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DIY Photography Hacks That Will Get You Amazing Results

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

Ever see pictures that stun and amaze and wonder how the photographer did it? A lot of times it’s easier than it seems.

There are plenty of household items that you can use to get terrific effects that look like they took tons of time to achieve and/or required the use of advanced (read expensive) gear. But the truth is, producing these aesthetics is easier than you may think.

If you are wondering what you can do to get your photos to the next level without a lot of time and effort, here are some ideas.

A Sandwich Bag Haze

To get a dreamy, hazy effect, all you have to do it place a sandwich bag around the lens of your camera. Make a hole in the closed end of the bag so it fits your lens and make sure the opposite side is covering some of the lens glass as well. The plastic will make the lens blur to provide a cloudy effect.

Alternately, you can color the baggie with a marker to add a tint.

Psychedelic Prisms

Prisms can be purchased for about $20 each, and they make for a great reflective effect. Place the prism close to the lens and experiment with different positions to get the look you’re going for.

Note, sandwich bags and prisms aren’t the only thing you can use to produce a dreamy effect. Even a glass of water will work. Scour your house to find items that may be ideal.

Shaped Bokeh Filters

Bokeh is the aesthetic created by out of focus parts of an image. To get this effect, you can create a bokeh filter in the comfort of your own home. Just cut the shape you want the bokeh to be into a piece of paper and place the paper over the lens fastening it with a rubber band or tape.

The paper will change the hole in the lens to provide a bokeh appearance. However, it will also limit the light coming into the camera. If you are in a low light environment, you may need to adjust your exposure accordingly.

Create Lens Flare

Lens flare is usually something photographers don’t want, but it can be added for artistic purposes. It can be especially attractive when shooting sunsets.

Anamorphic flare is a horizonal flare that can be created with a fishing line or translucent string. The string should be placed close to the lens so it doesn’t interfere with the image quality.

The flare will go in the opposite direction of the string. So if you are looking to create a horizontal flare, place the string vertically across the middle of the lens and vice versa. The string can be held on with a tape or rubber bands.

If you point the camera towards the sun, you’ll get the flared look you are after.

Modify Light

There are several household objects that can be used to modify light. For instance, a kitchen strainer will create a spotted light which is great for portrait photography. Patterned lace or window blinds can be used to create a pattern while a prism can add a rainbow effect.

Split the Frame

Reflective surfaces are great for splitting the frame and the surface of a Smartphone or tablet will do nicely. Simply hold the phone (or another reflective object) underneath or just above the bottom of the frame. Angle the screen to reflect the top half of the image in the bottom and shoot away.

Add Water Drops with a Spray Bottle

Rain is a terrific addition to any photo. It provides a rainy day look and it also makes a terrific reflective surface. Instead of waiting for it to rain, you can add the moisture yourself by spraying your set with a spray bottle. If you put a light source behind the spray, it will make the droplets sparkle providing a dreamy effect.

Photography magic is simpler to achieve than you might think. In many instances, you can use products around your home to create images that go above and beyond. What hacks do you use to make your photos look amazing?

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