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.
If you’re in the market for a new digital camera this year, buying it in January or February might get you the best deal. Lifehacker has published a comprehensive list of when to buy things based on when you’re most likely to see low prices:
January: After the big trade shows like CES come around in mid-January, you’ll see that older model cameras drop in price to prepare for the newly-announced ones.
February: Since the newest cameras will have just come out post-CES, you can grab last year’s models for less.
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.
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.
Eve Johnson of Evalicious wanted to turn some old digital photographs into Instax-style prints for a travel journal, so she decided to make some fake ones. She arranged two photos on each template, saved them as 4×6 prints, had them made at a local print shop, and then cut them out in Instax dimensions. You can find the low down over on her blog.
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).
Want a super simple macro lens for your phone without shelling out big bucks? You can use 3D printing to assemble your own! Shapeways user Lens42 has created a 3D model for a slide-on iPhone lens — all you need to do is have the 3D model printed for $11 and to attach a $4 glass lens from Surplus Shed (part number L4471) using some superglue. If you have something other than an iPhone but know your way around 3D modeling programs, you make some measurements yourself and have a custom 3D model printed.
In the past week, two different lens dial camera cases have been announced for iPhoneographers: a Holga toy camera case and a more serious lens dial case. If you don’t want to shell out cash to add a lens dial to your phone (and don’t mind it looking ridiculous), you can make a do-it-yourself lens dial using a jar lid and random lenses scavenged from various devices. The dial is attached to the back of your phone using a suction cup, and can give you magnification on-the-go.