Using a Mac, with a combination of web services & apps, we can breathe life back into [a cheap Bluetooth] printer, and turn it into a hashtag-based Instagram printer! In other words, any time there’s a new photo with a certain hashtag in Instagram, this will find it, download it, crop & resize it, then print it out. All completely automagically.
If you regularly shoot in dusty or sandy environments, here’s a handy tip for keeping your camera clean: create a simple cleaning brush that attaches to your camera bag. Digital Camera World writes,
You’ll never bag a great photo with dirty lenses and dusty gear, so keeping your camera and lenses clean and protected is crucial. The front line of defence against dirt and grime is constant cleaning. This isn’t easy if you have to carry around cans of compressed air, blower brushes, fluids and other bulky equipment. Professionals actually tend to use ordinary paintbrushes for camera and lens cleaning, so save yourself money and space [by] making a handy cleaning brush that clips onto your belt.
You’ll need a hacksaw and a drill to “hack” a 25mm paintbrush, and a split-ring and carabiner for attaching it to your camera bag or backpack.
If you find yourself regularly shooting in the rain and in need of a better way to keep yourself and your gear dry, check out the tripod-mounted umbrella holder seen in the photo above. It keeps an umbrella fixed directly above you and your camera, allowing you give your full attention to photo-making. A quick trip to the hardware store will get you the ingredients you’ll need: a few brackets, a pipe to serve as the holder, and some nuts and bolts. Most of the components come together quite easily, but you’ll need some way to cut sections off your pipe.
Attaching an umbrella to your tripod can introduce some undesirable movement if there’s a lot of wind, but weighing down the tripod and keeping your hands on your camera can help keep it stable. To get started, head on over to Digital Camera World for the step-by-step tutorial.
If you need a tabletop photo studio for nice-looking product shots, a quick build involves using a piece of poster board and some household lights. If you have a bit more time, money, and carpentry skills, you can do what Nick Britsky did and construct a dedicated mini photo studio. He started the project by creating a mockup of the studio using Google’s Trimble’s free and easy to use SketchUp 3D modeling program. Once he knew what pieces he needed, he had all the wooden parts cut out at his local hackerspace i3 Detroit. He then combined the pieces according to his model, painted the wood white, added a couple of lights from his local hardware store, and covered the sides with white ripstop nylon.
You can find more pictures of the studio here. If you’d like to build one for yourself, you can grab the Google SketchUp file that Britsky used from his website.
If you want a way to display and rotate through your latest prints and instant photos, you can try making yourself a photo ledge. It’s a simple photo holder created using a long piece of plastic u channel molding, available at your local hardware store. Find a way to attach it to a wall — perhaps using velcro, tape, pins, or adhesive — and you’ll have yourself a convenient little ledge that you can use to show off your images. The photos simply rest inside the gap in the plastic ledge, so you can quickly swap prints in and out when you grow tired of certain images. Head on over to Photojojo for the step-by-step tutorial.
Earlier this week, we shared a funky piece of camera equipment called the Bounce-Wall, which features a large card that serves as a surface to bounce your flash off when you’re out and about. While the pricing wasn’t available at the time, David Hobby of Strobist has since revealed that it’ll carry a $99 when it’s released later this month.
If you don’t have any free benjamins to drop on this product — or don’t want to wait — the fine folks over at Lighting-Academy have created a ghetto do-it-yourself version you can build and use. All you’ll need is an old wire clothes hanger, a piece of cardboard, some aluminum foil, a clothespin, and a tripod screw. The tutorial is in German, so you might need to use an online translater or base your build off the pictures alone.
The bean bag is a tool that photographers sometimes use to stabilize their camera. Plop it down on a fixed platform, and the bag can do wonders for achieving sharper shots. Instead of buying a bean bag for a marked up price, you can easily create a do-it-yourself version at home. After all, it’s just some beans in a bag… Digital Camera World has a step-by-step tutorial on how you can create one using some lentils and a pair of unwanted jeans.
What’s great about using a pair of jeans, beside the fact that denim is a very durable material, is that you can cut out the crotch section — a bit strange, we know — in order to give your bean bag a built-in zipper. This makes filling the bag a breeze, and allows you to quickly change the number of beans inside to make the bag softer or firmer.
Want to light your nighttime photographs with something that can be mistaken for a portable sun? Check out this monstrous homemade flashlight composed of 513 separate LED lights. Created back in 2008 by Ledcreations, the device offers a whopping 3500-4000 lumens of light — way more than the hundreds of lumens offered by other powerful flashlights on the market. Read more…
Samuel Cox, the “maker of things” whose Minority Report-style photo viewer we shared last year, was recently invited to a friend’s wedding. He came up with the neat idea of creating a TARDIS-themed photo booth for the wedding reception, an accessible way for guests to leave photo memories in a lighthearted manner. Read more…
When filmmaker Ben Gill recently needed a way to attach his cameras to a car dashboard for a movie he was making, he decided to go the DIY route and come up with a makeshift solution. His resulting mount costed less than $10, and worked quite well. It was created using a car sponge (the kind that looks like a giant peanut) and some rug pad. Read more…