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).
If you need some quick white balancing for whatever reason, and don’t have a white balance card or Expodisc handy, you can try using a standard coffee cup lid. Photographer Steve Bennet always has some lids lying around in his car, and found that they work as rough white balancing tools.
To use, I set the focus to infinity, place the cap over, then set the custom WB. I dont even need to hold it as it fits nicely inside my lens hood, but that is just a lucky coincidence.
Of course, this won’t deliver perfect results that rival professional tools, but if you’re not shooting RAW and need a quick approximation, you might want to give this a shot.