Quick And Easy Photography Hacks You Can Try For Free (Or Close To It)

Who doesn’t love a good hack? Kai is here to share a handful of some of his favorite hacks as he shows you how easier ways to transport your tripod, create bokeh kits without having to cut tiny shapes out of paper, and support your camera without a tripod, along with a few other tricks. Some of the hacks have been around for a while, and some of them the majority of you will never find the need to try–but, with Kai’s dashing sense of humor, even if you will never try one of the hacks, you’ll at least have a good laugh while you’re learning about them.

Here you go:

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DIY Automatic Pan/Tilt Rig For Perfect Panoramas


Okay all you makers and DIYers, here’s a little project from Jason Poel Smith, over at Make, that shows you how to build an automatic pan/tilt rig for your camera to help capture panoramic photographs.. The build is “made from three metal frames and three servo motors” and allows the rig to be mounted on your existing tripod. Smith rates the build as “Moderate” difficulty, you’ll need to be comfortable doing some basic wiring.  [Read more…]

Easily Add DIY Rainbow-Colored Flames to Your Next Shoot with Simple Household Products


I’ve been a not-so-closet pyromanic for most of my life.  I burned everything I could get my hands on (without crossing the line to juvenile arsonist), crafted homemade napalm, and frequently blessed out neighbors with explosions in the backyard.  As an adult, I’m become a little more skittish…especially after burning two acres of our property in Easter Sunday a few years back.

But, photographers in general seem to like pyrotechnics, whether it’s blowing stuff up or throwing sparks all over creation.  So, what’s yet another way to brighten your life?  The Backyard Scientist gives us a few ideas in a recent video.

By dissolving various household chemicals in methanol, he was able to produce rainbow-colored flames, producing a great visual result.  But, of course, that wasn’t enough.  Crafting a DIY flamethrower from PVC pipe and a bicycle pump, he shows us how to build a rainbow flame canon…which would be perfect for anything from infant photography to engagement sessions.

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How To Build A Mega 84cm, 480 LEDs Ring Light For $35


Here is a smart ring light fitted for the LED era. I mean we shared a huge kick a$$ ring light build before, but this one is powered by LEDs rather than CFLs and it is just as huge and just as awesome.

This huge contraption was invented by Gvido Mūrnieks who also made a DIY Light Blaster and who I now consider a master woodman/tinkerer/maker kind of guy.

The build starts with a huge piece of plywood which you can get (along with some aluminum angles) from the scraps section of your local DIY store or carpentry.

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This Clever Slider Challenges How Sliders Are Made


Ok, so I am now officially hooked on ProductTank Youtube Channel. We shared his Super Tripod yesterday, but had to go in and look at more of his work. (Be warned, if you are the DIY type, this is a black hole for your time).

This time, I would like to focus on his slider. Just like with the tripod, ProductTank challenges who a slider is made. Instead of running a cart on two aligned rails, he uses a guided surface to push a cart.

While you may wave this off as too simple, I think it is actually quite clever. The mechanism is built around pressing the cart to the plate on while using a guide that you can slide along. So firstly, you automatically get two (or more) moves; a regular sliding move, and an arched sliding move. Secondly, you get just the right amount of friction to get a smooth motion even if you detach from the guide.

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This Tripod Can Be Opened, Closed And Locked With A Single Hand


For some reason, we do not see a lot of innovation with tripods, I mean, it’s three legs connected with a base, what is there to innovate about?

Well a designer who goes by the name Product Tank  just invented the cleverest tripod I’ve ever seen.

You see, with most tripods, you have to spread the legs, open the locks (probably 6 of them), extend each section and then re-lock the locks. While this should take no longer than one or two minutes, it is quite an annoying task, not to mention adjusting the tripod once it is open. What if there was a magic tripod that can unlock, open and lock with the click of a button…

Enter the Super Tripod. This tripod uses a clever mechanism that unlocks the legs and re-locks them once the tripod is fully open (or at the height of your choice) with a click of a button.

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Upgrade Your Pelican Case With a Backpack Attachment For (Almost) Free


When it comes to carrying gear in a safe manner, Pelican earned quite a name for themselves. They earned the name of being the safest, sturdiest, toughest case in the market. Sadly they have also earned the name of the most cumbersome, bang-your-knees, hard-to-carry bags in the market. At least with the 1510 unit.

Photographer Mate Kiss came up with a pretty clever way to convert any Pelican into a backpack for almost no cost at all.

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Turn Your Smartphone Into an Awesome Macro Camera With This Simple Hack


Smartphones are great, whether you’re grabbing quick snapshots of the kids smearing icing on themselves, making a low-budget film (they’re surprisingly good, actually), or immortalizing your visage in a selfie.  But, without interchangeable lenses, one area where they lack is in focal control.  Having this power over your technology is important for things like macro photography.  While there are a variety of hacks for using your smartphone to capture tiny details, some can get rather complicated.

Instructables user Znaffi (we’ll call him Mr. X) shows us how to use a simple water droplet to turn your mobile device into a macro powerhouse.  We touched on this a while back, but Mr. X gives us a full breakdown of this simple and basically-free technique.

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