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…
Heavier tripods are generally more stable than lighter ones — wind doesn’t affect them as much — but hauling them around can be a pain. Instructables user Andrew Axley came up with the brilliant idea of making his simple tripod more stable by adding his own weight hook. The tripod is light when not in use and when you need extra stability you simply hang your camera bag onto the hook. All you need to do is figure out a way to attach a hook securely at the center — Axley chose to drill a hole through the side of the center column and attach an S-hook using a bolt and nut.
You can make yourself a quick and simple snoot by cutting off the upper portion of a soda bottle and covering it with gaffer tape. While it’s definitely not the most elegant solution, it’s a cheap way to isolate your subject when shooting with a flash unit.
After damaging the pellicle mirror in his Sony A55 with cleaning fluid, a guy named Dario decided to look for a makeshift replacement while waiting for a real replacement mirror to arrive. He then discovered that food wrap (AKA Saran wrap) works nearly as well as a real pellicle mirror. The only downsides are occasionally degraded autofocus and a soft-focus effect when facing bright lights.
Love music just as much as you love photography? Want an extra music stand? You can make a makeshift one by combining your tripod with a music stand! The IKEA BRÄDA stand is perfect for this, and only costs $2.50. Peter Janssens of grow for it make his stand connect to the tripod using a bolt and the mount on an old camera.
Beauty dishes are pricey, and so are dedicated cases for carrying them around. If you want a cheap and simple way to protect your dish, LA-based photographer Mariusz Jeglinski suggests buying a Christmas wreath bag for less than $10. The shape works nicely for dishes, and you can add some extra padding to the case if you want added protection.
Wanting a cheap and compact way to carry, protect, and manage his SD cards, Instructables member FrankenPaper discovered that the plastic cases that come with Sunstar GUM Soft-Picks are the perfect size for holding 2 cards. To keep the cards from jostling around and to track whether they’re full or empty, he created an insert that you can print, cut, and fold yourself (download the PDF here).
Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 Mark II is a terrific lens for its price, but its build quality definitely leaves something to be desired. Do a quick search, and you’ll find legions of broken-hearted Canonites who had their ‘Nifty Fifty’ split into two pieces after accidentally bumping or dropping it. Flickr user tastygiant is one such Canonite, but he subsequently discovered an awesome use for the broken lens:
Being a geek, I figured I could use the broken pieces in the future, so I shelved it and bought a new 50mm 1.8 Canon lens. One day, while taking shots around my apartment, I stumbled across the broken lens again and decided to reverse the “barrel assembly” onto the front of my intact 50mm. Everything was blurry of course, but I noticed if I got very close to an object the detail came into view. After adjusting the aperture to around f5.6, I had a clear image.
It’s important to note that you should switch to Manual focusing and rotate the focusing ring to “infinity”.