86 Photography Hacks To Take Your Photos To The Next Level
One may buy the most expensive photography gear, yet one can't buy an eye for a good photo. Just like with any creative skill, imagination and a creative approach are key. However, while quality equipment certainly wouldn't hurt, it's really about knowing how to utilize the tools and functions already available in your hands. Some of the best photography hacks do exactly that: they teach you to use tools already available or easily accessible to achieve your best photo result.
Ironically, among the many great photography hacks are tips and tricks you may already know about. Perhaps you just forgot, or it's something so basic that it simply never crossed your mind. However, plenty of photography tips can also be new, depending on how long you've been in the field. Whether you are looking for photography tips for beginners or want to hone your skills, you're likely to leave this article with your creative juices flowing overboard and new ideas popping up!
Below, we've compiled a list of awesome photography tips and tricks that are easy and simple to implement. And besides that, won't make a dent in one's wallet! Have you ever used any of the basic photography tips we mentioned? Also, do you know of any more handy tips you would like to share with fellow shutterbugs? Is there a camera hack that took your photography to the next level? Let us know in the comments!
Create A Reflective Surface
One of the simplest smartphone photography tricks is this one. To create a reflective surface with your smartphone, place your phone's screen at the bottom of the DSLR. This popular technique can make a distinguished appearance and feel in your photographs.
Creative Ways To Use A Photo Frame
Another quick photo frame hack. You can take stunning images with natural light from the setting sun and a few old, no-longer-usable picture frames.
Make Bokeh Shapes
The Japanese word "bokeh" describes the blur in an image's out-of-focus area. Cut out intriguing shapes like tiny circles or stars from black poster board. Use the poster board to cover the lens and try out various focal lengths.
Use Marbles To Make Impressive Effects
The majority of marbles are made of glass. However, photographing marbles differs from photographing other kinds of glass. This results from the marbles’ smooth, spherical surface, which tends to reflect a lot of light from its surroundings. With appropriate lighting and settings, your photos incorporating marbles will look absolutely phenomenal.
You can create creepy yet amazing-looking pictures with just a few items. Just trust the process.
Don't Bin That Pringles Can Just Yet
This approach will help you produce more focused lighting in your photographs and consume an entire tube of Pringles in one sitting, so you're sure to like it. Also, you may want to reduce the size of the container's bottom opening so that a flash head can fit snugly through it.
Use Fairy Lights
You can take some incredible photos using fairy lights. And the best bit is that they are really affordable! One of the best uses for fairy lights is as a foreground bokeh close to the camera. Such placement will give the light the appearance of fuzzy spots and thus sweeten your photograph. You can also use fairy lights to illuminate objects like a lightbulb or a Mason jar.
Manipulate Visual Perception Using Forced Perspectives
A topic or object will appear larger the closer it is to the camera, especially when compared to a subject or object farther away. The same goes for making something appear smaller by keeping it further from the camera.
Use Your Sunglasses As A Filter
If you have a spare pair of reading glasses lying around, try creating a magnifying effect by holding the glasses in front of the lens. It can get you a similar result to lens ball photography without the financial outlay.
Use A Glass Coffee Table To Create An Interesting Frame
You might have seen this one on YouTube. Plenty of video tutorials show how you can equip your glass coffee table to create outstanding photos. You can place anything you wish on the tabletop, perhaps some tealights, leaves, or sand, and ask your model to lay under the table. While it may seem simple, shooting through the glass this way can bring an entirely new layer of depth to your image.
Use Your TV Or Computer Monitor To Create Backdrops
Suppose you don't have the chance to shoot in a studio or cannot locate the ideal location. In that case, your TV makes a wonderful prop to create an impressive background. Simply select the desired photo, put it on the TV, and hit the shutter. The TV is one of many fantastic photography accessories that might provide an excellent background for portrait shots. If you're photographing products, go with something smaller, like your computer monitor.
Remove Tourists From Your Pictures Using These Simple Steps
1. Set up your camera on a tripod and take images every 10-20 seconds or as required until you have captured every part of the scene unobstructed. The more shots you have of the scene unobstructed, the better.
2. Open Photoshop and select File > Scripts > Statistics.
3. Set it to "Median."
4. Open all the files you want to use.
5. If it was not shot on a stable tripod and the images do not line up perfectly, select "Auto-Align." Note that this only works for solid structures. If a tree/object has moved because of wind, this won't help.
Use A CD Or DVD To Make Lens Flares
This clever photography tip dates back to the 1990s. And like most other throwbacks from the 1990s, it's one to hold onto. Hold a CD in front of the camera to reflect light back into the camera's lens. For making lens flares that appear to move randomly, this is perfect.
Equip Kitchen Utensils To Play With Shadows
You can take a photo directly across from the natural light source to capture shadows. Or, you can place a strainer over your camera's flash. A what? A strainer, but any cooking tool with unique holes and shapes will do. Improve your portrait photography portfolio by experimenting with light to provide a special effect. You might also use window blinds, palm leaves, or anything crochet to create an interesting shadow.
Create A Sparkling Ring Of Fire
To create a sparkling ring of fire, you will need a few things: wire, sparklers, and tape. This quick photography hack will surely provide you with some fascinating results. But hey, be careful with the sparklers and come up with something other than your hands to hold the ring!
Make A DIY Underwater Housing
Want to take underwater pictures but don't want to spend money on expensive or, worse yet, cheap housing that leaks? Simply put your smartphone in a cup made of clear plastic or glass and submerge it. For larger cameras, a vase or fish tank can be used. Get pictures of your subject in the bathtub or pool by simply lowering the lens below the water's surface. But be careful not to drop the cup or fish tank, or whatever you are using, into the water!
In design, the positioning of visual components so they align in a composition is known as alignment. Both in design and photography, alignment is utilized to arrange elements, group them, provide balance, establish relationships between photo components, and produce a distinct result.
Shadows help define form and shape, but they may also evoke a sense of mystery and intrigue by changing the appearance of otherwise identifiable objects. In contrast to conventional photography, shadow play photography emphasizes narrative, emotion, and the creative use of shadow. Just keep trying new things and different lighting, be daring with your concepts, keep it lighthearted, and dazzle the spectators with your originality!
Make A DIY Infinity Curve
In product or food photography, the background is one of the most crucial stylistic elements. These days, it's popular to utilize a negative space strategy to eliminate any distracting components. A cloth or paper can ideally make up for a simple plain backdrop. However, instead of only placing the background behind the subject, it is advised to organize it so that it can easily change from a vertical to a horizontal surface. This is one of the photography backdrop tricks that gives the appearance of an "infinity curve," evoking an obscure space surrounding the subject. In photography, an infinity cove or infinity cyclorama is an entirely white area with no edges used to create the illusion that an object's background is infinite.
Use Cloth To Achieve The Soft-Focus Lens Effect
You can create a soft-focus lens effect using items you probably have lying around your house. Try using a cloth or a bandage and wrapping it around your lens for a soft, blurred-frame effect.
Use Plastic Props To Create "Wildlife Photography" At Home
Equipping the technique demonstrated above, you can take "wildlife" pictures in the comforts of your own bedroom. Literally.
Clever Ways To Use A Spring
A clever use of a spring can give the impression that you have some sort of superpower! Spring man? There are many ways to go about this. Just put your creative hat on!
Easy Macro Lens Hack
Want to transform your standard camera lens into a macro lens? All you really need is a cardboard paper towel roll (you could use a TP roll, but the effects would be slightly different). You want at least 10 centimeters or so of the tube. Cut the tube and then use black paper to line the inside of the tube so that the "lens" port is dark.
Shoot High-Speed Images At Home
High-speed photography literally takes your photos to the next level. High-speed might initially seem impossible to take at home, but this simple instruction will teach you how to freeze action. A tripod and a subject are the first things you'll need; the subject might be anything from a glass of water to painted balloons. In addition, you will need a solid backdrop and a wireless external flash (Speedlight).
Cut Different Shapes In A Cardboard For A Window Shadow
A cucoloris is a term for fake windows used in photography and cinematography. Any object or gadget that creates a pattern of shadows on a scene qualifies. They can also be referred to as cookies informally. A gobo or go-between is another name for them. It can refer to any object placed between the light source and the scene you are recording or photographing.
Use Torches To Add Lens Flare
You may add lens flares to your photos the organic way by shining a flashlight directly into your lens!
Create Your Own Lightbox
A lightbox is often essential for any product photography that calls for taking well-lit pictures of small objects. However, a cardboard box and a piece of plain white fabric might work just as well to create your own lightbox! Using tape and scissors, you can rig it yourself and save some precious dollar bills. Oh, and don't forget the desktop lamps placed on both sides!
Use Torn Photo Wall
Warning: using this hack may cost you a new background paper roll!
Use A Plastic Sandwich Bag To Produce A Foggy, Ethereal Effect
Want to produce a foggy, ethereal effect? To make it happen, all you need is a plastic quart bag. Cover your lens with a plastic sandwich bag to create a DIY haze filter/effect. But make sure there are no breadcrumbs left inside the bag!
Use Face-Symmetrical Things To Make A Perfect Portrait
The definition of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Even though everyone is charmed by a vast range of physical characteristics (thank goodness!), science has asserted facts about what we are biologically inclined to find more appealing. In fact, contrary to what was predicted, asymmetrical faces were widely perceived as more attractive.
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Pinhole Using Cardboard
Follow the direction above to make your photos look like they were taken in the '90s!
Keep Your Horizons Straight
When you notice anything intriguing, take a moment to check that the horizontal and vertical lines are straight before clicking. Today, it's become ingrained in all of us to point our cameras in the general direction of the subject we photograph. We suggest you line yourself up perfectly with that structure or person.
Imitate Rain With A Spray Bottle
If you don't want to risk shooting in the rain and getting your expensive gear wet, but still need that raining sensation in your pictures, you may want to try one of the easiest photography tricks. Simply use a picture frame and a spray bottle. Spray water on the glass surface to make raindrops. For a spectator, it's really hard to tell that those are not "real" raindrops.
Use A Coffee Sleeve As A Lens Hood
Another unexpected tool that may reduce glare? Save those Starbies' coffee sleeves for your upcoming shoot outdoors. You can use them when the sun causes glare on your camera lens.
Use Magnifying Glass To Imitate Macro Lens
You may bring your photography abilities to new creative heights with various macro photography tips, such as utilizing a magnifying glass to create close-up shots. Also, you may include the magnifying glass in the frame to give your photo a unique flair.
DIY Colorful Filter
Colored filters are precisely what they sound like — a piece of tinted glass that you place in front of the lens. These filters' effect relies on the filter's color and alters how the camera perceives light. However, while the results may not be the same, you can try DIYing your own color filter using transparent scotch tape and markers before investing in one.
Create A Unique Self-Portrait Using Lace
You may make your portraits appear more dramatic by simply adding shadows. It gives a flat image some punch and makes it more attractive. For this reason, looking for ways to add shadows on purpose may be a brilliant idea. And one of the simplest ways to do so is by utilizing lace.
Look For Symmetry
If you discover an image that reflects the exact same from top to bottom or from right to left, your viewer will turn over with delight! How often do we see something every day and then see a photographer take a picture that shows an entirely different angle of the same thing? Not so often!
Use A Shower Curtain To Create A DIY Softbox
This method is a brilliant choice for a homemade soft light. All you need is an intense light and something to hang the shower curtain from, which you most likely already have or can easily pick up at the shop.
Use Drinking Glasses As A Lens Filter
Give one of the many glasses you likely have in your kitchen cupboards another purpose by using it as a lens filter to create an interesting effect.
Use A Pantyhose Or Stocking Filter
Want to give your photographs a little color or diffusion? Put a nylon stocking over the lens (borrow from your mother or a girlfriend if you don't have one lying around). You can create your own DIY lens filter by securing it with a rubber band. Also, You can try something more vibrant using colored stockings or neutral with a white pair.
Reduce Camera Shake With A Bag Of Lentils
Getting down to your subject’s eye level, whether it’s a squirrel or a bird, can create a very intimate and natural shot. However, laying down and using your elbows as camera support is neither comfortable nor solid enough to reduce camera shake and ensure proper, sharp images. Thus, placing a bag of lentils may be the solution!
Use A Hair Dryer To Create A Windy Effect
To create the appearance of windblown hair, ask your model or someone to assist in holding a hair dryer. This DIY photography tip should also be helpful for those who take self-portraits!
Use A Simple Steamer To Add Steam
Any food photographer or product photographer will love this technique: use a simple steamer that is out of the shot to add steam to your photographs.
Use Glow Sticks For Long Exposure
This hack only requires a few glow sticks, which you can typically get for $1 at any store, a model, and a dark setting. Adjust your shutting speed and have your model draw shapes in the air!
Get That Perfect Top-Down Photo For Your Instagram
Duck-tape your phone to the ceiling and go under it to take a perfect top-down photo for your Instagram.
Create Magical Food Photos With DIY Flour Clouds
Try out this DIY photography hack to produce outstanding food photos and make them appear vivid and dynamic! To surround your subject with clouds, you'll need to add some flour. Yes, flour you make pancakes with. To create your magical photo, follow these steps:
1. Plan your shoot using a sketch.
2. Gather the props and equipment.
3. Make a DIY cloud gun.
4. Keep all objects in place with glue and knitting needles.
5. Arrange the composition to make it steady and still.
6. Use two light sources for lighting the scene.
7. Take the photo step-by-step.
8. Edit your magical photo in post-processing. Voila!
Use A Black Tile For Product Photography
If you want a clear image with an unusual reflection, try utilizing a black backdrop with a black tile underneath your product. It will enhance any product image without being too distracting.
Make Your Gorillapod Magnetic
Your already helpful Gorillapod can become even more practical with this method. Drill a small hole in your Gorillapod's feet and insert magnets that fit inside its leg. However, it's essential to understand that this modification will nullify the warranty on your Gorillapod!
DIY Light Table
Light tables can be handy for taking beautiful product photos. Using this tutorial above and a basic cardboard box, you can easily make your own.
Apply Vaseline To Your Lens Filter To Create A Dreamy Effect
This is a tried-and-true old trick. Early Hollywood film directors would apply vaseline to their lens filters to create a dreamy effect. By using this technique, you may give your subject a subtle shine without applying too much makeup. However, vaseline should be applied on clear plastic wrap or a filter rather than the lens itself.
Use Natural Surroundings To Your Benefit
You've undoubtedly heard a million times to stand with your back to the sun to prevent your subject from seeming too dark in a photo, but if you are clever about what blocks the sun, you can obtain a beautiful outdoor shot.
Use Trees Or Bushes For A Backdrop
Ask your model to pose in front of some shrubs or trees to make a stunning nature image.