4 super-cheap DIY Lens Filters for photos and video

Mar 27, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

4 super-cheap DIY Lens Filters for photos and video

Mar 27, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Some types of lens filters can be pretty expensive, and when we’re on the budget, it’s time to go DIY. Ryan Connolly from Film Riot shows us some of the cheap and easy filters you can make at home. They work for video, but for photography as well. You probably already have most of these things lying around the house. And even if you don’t, you can get them for a few bucks and start your little filter experiment.

YouTube video

Other than the homemade filters explained in this video, you can also use stockings to create an interesting effect on your photos or videos. You can see the example here.  And when it comes to the other ideas for DIY filters, they also involve almost everything you already have at home:

1. Colored gels

If you use colored gels for your lights, you can use them on the lens, too. Just place a gel in front of the lens for the colored effect. Another solution is to only cover a half of the lens with a gel, to get a more interesting bokeh effect, or a color gradient.

2. Vaseline

It’s easy to add or remove the colored gels from your lens. However, when it comes to smudging anything on your lens, make sure to protect them first. Get a cheap UV filter, and now you can go crazy.

Another DIY filter solution is Vaseline (or Chap Stick).  You can smudge it on one side of the filter, around the edges, or even all over the filter. The direction in which you apply the Vaseline affects the look of the flare. If you smudge it horizontally, you’ll get horizontal flares, and vertical moves will give you vertical flares.

3. Highlighters

I’m guessing all of us have highlighters lying around the house. Well, you can use them for creating an interesting effect on your lens.

Like with Vaseline, you’re gonna need the UV filter before you apply the highlighter. Smudge it on the half of the filter or around the edges. It gives a sort of a combination between the colored gel and Vaseline. You get the trippy, smudgy effect, but with a dash of color.

4. Custom bokeh filter

Just like in photography, custom-shaped bokeh works in cinematography. You need some black construction paper, an x-acto knife and some tape to attach your custom bokeh filter to the lens.

Making these filters is easy, you just need to make sure that the shape is the right size and it’s placed in the center. Here are full instructions how to do it.

It takes some imagination, creativity and willingness to experiment to create interesting effects on your lens. These were some of the ideas to add some effects to your videos and stills without spending too much money. What are your DIY filter ideas? Are there any you particularly like to use?

[Crazy Visuals with DIY Lens Filters | Film Riot]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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