Flickr photographer RawSniper1 has a clever way of holding onto his lens caps when they’re not attached to the front of his lenses: he uses LEGO pieces. By attaching one thin 2×4 piece permanently to the top of his lens cap and one thin 2×8 piece to his camera strap, he created a simple DIY lens cap holder system.
The lens cap has been in the photo-industry news quite a bit over the past year, with companies developing new shock absorbing caps, Canon switching over to pinch-style caps, and a constant stream of new lens cap holder concepts. Besides using your pocket (the obvious solution), RawSniper1′s tip is one of the simplest and cheapest we’ve seen yet.
Lego Gear [Flickr via DIYPhotography]
Image credit: lego_gear by RawSniper1
Remote shutter release cables are extremely simple devices, but they can cost quite a bit if you buy the official accessories sold by major camera manufacturers. Instructables user nk dtk has an awesome makeshift alternative that’s dirt cheap: all you’ll need is a cable and a can of soda!
If you’d like a cheap and simple way to protect your camera lenses from rain and from drops, you can make a makeshift lens case using ordinary plastic bottles (e.g. water bottles, soda bottles). Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do so.
Photographer Nick Cool came up with one of the strangest pieces of do-it-yourself camera gear that we’ve seen so far this year. He took an ordinary stainless steel sink filter — yup, the thing that catches food at the bottom of kitchen sinks — drilled various-sized holes through it, and stuck it into a filter ring after taking out the glass. The resulting photographic sink filter takes soft focus photos with pretty strange-looking bokeh in the background. Changing the size of the holes drilled into the plate produces different bokeh styles.
You can find the step-by-step tutorial on the build over on DIYPhotography. There are also some more sample photographs over in this Flickr set by Cool.
How To Build A Soft Focus Filter From A Sink Drainer [DIYPhotography]
Image credits: DIY soft focus filter and DIY soft focus filter by Nick Cool
Soccer, known as football around the world, is played by hundreds of millions of people in hundreds of countries, making it the world’s most popular sport. However, a large percentage of its enthusiasts are unable to afford actual soccer balls to play with. Instead, they fashion their own makeshift balls out of things they have on hand — things like socks, rubber bands, plastic bags, strips of cloth, and string. The DIY balls may be difficult to use and ugly in appearance, but each one is a treasured possession of its owner.
Belgian photographer Jessica Hilltout decided to turn her attention and her camera lens on these one-of-a-kind creations, documenting “football in its purest form” in Africa. The project is titled AMEN.
If you have an old plastic kit lenses lying around, something that you are not using for anything serious, you can give it a new life as a macro lens by removing the front element.
If you just so happen to have both a C-mount CCTV lens and a M42-mount teleconverter lying around, try combining the two: you may find a makeshift macro combo on your hands.
I’ve always been asked how I keep my equipment dry while shooting storms, and I figure with Hurricane Sandy on the way, now would be a good time to share! This is a very simple, inexpensive, easy-to-use, and effective solution to shooting in the rain! It costs less than 5 dollars, but I have never felt the need to purchase anything to replace it.
Remember the remote Instagram printer called Instaprint? Although the Kickstarter fundraising campaign for the product raised nearly a quarter of a million bucks from 800+ backers, it failed to reach its goal of $500K, and we haven’t heard much about the device since then. If you can’t wait to print Instagram photos remotely using a simple hashtag, James Croft over at MacTalk has a tutorial on how you can build your own:
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.
You’ll need a Bluetooth printer, accounts on IFTTT/Instagram/Dropbox, Hazel, and Photoshop (the last two are optional). While Croft’s tutorial is for Mac users, developer Lee Martin is working on a universal web app that’ll work across platforms.
Hacking Together an Automatic Instagram Printer [MacTalk]
Thanks for the tip, Phil!
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.
Keep Your Camera Clean with This Homemade Brush [Digital Camera World]
P.S. The magazine also suggests attaching double-sided sticky pads (or tape) to the inside of your lens caps to trap dust that’s floating around in your camera bag.