If you’ve tried to scan film using an ordinary flatbed scanner as you would a piece of paper, you’ve probably discovered that it didn’t turn out very well. The reason is because film needs to be illuminated from behind, while conventional scanners capture light that’s reflected off what they’re scanning. Before you give up hope and shell out money for a film scanner, here’s some good news: you can build a cheap and simple cardboard adapter that turns any scanner into a film scanner! Read more…
Do you have an efficient way of keeping track of which batteries or memory cards are fresh and ready to use? Flickr user Damon Hair uses Post-it Flags to tag charged batteries and formatted memory cards, letting him quickly swap out used ones when shooting without having to check them one at a time. For an even cheaper solution, you can try wrapping a small rubber band around them instead.
If you’ve used your flash for quite a while, you may have noticed some yellowish haze where the plastic has oxidized. For flash units that have a smooth surface, here’s a pro tip: you can make it shine again by simply dabbing a little toothpaste onto a cloth and wiping off the haze in a circular motion. Read more…
Camera toss photography involves having your camera shoot photographs while it’s being tossed wildly into the air. The problem is, you’ll usually want to play around with this kind of photography at night, when long exposure times will create pretty abstract images. If catching your camera on its way down in the dark isn’t something that sits well with you, you might want do try what Flickr user Robert Couse did — protect your camera using an inflatable swim tube, a piece of cardboard, and some gaffers tape.
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.
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.
What you see here is a non-manipulated photograph by Wolcott Wilhelm showing a Chevy muscle car with a see-through hood that shows the engine underneath. It was created by splitting the exposure time between having the hood up and having it down. Read more…
Having a camera with you may get you better customer service at places like restaurants, retail stores, and hotels. Consumer advocate Christopher Elliott writes,
The last thing employees want to see when they’re delivering a substandard product or service is a shutterbug. If they think you might take a snapshot, or a video, of their incompetent actions, they’re far likelier to do the right thing. The presence of a camera alone is often enough. Try it sometime.
If you already carry a camera with you everywhere you go, then you’re already set! If you don’t, you might want to think about bringing one along whenever you’re in need of customer service.