If you have some unwanted 35mm negatives lying around and need a simple gift idea, you can try your hand at turning them into one-of-a-kind bookmarks. Simply cut out the actual frames from the film strip and replace them with actual photographs to create film strips that you don’t need to hold up to the light to enjoy.
Photo enthusiast Mike Gerdau wanted to play around with bokeh shapes but didn’t want to create a separate “lens cap” for each shape. His solution was to separate the shapes from the cap itself, cutting the shapes into 45x45mm squares that swap in and out of the cap easily. The “slides” can be neatly stored away inside a white plastic Game Boy cartridge case when not in use.
After seeing the LEGO large format camera we featured last year, Norway-based photographer Carl-Frederic Salicath set out to create his own LEGO camera. Rather than go with large format, he decided to build a more complicated Rolleiflex-style twin-lens reflex camera that uses 120 film. Aside from LEGOs, he also used some matte ground glass, a mirror, and lenses taken from a binocular. Read more…
Want to shoot professional-looking shots of smaller objects. You can build your own tabletop studio using a collapsible clothes hamper, a white plastic sheet (e.g. a table cover), and a sheet of white posterboard. Stick the posterboard inside the hamper for your infinite white backdrop, and then use the plastic sheets on the sides to diffuse your light. Total cost? Less than 10 bucks!
Home decor idea: if you’re looking for a creative way to display your photographs, you can turn some medium-sized stones and florist wire sticks into photo holders. Use rocks of different sizes and sticks of varying lengths to create your own photo garden in the house!
Photography enthusiast Maciej Pietuszynski jumped into tilt-shift photography recently by building a do-it-yourself tilt-shift lens out of an old 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, a shower head, and a rubber glove. The process isn’t for the faint of heart — it involves disassembling the lens. You can see some of the resulting photographs in this Flickr set.
Want to improve the quality of the photos captured using your DSLR’s popup flash? Tina (AKA synthetic_meat) discovered that the cardboard box that came with a particular brand of chocolate had a nice silver lining on the inside — perfect for making a mirrored bounce reflector! After some cutting, scoring, and folding, she came up with a DIY Lightscoop clone that lets you bounce your onboard flash off the ceiling or wall for softer and more appealing images. You can download the free template to make your own in both A4 and Letter formats. Read more…
If you have an old mount for attaching a GPS or cell phone to your windshield, you can upcycle it into a suction cup tripod for your camera (just make sure it’s not the flimsy kind that falls off on its own). What you’ll need to do is flatten the mount surface and then install a tripod screw. Nano_Burger has a step-by-step tutorial on how he did this conversion over on Instructables. The resulting tripod allows you to fix your camera in locations that aren’t accessible to tripods that don’t suck (hah, get it?).
Perhaps inspired by the vintage camera nightlights we shared last year, photographer Laura Merz decided to upcycle her old Kodak digital camera by turning it into a nightlight for her house. She writes,
I took out all the tiny screws and gutted the camera very carefully as to not crack the exterior case. Be careful — some of the parts are pretty sharp. Removing the lens is the last step, and allows you to insert a small round night light through the opening. I had to crack off the exterior casing on the night light, but with a little force, it snapped right off.
It’s a creative way to breathe new life into an outdated or broken digital camera.