Wednesday, May 14, 2014

5 Great Photography Hacks

Sometimes there are easier or cheaper ways to do things. Sometimes the conventional way just isn't practical for the circumstance. Sometimes there are "hacks" that are beneficial to use.

Below I've compiled five great photography hacks to help you. Some are free, others are nearly free. They're all pretty simple. Hopefully you'll find one or more that you can use.

#1 - Coffee Sleeve Lens Hood

A free coffee sleeve can be used as a lens hood to prevent lens flare. This is as simple as it gets, and it does indeed work. If you don't own a lens hood or find yourself without your lens hood, simply place the small end of a coffee sleeve over your lens. While this won't prevent all lens flare, it does a good job of reducing it.

#2 - Plastic Sandwich Bag Vintage Photographs
Summer Grass - Stallion Springs, California
Use a plastic sandwich bag and some sharpie pens to create vintage looking photographs. Cut a sandwich bag in half, then cut a small hole in it, and then color around that hole with sharpie pens. Use a rubber band to secure the bag in place on your lens, and you're ready to go. Watch my how-to video to see step-by-step instructions.

#3 - Makeshift Tripod
Quick Train - Tehachapi, California
Don't have a tripod but need one? Simply place your camera on a flat and sturdy surface and use the camera's self-timer. Because you are not touching the camera while the shutter is open, you'll get a sharp image during a long exposure.

#4 - Welding Glass Neutral Density Filter

Make your own neutral density filter using welding glass. Using electrical tape, secure welding glass to a UV filter. Done! This is a good way to save money on something that can be expensive.

#5 - Free Photoshop Alternatives

Photoshop is great, other than it might cost more than your camera (depending on what camera you own). However, there are many free alternatives to Photoshop that are quite capable. My personal favorite is Paint.NET, which has layers and curves and all sorts of tools (although it isn't compatible with Apple computers). There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars when something that is free will work just as well.

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