Modern DSLR lenses don’t usually have aperture rings, and opening and closing the aperture is the camera’s responsibility. If for some reason you need to keep the aperture blades locked in a certain position, the “lens twist trick” can help you do so. Simply untwist the lens from the camera while holding the depth of field preview button.
One practical use for this trick is time-lapse photography. Cameras don’t always close the aperture to exactly the same size every shot, and the slight variation can cause a flicker in the resulting time-lapse video (a problem called “aperture flicker“).
A couple days ago it was discovered that iPhones, iPods, and iPads running iOS 5 have a secret panorama mode that’s hidden in the operating system. The feature can be enabled, but featured either a jailbroken device or knowledge in how to edit a particular iOS 5 preference file. Luckily for non-hackers, Redmond Pie has discovered an easy way to do this by taking advantage of iTune’s backup feature. This tutorial will teach you how to get the panorama feature unlocked in 5-10 minutes.
Photographer Peter Wirén came up with a super cheap and easy way to record sliding shots using his DSLR. Instead of buying an expensive slider or dolly system, he simply cut the fingers off an old glove and used them as “socks” on his GorillaPod.
Many digital cameras are battery-only, and can’t be directly connected to an outlet for an infinite source of power. That’s ordinarily not a problem, but can become an issue if you attempt to do things like time-lapse imagery, for which the camera needs to stay powered and perfectly stationary for extended periods of time. That was the problem faced by Instructables member txoof with his Olympus E520. Handy with electronics and woodworking, he decided to build his own AC/DC interface for the camera, crafting a wooden mold that acts as a wall-powered “battery”.
If you have the same problem and aren’t afraid of sockets and buzz saws, check out his tutorial for instructions on how to do this yourself.
Wall (mains) Power for an Olympus E-510 (via Lifehacker)
Buying an illuminated white background for high-key lighting (or to use as a giant softbox) can set you back hundreds of dollars. Fortunately, you can create something similar on the cheap using simple white bedsheets, some PVC pipes, and some lights. Assemble the PVC pipes into a square frame, stretch the bedsheet over the frame, and illuminate the bedsheet from behind. You’ll want to blow out the white area on the street for evenly white lighting. Check out the full build tutorial over on DIYPhotography.
A Light Wall Of Light From Bed Sheets And PVC [DIYPhotography]
P.S. You can also try sticking a bedsheet over a window or doorway to get a sunlit softbox. Thanks Jeremiah!.
Image credit: Photograph by David Dicarlo
If you have some translucent film canisters lying around, you can turn them into DIY glow sticks for light painting photography. Fuse three of them together into one translucent tube, stick a small flashlight into it, wrap it with a colored translucent sheet, and voilà, you have yourself a cheap and simple glow stick. It’s a way to add some thickness to your light painting “brush”.
DIY Glow Sticks From Film Canisters [Lomography]
Videographer Joel Loukus created a continuous ring light source — which he calls the “WreathLight” — using a wreath frame and two strings of Christmas lights. The total cost came out to $24. It’s a cheap and easy way of adding some soft lighting to your portraits.
Here’s a quick and easy photo hack: cut a slice out of a white film canister to soften the light from your DSLR’s built-in flash.
DIY Project: Film Canister as Flash Diffuser [Lomography]
Focus stacking is a technique for creating photos with a large depth of field by combining multiple photos with shallow depth of fields. One of the applications is in macro photography, where the technique is often used to make sharp images of tiny insects. Oleg over at Circuits@Home wanted an easier way to focus stack while shooting in the field, so he build a focus stacking assistant using Arduino. Given two focal points, the tool automatically takes a sequence of photographs, moving the focus slowly from one point to the other.
Oleg shares some details on how he created his EOS camera version, and says he’s also working on a Nikon version.
Focus stacking assistant for EOS cameras (via Hack a Day)
Image credits: Photographs of flies by Muhammad Mahdi Karim
Like many electronic devices, cameras often come with certain cables that are neither necessary enough to be used often nor useless enough to be tossed into the trash. A neat trick for keeping them organized and away from other cables is to stick them into toilet paper rolls. You can even go a step further by making a DIY cable organizer using a shoe box, which makes finding a particular cable a breeze.
TP Roll Organizer Box (via Lifehacker)
Image credits: Photographs by berserk