ifttt (If This Then That) is a new service that lets you automate tasks across different social media services you’re signed up for, including Dropbox, Flickr, Instagram, and Facebook. All you have to do is choose what “this” and “that” are, and the service will take care of handling the task. For example, you can use ifttt to automatically send every photo uploaded to Facebook that’s tagged with your name to your Dropbox account, or have it send all of your new Instagram photos to a particular Facebook album. Each task is called a “recipe”, and you can browse the most popular ones here.
We shared a couple weeks ago that it’s possible to scan film using an ordinary flatbed scanner and a DIY cardboard adapter, but did you know you can also use a large-screen cell phone or tablet computer to provide the necessary backlighting? All you need is a way to turn a large portion of the screen entirely white (e.g. a “flashlight” app). Simply place the device facedown over the film on the scanner, and scan it with the cover open. Read more…
If you’ve tried to scan film using an ordinary flatbed scanner as you would a piece of paper, you’ve probably discovered that it didn’t turn out very well. The reason is because film needs to be illuminated from behind, while conventional scanners capture light that’s reflected off what they’re scanning. Before you give up hope and shell out money for a film scanner, here’s some good news: you can build a cheap and simple cardboard adapter that turns any scanner into a film scanner! Read more…
Do you have an efficient way of keeping track of which batteries or memory cards are fresh and ready to use? Flickr user Damon Hair uses Post-it Flags to tag charged batteries and formatted memory cards, letting him quickly swap out used ones when shooting without having to check them one at a time. For an even cheaper solution, you can try wrapping a small rubber band around them instead.
If you’re the kind of person that constantly misplaces your lens caps after removing them to shoot (Psst! You can ditch them in favor of UV filters), the LensCapTrap can help you hold on to them. It’s an uber simple kit that allows you to attach your lens caps to your camera strap using Velcro, avoiding the annoyance of having your caps dangle like they do with the popular string-style holder. The standard kit costs $6 and provides Velcro patches for two lens caps, though creating your own do-it-yourself version shouldn’t be too difficult either.
Having a camera with you may get you better customer service at places like restaurants, retail stores, and hotels. Consumer advocate Christopher Elliott writes,
The last thing employees want to see when they’re delivering a substandard product or service is a shutterbug. If they think you might take a snapshot, or a video, of their incompetent actions, they’re far likelier to do the right thing. The presence of a camera alone is often enough. Try it sometime.
If you already carry a camera with you everywhere you go, then you’re already set! If you don’t, you might want to think about bringing one along whenever you’re in need of customer service.
Need to hold down the shutter release for extended periods of time, but don’t want to shell out money for a remote shutter release? Flickr user Dennis Calvert found that a pencil eraser and hair tie do the job well, allowing you to do star trail photographs with bulb mode.
Do you use a similar “hack” to keep your shutter release button pressed?
Here’s a clever trick to keep in mind if you use SD cards for your photography: if the locking mechanism on the side of the card breaks off and renders your card unwritable, covering over the area with a little scotch tape magically makes your card useable again.
You’ve probably seen the special keyboard covers for Mac keyboards that show you the Photoshop shortcut each key is used for, but what if you’re looking for something more old school (or don’t have a Mac)? These Photoshop Keyboard Stickers should do the trick. They’re individual vinyl stickers that you individually stick onto each key, allowing you to stay old school and giving your keyboard a very childish look. You can pick up a set for about $8 on Amazon.
If you care about not having your photographs used with permission, there’s a Firefox extension called Image Search Options that can help you find copyright violations easily. What it does is add reverse image search options to the right click menu for images, allowing you to find other places on the web your photos appear (if any) with a couple clicks instead of having to manually enter the image URL into reverse image search engines (IQDB, SauceNAO, TinEye, GazoPa and Ascii2D).