Buying an illuminated white background for high-key lighting (or to use as a giant softbox) can set you back hundreds of dollars. Fortunately, you can create something similar on the cheap using simple white bedsheets, some PVC pipes, and some lights. Assemble the PVC pipes into a square frame, stretch the bedsheet over the frame, and illuminate the bedsheet from behind. You’ll want to blow out the white area on the street for evenly white lighting. Check out the full build tutorial over on DIYPhotography.
Here’s another helpful step-by-step guide teaching how to develop B&W film (in this case it’s Agfa APX 100) using powered coffee and vitamin C (AKA “caffenol“). You can also download a text version of the process here.
If you have a GoPro or any other compact camera with a constantly exposed lens, you can protect the lens from scratches when it’s not in use by making a cheap DIY lens cap out of a ping pong ball and a rubber band.
Buying large frames for displaying your prints can be expensive. For those of you who are rich in time but short on money, Oh Happy Day has an awesome tutorial on how you can create nice-looking picture frames for just $5. The main ingredients are plexiglass, mat board, cardboard, and paper tape. Buying all the supplies will set you back around $50, but you should have enough material for around 10 frames.
Some photographers prefer using ordinary bags with padded inserts to carry their camera gear, both for aesthetic reason and to prevent theft. Instead of buying an insert, you can also make a custom one with some foam, fabric, and velcro. Abi over at vanilla & lace made one to turn her purse into a camera bag after finding that purse-style camera bags can cost up to $300. She also wrote up a helpful tutorial on how you can do the same.
Want a DSLR viewfinder but don’t want to pay big bucks for a professional one? Photojojo has a tutorial on how you can build your own DIY version using a lens from a pair of magnifying reading glasses and some plastic/foam board. It’ll definitely draw some weird looks but hey, it works!
Want to adorn a wall with a giant print using your own photography? Here’s a great video in which photographer Lee Morris shares how he shot, printed, and framed a massive 5-foot-wide panoramic print for less than $150 — super cheap compared to the $1,000+ you might pay to have it professionally done. After shooting multiple photos on a bridge in Rome, he merged the images using Photoshop, had a metallic print made by Bay Photo Labs, and then framed it using a large mirror he found at Bed Bath and Beyond. The final result is quite impressive!
Disclosure: Bay Photo Labs is a sponsor of PetaPixel
If you ever find yourself needing some quick stabilization when recording video with your DSLR, but don’t have a fancy rig with you (or you’re in a place where you can’t bring one), you can use an ordinary tripod as a makeshift shoulder rig for some extra stability.
mr-korn over at Lomography recently snagged a cheap Olympus Zuiko 50mm lens on eBay, but the lens didn’t come with a lens cap. Rather than try and find a replacement cap for that particular lens, he decided to craft his own DIY cap using a can of Coke. Read more…
Ties are meant to be soft and comfortable around the neck, so they’re a perfect fit for a do-it-yourself camera strap project! Besides an unwanted tie, you’ll need some sewing supposed, some ribbon for the ends, and a couple rings for attaching the strap. Check out the step-by-step tutorial over on Ecouterre.