Over 100 million people around the world snap photos with Instagram on their phones now. If you like the look of Instagram filters but would rather not broadcast the photographs to the world every time you snap a picture, there’s actually a (semi-old) trick you can use to save the pics without sharing them (for iPhone users, at least): all you have to do is turn on “Airplane Mode.”
Photographer Jesse David McGrady has a super simple trick for adding a hazy, ethereal effect to your photographs: wrap a plastic sandwich bag around your lens. It sounds ridiculous and silly, but the results you get are actually quite nice!
Many photographers are uncomfortable sharing their work at higher resolutions online, preferring instead to share smaller (and perhaps watermarked) photographs. If that doesn’t describe you, then you might be happy to know that you can now share full-resolution photographs with your followers, friends, and family on Google+.
David Hobby over at Strobist shares a fantastic idea for photographers who would like to always have some gaffers tape handy at all times:
So we are gonna make a gaffer’s tape keychain fob [...] That right there is 40″ of gaff, effortlessly carried by default, at all times [...]
No, no, no. While duct tape may in fact be more manly, gaff is what duct tape wishes it could be. And it is what photographers use because of its holding power and ease of clean removal. Don’t ever mistake the two.
All you’ll need is a paperclip, a wooden pencil, and a larger roll of gaffer’s tape. Head on over to Strobist to read Hobby’s step-by-step tutorial.
Genius: Make a Gaffer’s Tape Key Fob [Strobist]
Image credits: Photographs by David Hobby/Strobist
Here’s a clever trick for if you ever need to print out a photo but find your inkjet cartridges low (or dried out): bust out your hair dryer. Paul Boutin of The New York Times writes,
If your printer’s ink cartridge runs dry near the end of an important print job, remove the cartridge and run a hair dryer on it for two to three minutes. Then place the cartridge back into the printer and try again while it is still warm.
“The heat from the hair dryer heats the thick ink, and helps it to flow through the tiny nozzles in the cartridge,” says Alex Cox, a software engineer in Seattle. “When the cartridge is almost dead, those nozzles are often nearly clogged with dried ink, so helping the ink to flow will let more ink out of the nozzles.” The hair dryer trick can squeeze a few more pages out of a cartridge after the printer declares it is empty.
The trick only works once or twice per cartridge, but apparently it works pretty well.
If you have an old plastic kit lenses lying around, something that you are not using for anything serious, you can give it a new life as a macro lens by removing the front element.
If you regularly shoot in dusty or sandy environments, here’s a handy tip for keeping your camera clean: create a simple cleaning brush that attaches to your camera bag. Digital Camera World writes,
You’ll never bag a great photo with dirty lenses and dusty gear, so keeping your camera and lenses clean and protected is crucial. The front line of defence against dirt and grime is constant cleaning. This isn’t easy if you have to carry around cans of compressed air, blower brushes, fluids and other bulky equipment. Professionals actually tend to use ordinary paintbrushes for camera and lens cleaning, so save yourself money and space [by] making a handy cleaning brush that clips onto your belt.
You’ll need a hacksaw and a drill to “hack” a 25mm paintbrush, and a split-ring and carabiner for attaching it to your camera bag or backpack.
Keep Your Camera Clean with This Homemade Brush [Digital Camera World]
P.S. The magazine also suggests attaching double-sided sticky pads (or tape) to the inside of your lens caps to trap dust that’s floating around in your camera bag.
Looking for a photo project to play around with this weekend? Try exploring a technique known as the Harris Shutter. Invented in the days of film photography by Robert Harris of Kodak, it involves capturing three sequential exposures of a scene through red, green, and blue filters, and then stacking the images into a single frame. This causes all the static elements within the scene to appear as they ordinarily would in a color photo, while all the moving elements in the shot show up in one of the three RGB colors.
For those of you who are desperate for Olympus to release a focus peaking feature for the OM-D EM-5, did you know that there’s a trick you can use for “ghetto focus peaking”?
A French photographer named Nicolas recently found that the camera’s “Key Line” Art Filter actually works quite well as a focus peaking feature. Simply turn on the filter, set your camera to shoot RAW+JPEG, and focus/shoot away. You can throw away the artsy-filtered JPEG files afterward, but the RAW photographs will be precisely focused thanks to the clever “hack”!
Earlier this year, we shared a crazy example of how you can make water drops look like they’re frozen in midair simply by passing the water over a speaker and using sound vibrations to sync the drops with the frame rate of your camera. Well, Japan’s largest music channel, Space Shower TV, has taken the idea and turned it into clever commercial. What you see above is ordinary footage using this trick — there’s no fancy CGI trickery, reversal during post, or high-speed camera footage involved.