It is not necessary to have the most expensive camera to achieve incredible photographs, just as it is not necessary to have the most expensive accessories to be able to photograph like a professional . While the quality of the accessories is essential to achieve clear and quality photographs, the important thing is to understand how these elements work, beyond the materials with which they are made. You can achieve amazing results using items that you would commonly throw away.
Waiting to save money to get a diffuser, a window of light or why not, your own photo studio, can be desperate but, with a little imagination, you can make it yourself. You will be surprised with the results you can achieve.
In today’s article I have prepared a selection of photographic accessories that are easy to manufacture with disposable materials and that will be essential when working on your photographs while saving you some euros. Bricogotography begins
Diffusers are accessories that are placed in front of a light source (flash, reflector, etc.) in order to manipulate the way it affects the subjects or objects you are going to photograph. You can blur it, direct it, bounce it, etc., according to the way they are constructed.
Not all diffusers are the same, there are as many as situations you can present when taking your photographs and even more if, using your imagination, you manage to make your own.
Here are some examples of homemade diffusers that you can build yourself, using materials normally available to anyone:
These types of flash diffusers allow you to have more control over the direction the light will take when shooting from your flash . The light passes through the small tubes preventing it from dispersing, channeling it through them. Even if you are surprised, you can make your own almost for free, just get a few sorbets, glue and desire and you will be ready to make your own. How to do it? Check out the video below that I have left for you.
How to mount it
2. Soft Light Diffuser (DIY)
Surely you have seen this type of diffusers mounted on the cameras of professional photographers, or in a shop window of a photography shop. For a few euros you can get one, but did you know you can do it for free? Yes, with just a sheet of paper, scissors and a little glue you can make yours in just a matter of minutes. Pay attention to the image of explanation and get to work!
3. Circular diffuser
If you are a macro photography lover or you are getting started in product photography , a circular flash will be almost indispensable. What are very expensive? In no way, you can make yours with just a cheap salad bowl, a plastic one, cardboard and some aluminum foil.
If you look you will see that the lid of the container works like a diffuser, while the metallic paper concentrates the light of the flash inside it. Look at the result, surprising truth?
COLORED JELLIES FOR YOUR FLASH
Colored jellies are filters that are used to change the color of the light emitted by the flash and thus achieve spectacular effects. They are an excellent accessory since they are not expensive at all, even less if you make them yourself.
Go to the nearest store, buy colored acetates and use them the next time you fire your flash. You can use them both in external flashes as well as in the flash built into your camera just by putting it in front of it during shooting.
Oh, and with a little imagination, you can adapt the jellies to your flash
The main function of the parasols is not to decrease the “amount” of light from the socket as the name may suggest. Parasols are used to prevent unwanted halos of light from ruining our shots. This defect is known as “flare” and occurs when the lateral light that reaches the target is reflected in the crystals.
Don’t worry, just by placing your sun visor you can avoid it! What have you lost the sun visor? Do not run to the store to spend a fortune to replenish it, you can get out of step by printing it again. If, you heard correctly , you read correctly, entering LensHoods.co.uk , you will be able to download the one corresponding to your objective and print it in a matter of seconds.
A lightbox or “softbox” is, as the name implies, a box with translucent sides that allows to convert hard and direct light, applied through it, into a soft light that does not generate very sharp shadows. This accessory is ideal for photo products and still lifes with professional results without the need for expensive equipment.
Although you can get them for very little money on sites like eBay, you can make your own without spending a single penny and, at the same time, recycle. You will only need a cardboard box, some white cards and a light source. You will be surprised by the results that you will be able to obtain thanks to it.
A window of light is a diffuser of soft light but on a large scale, that is why the name “window”. They are used in studies to make the light of a flash or reflector as smooth as possible. The larger the surface where the light bounces, the softer the light in the scene. This is why light windows are widely used by professional photographers in their studios.
With a little imagination, cardboard and a white cloth you can make yours without much effort. You can use as your light source, either your external flash or, if you don’t have one, any lamp you have on hand.
Another accessory that will make you feel like a professional are the reflector umbrellas that are used in large photographic productions to scatter light. Again, it is not necessary that you go into too much expense to be able to get one: any white umbrella will help you blur the light in your photographic productions, at least, until you can get a professional one.
ACCESSORIES FOR STABILITY
As I mentioned in the article “24 ways of how to achieve sharpness” , the stability of the equipment at the time of taking the shots is essential to achieve clear photographs. But what to do if you don’t have a tripod? Easy, you make one!
Here are some pictures for you to use as inspiration:
1. Mono pie
If you are looking for something more elaborate, or less rustic, you can try to achieve something like this:
2. Rope Tripod
As surprising as it may seem, you can achieve sharper photos thanks to a tripod made with a rope. Actually, more than a tripod this well-known trick works like a homemade stabilizer. How? On one end you secure the camera to the rope with a screw, on the other you place your foot. When stretching the rope, the tension of the rope will prevent you from making sudden movements. You just have to adjust the rope according to your height.
3. Tripod stabilizer
Most professional tripods , having to withstand very heavy cameras and lenses, allow greater stability to be gained by lowering their center of mass. This function can not be found on medium or low-end tripods, unless you manufacture it
By adding a counterweight to the central axis of your tripod, you will make it become much more stable. Look at the following example:
As we saw in the article “Complete Guide: Cleaning Tips for SLR Cameras” , water and dust fight side by side to see who is the worst enemy of your camera. Once inside the camera, outside, on the threads, buttons or between the gears of the lenses, dust and water are a threat to both your photographs and your equipment.
What if I told you that all these risks can disappear with a simple bag? Yes Yes. Look, you can minimize all these risks if, when you go to the supermarket, you buy a pair of “Ziplock” bags, of these with airtight closure. Be sure to place the bag as seen in the photo below, and there will be no rain that can stop you.
OBJECTIVES AND FILTERS
1. Neutral density filter
Neutral density filters are not an economical accessory and even less quality ones, but if you do not have many euros to get one, you can use as a neutral density filter protective glasses that are used in the construction to make welds. They are easy to get, cheap and ideal to achieve this kind of effects for little money.
2. Pinhole lens
Pinhole photography is a technique by which you can obtain photographs with a very particular effect with virtually no equipment. You just need to make the target! Neglect, it is very simple: you just have to find a cover that you do not use and that you can pierce (you can use the lens cover if you have another), aluminum foil and a needle.
3. LENS OR FILTER FOR BOKEH
The bokeh or blur is the way in which a target manages to blur the objects that are in front of and behind the focal plane, that is, the sharp area. The magic of the bokeh happens in the diaphragm, and in how it is constructed: the amount of leaves of this defines the naturalness of the blur. But, what happens if you place a cardboard with a cut-out shape in front of the target? Check out the results and you will see it.
One of the most effective ways to prevent dust, sand and moisture from attacking your targets is to keep them in the right place: their case. But: do you have a case for each of your accessories?
You don’t have to be a great seamstress to make a cover for your goals, filters, etc. Just a piece of cloth of your liking, a pad for the base and a rope with a bolt to ensure that nothing enters or leaves it.
At the beginning of your life as a photographer you may worry about the safety of your equipment when transporting it. The backpacks and bags that you can find in stores attract too much attention from thieves and are quite expensive, so finding an alternative becomes somewhat tempting.
You can transform any ordinary bag or backpack into an ideal one to transport your equipment safely, with a little imagination. Look at the following examples that I leave below:
In product photography , in fashion photography and in macro photography it is very common to work on plain backgrounds known as “infinite backgrounds” that are used to be able to abstract the subject or object from the background without having to spend hours in front of the computer then in the edition.
To make your infinite background you can use almost any material: cardboards, fabrics and even a sheet, you just have to keep in mind that, the greater the thickness of the material you use, the better results you will get.
YOUR OWN STUDIO
Now that you have seen all the accessories that you can make yourself, you are in optimal conditions to build your own home studio with very little money. You have no excuses!
Hey, if you don’t believe it, here is a video where you can see how with a few euros and imagination you can do a professional study in your own home:
As you can see, there are ideas for all those needs that may arise. I hope I have fired your imagination and your desire to maximize your creativity. I hope that, in the comments, you share your creations and astonish us all.
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