If you shoot food photography, a good backdrop is a must. And if you enjoy making your own props and backdrops, you’re going to love this project. In this video, Amie Prescott shows you how to make your own DIY background from a few simple ingredients and on a budget. You can give it your favorite colors, and paint it on both sides to get two looks in one.
The trouble with rubber is that it gets loose and crackled over time. If you are a fan of vintage lenses, I’m sure you’ve learned this the hard way. But there’s a quick and easy fix for loose rubber rings on old lenses, and it even looks much nicer and more elegant. Marek a.k.a. teh_m uses leather, and he shared with DIYP some tips on how to do it.
A probe lens like the Laowa 24mm f/14 open up a whole new world of creative possibilities. But this world costs around $1,600 and you may not be in the position to afford it right now. If this is the case, Jay P. Morgan has a video for you. He will show you how to made a rig that gives your videos a very similar look to a probe lens, but at a much lower cost.
A bit of background
Recently I bought a film camera from the 1970’s – the Canon A-1. Considering that the camera is almost 3x older than me, it was no surprise that there are a few issues with it. The first camera I got jammed before I even loaded in my first roll, and the replacement camera had a battery drainage issue (which took an almost complete disassembly to fix).
But anyway, that isn’t the point of this blog post. Electrical problems aside, my main issue with this camera is its lack of a flash. Unbeknownst to me when I bought this camera, film cameras can’t really operate without a ridiculous amount of light (at least by modern camera standards). Even in a reasonably lit room, the camera struggles to take photos without the help of a tripod. This led to me trying some creative solutions, with limited success.
There are plenty of cheap and easily available items that you can add to your shots and raise them to a whole new level. In this video from Adorama, photographer Gavin Hoey takes you to his studio to show you how to get three different portrait looks with a single gold background. He uses a $5 gold emergency blanket, so this is a pretty cheap, yet versatile trick to add some sparkle to your portraits.
I have been shooting 4 x 5 color transparencies or commonly known as color slide film for many years but the best that I could enjoy them was to put them on the light table and viewing them through a loupe. Unlike my 35mm and 120 slides, I have never seen them projected big simply it is not easy to locate a 4×5 slide projector.
For the last few years, I tried searching online on how to do it yourself (DIY) and build a 4x 5 slide projector but no one seems to have made them before. There are commercially produced 4×5 slide projectors although I have never seen one in real life. I have not even seen them on the used market on eBay before but even if they are available they are going to cost a lot and even more to ship.
A V-flat is a versatile and useful tool to have in your studio. While you can certainly buy one for around $200, it’s one of those things that’s pretty simple to make, and it will cost you half that much or even less. In this video, Nicole Bedard will show you how to make your own V-flat. It’s large, yet collapsible, portable, lightweight… and pretty cheap.
If you want to do astrophotography, a star tracker is a must. Sadly, they’re far from being cheap, which is an obstacle for many of us. Thankfully, there are folks like Nico Carver of Nebula Photos who teach us how to make a DIY star tracker for only $30. In this video, he guides you all the way through making and using a simple barn door tracker: from the parts you need to the finished images you get with it.
When in lockdown, you gotta work with what you’ve got. And even if you’re not in lockdown, it’s always fun to make photography props and gadgets from stuff you have lying around the house. Jason D. Page teamed up with Jason Rinehart to create a light painting tool from something I’m sure we all have at home: a plastic bottle and some tape.
Whether you’re on a tight budget or just want to experiment with new techniques, it’s always good to have some DIY tricks up your sleeve. Indian photographer Sani Patel shares a cool and simple DIY method for shooting commercial video on a $0 budget, and I think it’s definitely one of those that we should have in our bag of tricks.