8 Camera Hacks You Can Use in a Pinch

If you find yourself shooting B-roll or detail shots and want to spice it up, but don't have all your gear, here are eight tricks using everyday items you can find on location.

As photographers our days are filled with being creative. Sometimes you get bored or find yourself in a pinch and start experimenting with the stuff around you to get that image in your head just right. In the video Peter McKinnon takes 90 seconds to show you eight ways you can use items you might have on you to create some interesting results. Whether that's using a belt as a video slider, Chapstick for that vintage beauty look, or your sunglasses to add a little color to a scene. It seems like most these tricks would work better for video. However I'll definitely give the flashlight into the lens for sunflare/light leak effect a try. I could see that coming in handy shooting B-roll and saving some time in post.

  • Turn your belt into a DIY Slider/stabilizer.
  • Use a coffee sleeve as a lens hood.
  • Create that vintage beauty film look with some Chapstick
  • Some plastic wrappers for a focusing effect.
  • Tinted shades to add color to a scene.
  • A knife blade for a reflected surface.
  • No Sun? make your own lens flare.
  • Use your cellphone for all kinds of uses.




[ via Peter McKinnon ]

Michael DeStefano's picture

Michael DeStefano is a commercial/editorial photographer focusing on Outdoor Lifestyle and Adventure. Based in Boston, MA he combines his passion for outdoor sports like climbing and surfing into his work. When not traveling or outdoors he is often found geeking out over new tech gadgets.

Log in or register to post comments

holding the knife that close to a lens is mildly infuriating

I cringed when he put chapstick all over the lens. Hopefully it was a filter.

Was a pretty common practice back in the old days, they used vaseline instead, gave a really interesting dreamy almost ProMist kinda effect....but same end result...that front element of your lens...positively fucked.

"Ways to ruin your lens"

One trick that really works in film that I've seen during a production was placing few nylon wires along the hood, the lit them using a small torch. Flares were pretty insane!

Can you post some examples?

Only require google.com and a keyboard dude.. Here is one site, stockings used with lens in video work. http://nofilmschool.com/2013/12/diffusion-how-and-why-to-use-stockings-o...

I was asking more for the community that might read these comments. Also I dont think by "Nylon Wires" he meant stockings, but thanks for the link.

Nylon was used to put in front of the glass or behind the lens, the incoming specular light will make flares no matter what you shine on the lens. I think that was also in the article. I have not heard about nylon wires dangling in front ever, could be a misunderstanding going on.

A minute and 20....isn't that 80 seconds? He should name it Hacks in UNDER 90 seconds :) Like the belt sling.