If you can’t shoot right-handed, or need to shoot left-handed for some reason (i.e. demonstrating something in a photo with your right hand), you can simply flip your camera over and use your pinky finger to press the shutter. Problem is, this ergonomically unfriendly grip is hard to do, and puts your camera at risk of slipping out of your hand. Instructables member bertus52x11, the same guy behind the PVC pipe camera support, has clever hack that solves this problem.
His solution is to attach a bent aluminum strip to the tripod mount that allows your thumb to grip the camera more firmly. So, if you break your arm like bertus52x11 did, this is a clever way to keep on shooting!
Hong Kong photographer Lok Cheung found that manual focusing his Olympus E-P1 Micro Four Thirds camera was a pain because it lacked an electronic viewfinder (EVF). He then discovered that attaching a Rollei TLR viewfinder to the camera provided a makeshift EVF:
The result is really good. Although the LCD on E-P1 is not in very high resolution and you can see every single pixels with the Rollei viewfinder, manual focus is almost as fast as you can get on a true manual camera, and the viewfinder is almost directly behind the lens which even closer to SLRs and rangefinder.
LCD viewfinder attachments already exist for DSLR systems, and help make focusing easier and more precise by magnifying the LCD screen and blocking out sunlight. Using a film viewfinder to do this for an Olympus E-P1 is pretty clever.
When Instructables member bertus52x11 had his cast removed after breaking his arm, he found that his arm was too weak to handle his DSLR camera. Realizing that those less fortunate might have similar problems with handling heavy equipment, he created a do-it-yourself camera support using PVC pipe that transfers the weight of your camera to your chest.
In addition to allowing people to more easily handle heavy cameras, the chest support also acts as a stabilizer, reducing camera shake in situations where you don’t have a tripod. He writes,
This device can help people with a weak arm or hand, but it can be helpful to people with Parkinson to stabilise the camera. Naturally it can be used for stabilising pocket cameras as well. You can then slim down the design by using smaller (copper) tubing. Once you have chosen for copper, a Steampunk design is never far away. I would like to see that!
If you’re interested in creating such a support for yourself or someone you know, check out the easy-to-follow tutorial on Instructables:
When I’ve needed to take quick self portraits with my DSLR, one of the tricks I’ve discovered is to focus the camera using the reflection in the UV filter. As long as my eye is directly over the center of the lens in the reflection, then I know the center autofocus point is focused on my eye.
With smaller point-and-shoot cameras, it can be much harder to frame the shot (though focusing correctly is probably easier). Cameras are now coming out with an extra LCD screen on the front of the camera just for this kind of shot. noahw has a cheap, do-it-yourself solution – attach a small mirror to the front of your camera!
This project is dead simple: Digital Camera Sticky backed Velcro Small 1″ – 2″ mirror (convex is best, flat is ok, concave w/magnification is no good) Small mirrors are everywhere. Check out mirrors from compacts and make up. The one I liked best was from an “Inspection Mirror” made by “General Tools” bought for 2 bucks from a hardware store.
To get started you can watch the following video, or head on over to Instructables for a step-by-step tutorial.