Mark Rober — the guy behind the gaping-hole-in-torso costume — recently came up with a creative way of getting up close and personal with gorillas at his local zoo. It turns out that apes can’t resist looking at themselves in mirrors, so Rober drilled a hole in a mirror and pointed his iPhone’s camera through it. He was then able to snag some awesome footage that most visitors would never be able to capture. This trick may also work for other animals that are known to pass the mirror test of self-awareness, including dolphins, elephants, and certain birds.
Here’s a quick and simple tip for better portraits by Reddit user rmx_:
Everyone has a lazy eye. By that, I mean one eye is always smaller and/or more closed than the other eye. In some people, it is very easy to spot; in others, nearly impossible. The “beautiful people” have more symmetrical faces, but still, one eye will open more than the other. (Denzel Washington has one of the most I have seen [...])
[...] here is the tip: get the smaller/lazier eye slightly closer to the camera. Oh, and don’t tell the person what you’re looking at their eyes for! You’ll make them self conscious. Simply ask them to look at your finger and move their head to follow it, and then guide them left or right as necessary. Chances are, the movement needed will not be so much that you have to adjust your lights.
Having trouble framing shots when “shooting from the hip” and not looking through (or at) your camera? Lifehacker suggests pointing with your left hand index finger to improve your accuracy. Simply press the finger against your lens, parallel to your camera’s line of sight. The idea is that while we point at things all the time, aiming a camera isn’t quite as intuitive (though it comes with practice). By making the camera an “extension of your body”, you might be able to aim it more naturally!
Here’s a quick tip for if you ever have a hard time removing a lens filter from a lens (e.g. when it’s damaged): use a shoe. Simply take any shoe with a grippy flat bottom, press it firmly against the filter, and then turn it. It’s a super simple technique that should work every time unless the threads on the lens itself are badly damaged.
Modern DSLR lenses don’t usually have aperture rings, and opening and closing the aperture is the camera’s responsibility. If for some reason you need to keep the aperture blades locked in a certain position, the “lens twist trick” can help you do so. Simply untwist the lens from the camera while holding the depth of field preview button.
One practical use for this trick is time-lapse photography. Cameras don’t always close the aperture to exactly the same size every shot, and the slight variation can cause a flicker in the resulting time-lapse video (a problem called “aperture flicker“).
Like many electronic devices, cameras often come with certain cables that are neither necessary enough to be used often nor useless enough to be tossed into the trash. A neat trick for keeping them organized and away from other cables is to stick them into toilet paper rolls. You can even go a step further by making a DIY cable organizer using a shoe box, which makes finding a particular cable a breeze.
Here’s a quick and easy tip from Scott Kelby for portraiture: reduce the number of distracting elements in the shot by positioning yourself with the background in mind. Sure it’s a simple and obvious tip, but those are usually the kind that come in handy most often.
Here’s a neat productivity tip for those of you who regularly buy stuff online (e.g. obsessive photo gear buyers): you can track most packages by simply searching for the tracking number with Google! The search engine automatically figures out which service the number belongs to, and provides you with a direct link to the droids page you’re looking for. Since some shipping companies don’t have bookmarkable tracking pages, this tip can help you avoid having to go through those companies’ websites.