If you’re in need of some quick image stabilization but don’t want to shell out the $16+ dollars it takes to buy a real one, an old broom handle can do the trick. All you need besides the handle — or a 1-inch wooden dowel, or a big stick — are a hex nut and hanger bolt for the tripod mount and a spiral nail for the base. MAKE has the lowdown on how you put the ingredients together to form “the world’s cheapest monopod”.
World’s Cheapest Monopod (via Lifehacker)
If you want to snap a photograph of the sun (perhaps during an eclipse) without burning your camera sensor, one quick way is to make a dark filter using an unwanted floppy disk (remember those?). You’ll need to carefully harvest the black magnetic film inside the disk and slice out a piece to cover your lens with. Two words of warning: don’t crease the film, lest you make it unusable, and don’t use the filter with your human eyes.
Floppy Disk Sun Filter [Instructables]
After buying a Yongnuo flash and finding its wireless capabilities “hit and miss”, Marcell of fiberstrobe decided to try out something he saw on a forum: using a fiber optic cable as a sync cord. The Yongnuo YN460-II can function as an optical slave, so the basic idea is to channel light from your camera’s flash into the light sensor of the strobe. To solve the problem of light leakage, Marcell also created an accessory using LEGO bricks, cardboard, and duct tape to fox the fiber to the sensor and protect it from direct sunlight.
DIY fiber sync cord (via DIYP)
Laptop bag straps make for pretty comfortable camera straps since they’re designed for carrying a good amount of weight on your shoulders, but they usually come with clasps that aren’t compatible with strap mounts. Nano_Burger has the solution: add clasp-friendly loops to your camera using some thin strapping, staples, and Gorilla glue. The sturdy loops will last the lifetime of the camera, and can be cut off if you ever decide to switch to a different strap.
Cheap and Easy Camera Strap (via Lifehacker)
Photographer Christian Lobo came up with this thrifty macro setup that uses his Canon Rebel T3/1100D and a 50mm f/1.8. It might look ghetto, but it actually functions pretty well for casual macro photography.
If you’re looking for a thrifty way to have gigantic (monochrome) prints made of your photographs, look no further than your local Staples. Monica and Jess of East Coast Creative write,
Have you heard about the engineer prints from Staples? Oh.My.Goodness. They have completely changed our life for the better. Just wait, you’ll feel the same way. Take your favorite picture into Staples and ask for an oversized print (they come in multiple sizes, but the largest is 3’ by 4’. They’ll make a copy right there for you, and the best part… it costs less than $5 for a print! You’re only able to get the picture in black and white, but who cares?! It’s 5 bucks! The tricky thing is that the picture is printed on very thin paper, so you have to be careful not to bend or mark it.
They’ve written up a tutorial on how you can make a giant DIY frame for these massive prints.
Shaped Frame Family Photo [East Coast Creative]
Image credits: Photographs by Monica and Jess of East Coast Creative
After seeing some elegant black picture frames with brass edges in a designer magazine, Courtney of A Thoughtful Place realized that she could create the same look on the cheap by using some plain painter’s tape and a can of brass spray paint. The project takes a couple hours to complete and a few dollars in supplies, and is a thrifty way to add a dash of style to your home if you don’t want to shell out money for pricey frames.
DIY Brass Frames: HB Knock Off (via Lifehacker)
Image credits: Photographs by Courtney/A Thoughtful Place
If you have a Canon compact camera running the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK) firmware, you can create a simple shutter release cable using some cheap components. The firmware causes the camera to snap a photograph anytime 5V is sent down a USB cable connected to the camera. You can do this using a USB cable (e.g. the one that comes with your camera), 5V battery, simple push button, and some kind of housing (a metal candy tin, for example). Oh, and you’ll need to be comfortable cutting up and soldering wires. Luo Bo Te over at kisstheasphalt has written up a tutorial on how to put everything together.
DIY Shutter Release Cable For Canon Cameras with CHDK (via Hack a Day)
For those of you amateur photographers out there who like shooting film, sometimes old cameras don’t have the right light meter for getting the correct exposure. Sometimes they are faulty, inaccurate or have no light meter at all! Photographic light meters can be pretty expensive but analog foot-candle meters are cheap because they don’t really have any photography purpose, until now. This guide will show you how to put it to work for photography.
Photographer Jared Krause made this simple camera strap for shooting on the streets of Toronto. The length of nylon rope he used cost just $2.50. Due to cold weather, Krause almost always wears the strap outside a jacket or sweatshirt, but if you’re shooting in warmer weather it might be wise to add some padding for comfort.
Image credits: Photographs by Jared Krause and used with permission