Today we show you how you can use a few basic tips and tricks to get some really awesome photos from your camera. No expensive baubles to be bought for these. You can use stuff lying around your house to get that perfect click. From getting bokeh effects, to stabilising your images, we bet you will enjoy them all.
You can make a timelapse and panorama rig by a simple hack. All you need is a cheap egg-timer for mounting your camera on. If you have a GoPro camera, all you need to do is attach the camera mount on the egg-timer, lock your camera in place and wind up the timer. Set your camera to timelapse and shoot away to perfection. In case of regular cameras, you can use hot glue, mount a camera attachment to get some really great panorama photos while using burst mode.
Adding filters to your existing camera can make some really beautiful portrait shots. However, each filter can cost you a bomb. So why not make a simple, easy-to-use filter using a regular plastic bag and a few sharpies or colour felt pens? Take a highly transparent sheet of plastic and scribble around the centre with a coloured pens. When done, tear a hole in the middle and mount the plastic over the camera lens with an elastic band. Now focus on your subject and enjoy the colourful effects in the background.
Creating a blur effect around your subject is similar to the above hack — except the colourful part. In fact, you can use the above hack, sans the colour pens. But to make it even simpler, all you need is a regular filter (a UV filter works best) and some Vaseline. Mount the UV filter, apply Vaseline around the lens in a straight line (and cross-ways) by using your own imagination. Make sure you don’t apply Vaseline to the centre of the lens. That’s it, shoot your subject and see the effects take life.
Opting for a light diffuser is pretty expensive, and you could burn a hole in your pocket with branded diffusers. We will show you how you can use simple articles found around your house to make yourself a quick and effective light diffuser. All you need is a plastic rectangular container long enough (approx 6 – 8 inches) with the base at least 2 inches wider than your camera’s speedlight. Other than this, get hold of some butter paper, tinfoil and sticky tape. Mark the base of the container with an outline of your camera’s speedlight and make a hole accordingly with a sharp knife. Now cover the inside with butter paper using sticky tape. Then cover the inside area, which will face the subject, with tinfoil — this will act as a reflector. Cover the inside of the lid also with tinfoil and close the container. Mount the box on your speedlight and make sure it is sturdy for operation. Your diffuser is ready — this will ensure your subject is not bombarded with strong light facing from one direction. The light will now be diffused with the subject being captured with soft light avoiding harsh shadows.
Neutral Density filter
An ND filter actually helps the photographer to select combinations of aperture, exposure time and sensor sensitivity to reduce overexposure. This also helps create motion blur; for example, when shooting a waterfall in broad daylight. You can create a simple, quick makeshift filter by using an ordinary welding glass and a few elastic bands. All you need to do it mount the glass on your camera’s lens hood with the elastic bands and set your camera to shoot your subject with longer exposure time. The welding glass will allow less light through, allowing you to shoot at higher exposure times. (Tip: try shutter speed at 15, ISO at 250 and aperture at f/4.0)
Emergency string tripod
A tripod is basically meant to shoot sturdy shots and negate shaking hands. If you are not able to get a tripod along, don’t worry — all you need is a simple hack using a fairly long string. Take a long piece of strong thread, or string and loop it via the mount hole using a screw. Now let the string stretch from under your feet to the camera (make sure the string is long enough to form a triangle). Firmly stretch your feet so that the camera is firm and held strong. This will help diminish any hand trembling to keep your shots stable.
You may have seen some fancy night photographs with streetlights blurred in a way that they look like stars or glowing blobs. These are bokeh effects and you can shoot similar images with a simple trick. Just cut out some shape in a circular black cardboard disc and mount it in front of your lens and shoot away. (Tip: try shutter speed at 1/200, ISO at 320 and aperture at f/1.8).
If you want to see each of these tricks being done and the effects that they can capture, check out this video:...