8 DIY Photography Tricks That Actually Work
The secret to many a great website is great images (the second is using the right website builder). Beautiful images can trigger people to stick around your website, learn about your business or make a purchase. Yet many people worry that getting the photographs they need for their site will be costly, labor-intensive or both.
We’ve checked with the experts and the news is good: with some cheap household items and a bit of creative energy, you can easily produce unexpected, artsy and interesting images, all on your own. Here are 8 of our favorite photography tricks.
Make Your Own Filters
Head over to your local office supply store or get ready to beg, borrow or steal a piece of transparency film or simple colored cellophane. Once you’ve got it, cut a piece of the film large enough to cover your camera lens. If you are using transparency film, go ahead and scribble on it with permanent markers to add color. Don’t stick to just one color either! You can play around with several colors for even more dramatic results. Next, attach the “filter” to your camera and start shooting. See how your subject looks when swathed in a blueish tint or a bold red hue. Keep in mind that colors can have a huge effect on the overall tone of your website.
Feeling kinky? You can also create a cool filter effect by cutting a pair of pantyhose and placing them over your lens. This will give your final image a soft, muted tone.
Use a Black Tile
Black tiles are a great option for photographing products for your online store, as they can create a powerful result that is sleek and sophisticated. Start by placing the object you want to photograph on a simple black tile. If the tile is shiny, you will see a reflection of the product in the tile. Be sure to capture the reflection in your frame and play around with different shooting angles. Regardless of where you shoot from, the black background will make the object pop in the final image.
Have Fun with Mirrors
Speaking of reflections, mirrors are another handy prop that can create some exciting and unusual effects in a photo shoot. You can use a mirror in the background of almost any type of photo shoot, whether you’re photographing staff members, products or scenes from inside your shop. The image captured within the mirror can show the subject of the photo from a different and unexpected angle. You can also use the mirror as a reflector to brighten up a corner of your photograph or bathe your subject in extra light.
Break That Mirror!
If you’re feeling really bold after shooting a bunch of frames with the mirror, step it up a notch and try breaking the glass! Not only will you feel like a rebel, but the thousands of shards of glass can create some beautiful results in your photography. Just be sure to be extra careful not to cut yourself in the process.
Create Your Own Bokeh Light Bursts
Ever seen a great photograph with stunning bursts of light in the background? Romantic, beautiful and impressive, these twinkles of light are called “bokeh” and they’re pretty easy to create on your own. All you need is a lens with a very large aperture (below f/2), a piece of black paper and a pair of scissors. First, cut out a shape from the black paper. You can start with a circle and then get creative with stars, hearts, triangles and more. The cutout should be about 2cm in diameter. Next, attach the piece of paper securely to your lens, set your aperture as low as possible and start shooting. Your final images will be sprinkled with fancy bursts of light! Put one of these images on your home page and you’ll be sure to catch your visitors’ attention.
Use a Lamp as Your Tripod
Don’t have a tripod lying around? No worries! If you unscrew the lampshade from any standard lamp, you can screw your camera right on top of the light. Believe it or not, that screw on your lamp is almost assuredly the same size as the one on your tripod. Then, place the lamp in front of your subject and take advantage of your brand new (free!) tripod. You’re ready to start shooting. Tripods (and lamps) are great for shooting self-portraits, high-speed photography, indoor photography and product pictures. In addition to keeping your camera steady, they can help you shoot a consistent frame time and time again.
Take the Lens Off Your Camera
If your camera has a removable lens, you can produce some exciting results with a technique called “free-lensing.” That’s right, you can actually shoot frames while your lens is detached from the camera. Great for macro shots and portraiture, the resulting images will have a very low depth of field and an artfully blurred background. To try it out, remove your lens from your camera, but hold it very close to the body while you shoot. This technique can take a bit of practice to master, but the striking results are well worth the time. Plus – it’s a lot of fun! A few quick tips to keep in mind: Make sure your camera is in manual mode, as the autofocus won’t work when the lens is detached. Take special care of your lens and camera body to make sure you don’t get dust inside your camera. Finally, practice on objects first, and then move on to people. You’ll find the objects are much more disciplined when it comes to standing still.
Protect Your Lens with a Beer Koozie
You’ve got a nice new lens for your camera, but no where to put it. If you haven’t yet invested in a fancy camera case, grab a beer koozie and slide your lens right in. Your lens will feel safe and secure in its nice new home. Now you just have to figure out where to put your beer.
By The Wix Team