makeshift

This Photographer Turned a Potato Into a Camera

Low quality photos and videos are often referred to these days as being "potato quality," or so bad that they look like they were taken using a potato. But for photographer Colin Lowe, "potato quality" is a spot-on description for some of his photos because they were literally taken with a potato.

You Don’t Need a Great Studio Space to Shoot Great Portraits

My name is Philippe Echaroux, and I'm a French celebrity photographer and an ambassador for Hasselblad and Elinchrom. I recently had to do a portrait shoot at a large studio in Paris, but for this shoot I decided to have a bit of fun.

How I Lit a Photo Using Only Candles and iPhone Flashlights

This article is about how you don't always need fancy lights for photo shoots: I recently shot the outdoor nighttime fantasy photo above, titled "The SpellBinder" and featuring Kara Markley, using only the light from candles and iPhone flashlights.

This Large Format Camera Was Built with Garage Scraps and a DSLR

I recently built my own DIY large format camera using scraps. The idea of this camera started with vintage profile spotlight that I wanted to restore, only to discover that some of the internal lens elements were shattered. The only lens element that was undamaged was the front element. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that this element can project an image circle big enough to cover an 8x10 area.

Making Gobos Out of Unusual Things for Creative Portrait Lighting

Typically, the term “gobo” is reserved for the lens filters and patterns that are affixed to theater lights. The terms “flag” or “cucloris/cookie” are actually more accurate for what we’re going to be using in this post, which is an object placed between the light and the subject, but not attached to it.

Wirelessly Control Your DSLR for Less Than $40

For several years now, Camranger has been pretty much the only choice if you want to tether your Nikon, Sony or Canon DSLR wirelessly to your phone or tablet.

How to Build a DIY Camera Stabilizer Using LEGO

Advanced camera stabilizers are becoming cheaper and cheaper these days, but if you're the type of person who enjoys building the things you use, here's a neat tutorial for you. Product Tank released a 7-minute video showing how you can create a DIY stabilizer using LEGO pieces.

Use Welder’s Glass as a $1 ND Filter for Long Exposures in Daylight

Want to shoot long exposure photos in bright daylight without having to shell out big bucks on a neutral density (ND) filter? Try using a piece of welder's glass -- the kind that protects your eyes while welding. The 13-minute video above by photographer Mathieu Stern provides a nice overview of this photo hack.

How to Get a ‘Ring of Fire’ Lens Flare in Your Photos

In late 2014, I was given a few pieces of piping -- what you might call trash, but which I call the "ring of fire." It ended up being an incredibly useful tool in my photography. I quickly decided to add it to my (now literal) bag of tricks along with Prisming, Lens Chimping, my Broken Freelens, and Anamorphics.

Turn a Pelican Case Into a Tether Station with a $2 Bicycle Quick Release Bolt

I like to keep the amount of kit I have to carry with me to a minimum. Every single pound counts when you're scrambling up the side of a snowy mountain, and if you've ever had to pay excess baggage charges at the airport you will probably appreciate my 'less is more' mentality!

Here’s the Thrifty Way to Mount a DSLR Lens to Your Phone Camera

Smartphone camera quality has gotten pretty darn good in recent years, but one of the limiting factors is still the tiny lens that's found in front of the (usually) tiny sensor. Accessory makers have started addressing this problem by creating add-on lenses that you can attach to your phone to improve the look of your photos -- even ZEISS jumped into the game this week.

Jake Burgess wanted to use his Canon SLR lens on his iPhone, but he didn't want to pay the high prices it takes to buy a commercial one. So, he came up with a makeshift solution that costs $0.

You Don’t Need a Studio for Pro Portraits — Make the Most of What You DO Have

My name is Nick Fancher and I am a Columbus, Ohio-based commercial and portrait photographer. I specialize in lighting -- specifically with the use of small flash in unconventional locations.

My goal is to show that you can often create high-quality photos without using a conventional studio... and while using minimal, affordable gear. You just need to learn to make the most out of your environment!

You Can Use a Flat Screen TV as a Cheap and Simple Backdrop for Product Photos

As my startup gear brand Eupidere grows, we face more and more photographic challenges in shooting thrifty product photos. Recently, I had just minutes to come up with an image that is a) eye catching, and b) Christmas related. There are lots of Christmas decorations around right now and the little guy above, wearing striped pajamas, is one of them. We decided to put him into a winter scenery and wish everyone Merry Christmas.

Lighting Portraits with a Prism Gobo, DIY Barn Doors, and Window Blinds

Photographer Nick Fancher often does high-quality shoots with simple locations and do-it-yourself gear -- he published a book on the subject earlier this year that's titled Studio Anywhere. For a recent portrait shoot, Fancher visited his model's apartment and shaped light using a custom prism gobo, DIY barn doors, and the blinds on the model's door.

How to Make DIY Anti-Fog Inserts for Your GoPro with Paper Towel

If you want to prevent your GoPro lens from fogging up when you're in cold and humid environments, GoPro sells Anti-Fog Inserts that you can stick into your camera case. If you'd rather not pay $15 for 4-use inserts, you can actually make some makeshift anti-fog inserts for yourself using some paper towel strips.

DIY Film ‘Scanning’ with LEGO and an iPhone

Want to scan some film but don't have a scanner handy? You can actually do some high quality digitization using some LEGO blocks, a smartphone or tablet, and a camera with decent resolution. Filmmaker Zachary Antell uses a method using those components, and his results are pretty impressive.

DIY: Make a Sealed 50mm Freelens for Less Than $80

Freelensing is the use of a lens decoupled from your camera, manual orienting the lens on various angles to tilt and shift the lens to alter the focal plane. Freelensing is a great method of isolating your subject or creating interest in an otherwise flat or busy scene. This technique has been around for ages but helps achieve a similar look to that created by a tilt-shift lens used often in wedding photography.