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.
Cell phone cameras have pretty poor image quality when compared with point-and-shoot cameras due to their small sensors, but one advantage they have over compact cameras is a naturally deep depth of field. That was particularly useful for this YouTube user in capturing some sharp video of his new motorcycle — something that would have been much more difficult using a standard point-and-shoot.
There’s a lot of paranoia when it comes to doing photography in and around airports these days — much to the dismay of plane spotters — but wedding photographer and airplane enthusiast Lynn-Kai Chao came up with a neat way to do airplane photography without worrying the TSA: by using airplane models. Believe it or not, the above photograph is actually a Photoshopped photograph of Chao holding a model airplane. Read more…
If you’re looking to buy used camera gear on sites like eBay or Craigslist, a trick you can use to find a good deals is to search for listings that contain spelling mistakes that keep most people from finding them (e.g. “Canom” instead of “Canon”, or “Mikon” instead of “Nikon”). With less exposure — and therefore less competition — you may be able to win the auctions at far below the item’s value.
Obviously searching for various typos by hand isn’t very efficient, so there’s special typo search engines designed to do the hard work for you. A few that you might want to try out are: FatFingers, TypoHound, TypoBay, and TypoBuddy.