7 Best Tried-and-Tested DIY Camera Hacks

The shutterbug in you wants the best equipment and fanciest tools. But here’s a surprise: several professional photographers don’t rely on them. Instead, they have tried-and-tested frugal hacks for their equipment.

Don’t waste your money on expensive lens protectors and bags, lighting kits, and stabilizers. Instead, save up for a good lens or essentials like filters. And until you save up, use these smart tricks to make do.

1. Use a Balloon as a Flash Diffuser

Once the flash pops, it lights up the whole room. But if you’re taking a portrait, you will likely get harsh lighting on the subject’s face. A flash diffuser, as the name suggests, diffuses the light from the flash and spreads it evenly.

Instead of paying for a diffuser, The Koldunov brothers suggest carrying a white balloon with you. Whenever you need a diffuser, blow up the balloon and hold it over the flash. It acts like a diffuser, and works well in both portrait and landscape modes. Plus, once it’s deflated, it can sit in your pocket.

It’s easier and faster than other DIY photography accessories like using a milk carton or a white business card, both of which require some precise cuts.

2. Old Phone Screens as Polarizing Filters

If you’ve been wondering what to do with your old dumb phone, here’s a neat idea: disassemble it to extract the glass screen and use it with your new smartphone’s camera.

You see, old liquid crystal display (LCD) screens contain a thin film. This film is a polarizing filter, which is one of the essential photography filters. So when you hold it against a camera’s lens, it will change how natural sunlight looks, filtering out light that’s reflected off other objects, like water. And you can adjust the filter to get different levels of the polarizing effect.

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