If you need a cheap way to bounce some light, don’t want to spend a wad of cash on a real reflector from a camera shop, and don’t want to take the time to make a cardboard and aluminum foil reflector, you can buy a cheap car sun shade (less than $10 at Walmart) as a cheap reflector. They’re lightweight, foldable, and reflect light well — just make sure the reflective surface is white or silver.
Photographer Adrian Onsen wanted to use the AI Servo autofocus mode on his Canon 40D in low-light situations, but found that the AF assist beam is only emitted once until focus is achieved rather than every time the camera needs to refocus. He then purchased a laser pointer from a dollar store, disassembled it to obtain a defocused beam of light, and attached it to the top of his camera. The hacked-together AF assist tool ended up working pretty well — Onsen was able to shoot sharper photos at a dance club without anyone noticing the extra light. To learn more check out his in-depth writeup here.
Reflector mounts (the things that attach a reflector to your bike) are so cheap that bike shops often give them away for free. Add a standard tripod screw, some washers, and some wing nuts, and you’ll have a super cheap camera mount that you can attach to a bicycle (it’s also a way to attach a camera to some random pole if you need to). You can also find a text version of this tutorial over on Instructables.
Who says you need uber-expensive lighting equipment to shoot nice-looking studio portraits? In this video, photographer Bert Stephani shows us what you can do with cheap halogen work lights (you can find them for about $30-$50) and a couple shower curtains.
Rather than using more expensive bags or cases for moving around your lighting gear, you can buy a bass guitar bag for $30 or $40 to get the job done. The length allows you to store light stands, the velcro straps inside help secure them, and the multiple handles and straps on the outside give you a number of options for carrying the bag.
YouTube user havok2 created this creative follow focus using LEGO Mindstorm pieces. It’s lightweight, and can be adjusted to fit on different sized lenses. There’s more photographs of the rig here, and there’s even a blueprint 3D tutorial video if you’re interested in building your own.
For Christmas, I received a Canon 60D. I’m definitely still learning how to use it, but I’m excited to have it. The first big problem I encountered, besides the need for more regular exercise so I can lift the beast, is that I am going to lose the camera lens cap. I take this cover off the lens and leave it everywhere. I had the camera for about 4 days before I was considering checking the price on replacing it. Lucky for me, I came up with a better idea while I still knew where it was. Instead of waiting until I lost it, I made it a little pouch that slides onto my camera strap. Read more…
I had some stuff lying around as well as saw some parts as I was out and thought this would be fun to make. I have around $20 invested in parts. On eBay I saw ring lights for anywhere around $40 on up, so this will save you money and it was fun to make. Read more…
If you use the LCD on your DSLR for shooting images or video, you probably know how much of a pain it is when sunlight shines directly on it, preventing you from seeing whether the scene is in focus. LCD viewfinders solve that problem, but can have devastating effects on your wallet. If you’re just a hobbyist that wants a simple LCD viewfinder for cheap, this video tutorial will teach you how to make one with items you probably have lying around the house worth $5.
You can also follow the tutorial in a step-by-step format here.