The kaleidoscopic effect can look mesmerizing in photos and videos. I tried achieving something like that with a prism, but photographer and videographer Travis Owens has a more clever suggestion. He has made his own kaleidoscope filter for only $20 (and it can get even cheaper). Aside from being affordable, it’s easy to make, and the effect is pretty interesting. Take a look.
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Camera straps are a very personal thing. We all have our own preferences, straps we like and straps we hate. There’s been a lot of variety come about in the world of camera straps over the last few years. Now, instead of just the standard “neck strap”, we’ve got wrist straps, hand straps, full-on holsters and a whole lot more.
One brand that’s been popping up a lot lately is Dsptch. They make a line of paracord neck & wrist straps, and they’re quite nice, but not exactly cheap. Photographer Evan 5ps has been using one of these on his Fuji X-Pro2 for a while. He needed another for Fuji X100F, but he decided to have a go at making his own, and compare it with the Dsptch original.
Making custom bokeh for your lenses can be a fun project. Usually, photographers do it by crudely cutting shapes out of a piece of black card and taping it to the end of our lens. But this method doesn’t allow for a lot of detail or intricacy. There’s also the Bokeh Masters Kit, which comes with some interesting laser cut custom shapes, and a few spare discs to make your own.
But whether you make your own from scratch, or use the Bokeh Masters Kit, there is another way to make your own custom bokeh designs. This method from photographer Micael Widell uses sheets of transparencies along with a printer to create his custom shapes. And in this video, he shows you how he does it.
Nearly every professional studio I’ve ever used has these ‘polyboards’ and you‘ve probably even seen them yourself but may not have known what they’re used for. Polyboards are polystyrene boards that usually measure 4 feet wide by 8 feet high and are normally 2 inches thick.
One of the other defining characteristics is that they are often white on one side and black on the other. This dual colour is very important as this gives them two key uses.
Camera straps have always been a personal thing for me. I find one I like and I stick with it for as long as possible. My favourite used to be a chunky Nikon NPS strap I got about 15 years ago. It stuck with my main camera as I upgraded for about a decade, then it broke. Now I use the strap that came with the Nikon D2h, and Peak Design anchors so I can use it with all my cameras.
For some people, though, there are no readily available straps that just really feel right. For photographer Nick Mayo, that meant making his own out of an old leather belt. It’s how he makes all his camera straps. In this video, Nick shows how he makes them from recycled belt leather.
I’m as interested in an ‘easy life’ as much as the next person, so if somebody else has already done the hard work of making a product for me, and I can purchase it for a reasonable price, I’m all over it. After all why make life hard for yourself if you don’t have too. Unfortunately there are times when you literally can’t purchase what you need and the only option is to get all arts-and-crafts on the problem!
I recently decided to upgrade my flash-head carrying bags from the old, long, soft and cumbersome kit bags to the sleek, compact and robust Peli cases. These new 1440 Peli cases hold three of my strobes upright, side-by-side. This upgrade not only offers me far more protection on the heads but it also makes it a lot easier to transport them with their wheels. But although they fit my three strobes perfectly, I needed some way of separating them inside to avoid them bashing against one another in transit.
For many photographers, shooting tethered is a way of life. For others, it’s something we only do occasionally when the need arises. The big problem all tethered shooters face, though, is the cable not falling out. Sometimes, with a long cable, it can fall out under its own weight. Sometimes it gets tugged, yanking it right out of the socket. And if this happens often enough, it can even damage the socket itself.
There are commercial solutions out there to help prevent this from happening. Solutions such as the JerkStopper and Tetherblock work beautifully. But sometimes you find yourself tethering without these options to hand. So, in steps the humble rubber band, thanks to a tip posted by Redditor, lilgreenrosetta (photographer, David Cohen de Lara).
Movie special effects usually come with a big price tag. They can be complicated, requiring specialised (and licensed) skill sets. Some are also very dangerous if not performed correctly. Blood squibs are no exception. They’re the packs that you see explode whenever somebody gets shot in a movie or TV show.
Traditionally, squibs hold a small explosive charge that detonates on demand. You’ll generally need to be licensed in order to create and use them, and there are all kinds of safety checks. There are safer options, though. Such as this one shown in this video from John Hess at Filmmaker IQ. We see us how to make our own (relatively) safe squibs using a very minimal list of ingredients..
No matter if you’re a professional or just like to play and experiment with the camera, blacklight photography opens up tons of new possibilities. If you’d like to try it out without breaking the bank, this tutorial from Eva Landry will show you how to transform your regular ring light into a blacklight ring light.
This project seems like lots of fun, it doesn’t require a lot of time to make, and it’s insanely affordable. The material will cost you less than $20, and a store-bought UV ring light costs over $200. So if you’re willing to give blacklight photography a shot, this can be a good start.
So far we’ve given you plenty of interesting ways for creating tilt-shift effect. You can use a lens to do it or even use Photoshop or Lightroom. In this tutorial, Mathieu Stern gives you a quick and easy tutorial for turning vintage Helios lenses into tilt-shift with some DIY magic. And the best of all is – you need only two elements and $30 for the entire build.