makeshift

Anything Can Be a Light Modifier for Portraits with a Little Creativity

Light shaping tools are very expensive. What if you could take any object and turn it into a modifier? That would save you a lot of money as well as give some unique results. In this article, I will share some everyday objects that you can turn into light modifiers to get different looks.

How to Make a DIY Softbox for Free

Almost anything can be used as a light modifier. As long as it interacts with light in one way or another, it can be considered a light modifier. In this article, I will show you how to build a do-it-yourself (DIY) softbox with things you likely already have around at home.

How to Make a DIY Prism Lens Filter for Less Than $20

PrismLensFX unveiled a set of Variable Prism Filters back in March that lets photographers achieve prism effects using specially-designed lens filters. Upon seeing the prism filters, landscape photographer Christian Mögnum Möhrle decided to try his hand at making his own do-it-yourself version.

The Pine Cone: Nature’s Memory Card Holder and Display

Every year, a pine tree close to our house produces the most perfect cones, and I often pick up a handful of them on my way home. The cones are undeniably beautiful, but not of much practical use. Or so I thought, until one day it hit me that a cone would make a rather nifty SD card holder.

Light Painting with a Paper Tube and a Shower Curtain Dress

After our flight to NYC got canceled last summer, we got stuck in Chicago for one night with no light painting tubes, no dress, no tripods, and no battery chargers. During the shuttle ride to the hotel, we started joking about using a bed sheet to fake a dress and to use whatever we could find in the hotel room as a light-painting tool.

Make a $10 DIY Disco Light Modifier for Round-Head Flashes

Controlling and modifying light is a lot of what photographing with studio lights and battery-powered strobes is about. Especially when it comes to portraits, I like to work with my lighting setups so they add something that is not perfect or flat.

Use Your Flip-Flop as a Grad ND Filter

Can you use a flip-flop -- or any solid item, for that matter -- as a graduated neutral density (AKA grad ND) filter? Sure. But, it doesn’t work in all situations.

How to Make a Portrait Backdrop for $5 with Dollar Store Items

Professional portrait backdrops can cost over $1,000 apiece. If you'd like to get creative without getting broke, photographer Jessica Kobeissi has a thrifty DIY idea for you in this 4.5-minute video. She shows how you can create a custom backdrop using less than $5 in materials purchased from your local dollar store.

How to Shoot Product Photos Using a $10 IKEA MELODI Lamp Shade

Lighting equipment can be expensive, but sometimes you can get great results using makeshift products that won't put a dent in your wallet. Here's a 15-minute video from Dustin Dolby of workphlo that looks at how you can shoot high-quality product photos using something as basic as an IKEA MELODI lampshade.

I Built a 22″ Gridded Beauty Dish for $4 Using Dollar Store Foam Boards

I recently got bored and decided to expand a super-budget project I'm working on. I love gridded beauty dishes for dramatic artsy stuff, beauty, and as a generally very versatile modifier. However, even a cheap one is out of budget for this project. So... I made one.

I Took These Photos in My Dining Room

Product photography is something that I've always been interested in, but never saw myself making a career out of. However... when I do get to take product photos, I do enjoy it quite a lot.

How to Turn House Lights Into Cheap DIY Light Modifiers

There is an almost endless supply of lighting modifiers available on the market right now, some are cheap and some of the better ones are certainly a lot more expensive. But does cost directly relate to quality? Well, a lot of the time yes it does if you're referring to build quality.