Wondering whether or not the shutter speeds on your camera are accurate? Instead of taking it to a shop or buying expensive testing equipment, you can use an old television or CRT monitor as a simple shutter speed tester! Camera enthusiast Rick Oleson has an easy to understand diagram showing what you can expect to see from the screen at different shutter speeds. For a more technical explanation and tutorial, check out this article that appeared in a 1967 issue of Popular Science.
Here’s a quick tip for if you ever have a hard time removing a lens filter from a lens (e.g. when it’s damaged): use a shoe. Simply take any shoe with a grippy flat bottom, press it firmly against the filter, and then turn it. It’s a super simple technique that should work every time unless the threads on the lens itself are badly damaged.
We’ve featured special gloves and mittens designed for photographers before, but what if your camera uses a touchscreen instead of physical controls? Here’s a video by Make’s Becky Stern showing how you can sew some conductive thread into your glove to make it compatible with capacitive touchscreens. Video after the jump
For his wedding, designer Matt Frank built this photo booth that looks like a giant Lomo camera. It comprises a Mac running Photo Booth, a monitor for reviewing photos, halogen lighting, and a hacked Easy Button that acts as a shutter release. Frank writes,
I decided to build my own photo booth after trying to rent one from local photography studios. The going rate for a rented photo booth is around $600 in addition to the hourly rate of the attendent to watch over the equipment. As this was not in my wedding budget, and I did not want to deal with an additional vendor, I decided to build my own for under $200. [#]
The total cost for the DIY photobooth came out to about $150. Frank has also written up a step-by-step tutorial on how it was built.
Using a filter is a great way to protect your lens from damage, but if you accidentally drop your camera and smash the filter, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to remove the filter from your lens’ threads. Here’s a quick video that shows how you can remove a stuck filter — all you need is a strong pair of pliers.
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“).