If you regularly shoot in dusty or sandy environments, here’s a handy tip for keeping your camera clean: create a simple cleaning brush that attaches to your camera bag. Digital Camera World writes,
You’ll never bag a great photo with dirty lenses and dusty gear, so keeping your camera and lenses clean and protected is crucial. The front line of defence against dirt and grime is constant cleaning. This isn’t easy if you have to carry around cans of compressed air, blower brushes, fluids and other bulky equipment. Professionals actually tend to use ordinary paintbrushes for camera and lens cleaning, so save yourself money and space [by] making a handy cleaning brush that clips onto your belt.
You’ll need a hacksaw and a drill to “hack” a 25mm paintbrush, and a split-ring and carabiner for attaching it to your camera bag or backpack.
Keep Your Camera Clean with This Homemade Brush [Digital Camera World]
P.S. The magazine also suggests attaching double-sided sticky pads (or tape) to the inside of your lens caps to trap dust that’s floating around in your camera bag.
For those of you who are desperate for Olympus to release a focus peaking feature for the OM-D EM-5, did you know that there’s a trick you can use for “ghetto focus peaking”?
A French photographer named Nicolas recently found that the camera’s “Key Line” Art Filter actually works quite well as a focus peaking feature. Simply turn on the filter, set your camera to shoot RAW+JPEG, and focus/shoot away. You can throw away the artsy-filtered JPEG files afterward, but the RAW photographs will be precisely focused thanks to the clever “hack”!
If you do any darkroom work, you probably regularly print contact sheets to peek at the positive versions of your B&W negative film strips. Did you know that your iPhone can be used as a quick an easy tool for this same purpose?
Dissatisfied with the way your smartphone photographs are turning out when the built-in flash is fired? When desperate times call for desperate measures, you can make your flash match the ambient light around you with the help of a colored gel. The flash is often just a tiny LED, though, so how do you comfortably “mount” the gel to your smartphone? Reader Todd Glidden has an answer: use an index card.
After months of dedicated hacking, Magic Lantern has finally been released for the Canon 7D. The new alpha version of the firmware add-on introduces a slew of new features to the camera, including focus peaking, zebra stripes, magic zoom, spotmeter, liveview customization, image review tweaks, and much more.
Don’t have any more babies to transport? Old strollers can be repurposed as a way to wheel your camera gear from place to place. Just load it up with your camera bag, tripod, lighting equipment, and accessories, and you’ll have yourself a mobile mini studio.
Have an old Polaroid camera lying around collecting dust? Did you know that you can use it for wet plate collodion photography? AlternativePhotography writes,
Most collodion photographers are using dedicated wet plate cameras, because wet plates are not nice to put into any ordinary modern cameras. There are instructions on how to use some normal medium and large format film cameras in the wet plate process. Most modern large format cameras are readily usable; only a special wet plate holder is needed. The drawback is the silver nitrate, possibly dripping from the holder inside the camera and eventually ruining it.
There are, however, certain types of cameras that you can use as is, without any modifications. Polaroid 100 – 400 series cameras were designed for Polaroid instant pack film, and the empty film holder can be converted to an excellent wet plate holder.
Once your film holder is modified to hold wet plates, you’ll also need to give the camera a makeshift “bulb mode” by covering its ‘Electric Eye’ light meter with black tape. The tutorial also discusses how you can expose wet plates using an enlarger and/or digitally printed film.
Wet plate collodion with a Polaroid camera [AlternativePhotography via Pixel Análogo]
Image credits: Photographs by Jalo Porkkala/AlternativePhotography
If you own an iOS device, you’ve probably noticed that the Camera Roll in the native Photos app doesn’t come with any way to mark photographs as private. For this reason, the App Store features a large number of apps (both paid and free) designed to offer that feature, allowing you to choose what to show and what not to when someone else is flipping through your photographs. If you want an easy way to “mark photos as private” without having to download a special app (or pay money for a fancy one), Amit Agarwal over at Digital Inspiration offers this simple trick: crop them.
On September 22nd, more than 100 developers descended upon Berlin to compete against each other in building the best photo app they could within 24 hours. After a long, sleepless night and thousands of lines of code, 27 new photo apps were born. Here’s a look at the top three that won the competition.
Photographer Kirsty Wiseman didn’t want to shell out money for a real beauty dish — she doesn’t really need one — so she built this funny-looking DIY beauty dish for a few pennies using a couple of Styrofoam bowls, a couple of cocktail sticks, and a piece of aluminum foil. After playing around with it, Wiseman was delightfully surprised to find that her gear hack actually produced decent results.