When Milan-based engineer and photographer Andrea Biffi needed a constant source of power for his Canon 40D in order to shoot time-lapse photos over many hours, he decided to save some money by going the DIY route. Biffi turned a defunct lithium DSLR battery into a power supply unit that can be used with everything from a wall outlet to a car battery.
You can do the same thing at home, but you’ll need a bit of engineering know-how to accomplish the hack.
Freelensing. It’s been around for a while. It’s essentially the “poor man’s tilt shift.” All the technique requires is disconnecting a lens from the camera body and floating it around in front of your sensor to shift the focal plane in weird directions. It takes practice to get accurate with it, but overall the technique is pretty straightforward.
I wanted to take it a bit further.
Want a cheap and simple way to project photographs from your smartphone onto your wall? Photojojo writes that you can actually make a makeshift projector with a few things you might already have lying around. Total cost: $1.
Brighton-based photographer and product designer Maxim Grew recently came up with the idea of building an instant camera out of a Polaroid film holder and a stack of wooden popsicle sticks.
Last week, we wrote on how you can use LEGO pieces to keep your lens caps on your camera strap when they’re not protecting your lenses. A reader named Fearn quickly pointed us to a similar tip published over at Sugru at the end of last year. Instead of using camera straps, however, they suggest tripods as a sturdy way of keeping track of the caps.
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.