Home :: Photography Hacks

Latest Update: Added a handmade camera cozy from Evil Mad Scientist Labs.

Simple tips, tricks and hacks to enhance your photography without damaging your bank balance…

Still Photography

Camera Modifications

  • Making a single-use digital camera reuseable, thanks to Lifehacker – not a bad solution if you need a camera cheap enough to take anywhere, but it looks like there’s a bit of work involved. Might still be better to just pick up a very cheap second hand camera.
  • How about leather-coating your camera? Blue has – in blue leather, of course, and it looks pretty damn cool. There’s no actual wrappings for Panasonic cameras from cameraleather, so presumably some sort of trickery was involved, but the result looks good.
  • Love your DSLR, but wish it was a bit more, well, crappy? Well, now you can get Holga results from an expensive new digital camera, by attaching a Holga lens to either a Nikon D50 or a Canon EOS. I think I’d prefer to get good results if I had an EOS, but there you go. Some people are just weird. (D50 link via Make:, EOS link via the D50 link.)
  • 3 Ways to Mod a Single Use Camera. Via Make:.

DIY Equipment

  • shoeBlade has written a really nice clear howto on making a String Tripod – a couple of eye hooks and a length of cord is all you need. Opinion seems divided over how well it works, but he does say it takes a bit of practice. Looks like it could help, though, without taking up much space in a kit bag. Certainly easier than carrying a tripod.
  • Ice Cooler Lightbox – the easiest DIY lightbox yet.
  • Printable Lens Hoods – a site full of templates for easy and cheap DIY lens hoods. Templates for all the major makes. Via Photojojo via Craftzine
  • Make your own Muslin Background. If you’re photographing people indoors (in your ‘studio’), you don’t want to be snapping them against a magnolia-painted wall. This simple howto shows you a way to make a background from a sheet of muslin and some dye. It’s just a tie-dye job, really, but the result doesn’t look too much like a hippy t-shirt.
  • Going out in the rain? You can always just wrap your camera in a plastic bag. It’s not perfect, but it’ll keep a few raindrops at bay, and it’s cheaper than buying a pro camera with fully sealed buttons and doors.
  • Lens Hood – A lens hood made from a plastic bottle. Via Make:
  • DIY PVC Light Box/Light Tent/Mini Photographic Studio – How to make a light box with interchangeable backdrops for stunning professional effects. Via Make:, via DIY:happy.
  • Flash Mounted DIY Softbox – Made with card, paper and a small piece of silk. Via Make:
  • Wackiest Hot-Shoe Attachment – Get happy portraits every time with this simple attachment. Via Make:


DIY Accessories

  • Handmade camera cozy – knowing how expensive decent camera bags can be, any DIY tips are always welcome. This one, from Evil Mad Scientist Labs, needs you to be a bit handy with a sewing machine, but the result is cute and no doubt considerably cheaper than a Lowepro. Via Craftzine.
  • Home Made Wooden Tripod via Make: – not sure how good it is, but it’s very pretty.
  • Got a narrow neck strap, and wish it could be tightened up to double as a wrist strap? See my dad’s Strap Hack for a way to do just that with just a bit of cable insulation.
  • DIY Digital Photo Frame – Great idea. A digital photo frame using an old laptop and the flickr RSS Feed. Via Make:


  • DIY Photography on the Cheap – An article aimed at anyone who needs to get some reasonably professional pictures taken without actually hiring a professional.

Video and Film

  • Table Dolly via Make: magazine – probably only useful in certain situations, but a whole lot cheaper and smaller than a full size dolly. Plus, you could actually be the ‘Dolly Grip’ in the credits.
  • DIY “Fig Rig” a video camera stabiliser made from PVC Piping. A cheaper DIY alternative to Manfrotto’s version. Via Make:.
  • $40 Steadicam.

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