap solution.
- Tin can ring light: Use a tin can and a bowl, and you can create an effective ring light.
- The minty strobe: The minty strobe uses an Altoids box.
- Strip lights: This tutorial explains how to create strip lights.
- Use old car lights for tilt-shift macro: Check out this hack to see how you can put ultra-bright headlights to good use.
- K'nex lightbox: DIY with lightbox with K'nex.
- Party bouncer card: Quickly diffuse your pop-up flash with the help of this card.
- Flash bouncer: Create a flash bouncer out of craft foam, elastic, and scissors.
- Inexpensive light tent: Turn a box and some fabric into a mini studio.
- Your monitor as a light source: This tutorial turns your monitor into a light source.
- Disposable camera flash slave: Use a disposable camera as a remote slave flash using this tutorial.
- Poor man's ring flash: This ring flash is made out of a milk jug.
- Turkey pan beauty dish: Turn a turkey pan into a beauty dish with the help of this tutorial.
- DIY ghetto flash extender: You can extend the reach of your flash with the help of this ghetto rig.
Safety & Storage
Check out these hacks to keep your gear safe and handy.
- Carry your boken discs: If you have a set of discs you use for bokeh, don't keep them on your bag-put them on your camera strap with this hack.
- Control your lens cap: This hack will put your lens cap on a leash.
- Use bullet cases to store batteries: Keep batteries safe and dry by storing them in bullet cases.
- Rain trousers: Use an old pair of rain trousers to protect your camera from wetness.
- Use medium sized cards: Use cards that hold enough photos, but not so many that it would be devastating to lose them all.
- Waterproof housing with a condom: Protect your camera from water using a condom.
- Remove your cards from card readers: Your computer will keep interacting with the card as long as it's in the reader.
- Always format your cards: Every time you finish removing photos, go back and format them.