10 Low Budget Hacks Every Photography Student Should Know

We all know how hard it can be to get creative with your photography while working with a limited budget. But look no further! Here are 10 great photography hacks that will add some interest to your photos for a small amount of money. From cool flash diffuser tricks to some creative photo effects made from household objects, this list shows you how spending very little can score you some really cool photography techniques. Take a look!

1. Use a tri-fold presentation board instead of buying a $40+ reflector kit. Put foil over the board and it is all ready to use for under $5 total.

2. To create artistic, soft photos, hold a translucent object in front of the lens and move it around. As you move the object around, this will create different softening patterns at it’s edges, depending on the location and angle. With the right lighting and having the object in just the right spot, you might also be able to catch some neat reflections or solar flare effects in the shot. Kleenex tissues are great for this trick, but instead of holding it in front of the lens, hold it in front of the light. It will diffuse the light upward and soften your shot.

4781061286_66536903bb_z 3. Similarly, we’re all familiar with vintage-style camera effects thanks to popular apps like Instagram, but applying those modifications after you take the image doesn’t look as authentic and can actually hurt the quality of the image. Instead, you can create true light leaks and special effect color with a plastic sandwich bag and a colored marker.

4. Instead of buying a slider, try using a tripod. All you have to do is rock the tripod back and forth from side to side on it’s legs. You can also use it like a dolly by moving it forward and back.

5. Use an egg timer for a cheap 360 degree time lapse. Just set the timer for a long period of time, attach the camera to the egg timer and rest it on a tripod. After the time is up, you’ll have a great 360 degree shot!

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6. If you have an iPhone, you can use your headphones to take a picture from a longer distance away. All you have to do is set the camera up, and press the volume-up button on the headset to take a photo.

7. Instead of storing your SD cards in a plastic bag, in your pocket, or someplace else it might fall out of, stick them in your lens cap and store them safely in your camera bag until you are finished using your camera.

8. Did you know that Photoshop has a great tool to get rid of tourists from your great architecture, landscape and attraction shots? First, using a tripod and making sure the camera does not move, take a series of photos while you wait for the tourists to move around differently in your shot. Then, load all of the photos into Photoshop and go to menu: scripts -> statistics, and it will automatically remove anything from the photo that is not consistent within all the shots.

9. If you want to take extreme close-up photographs and can’t afford an expensive macro lens, all you have to do is flip your regular detachable lens backwards. You’ll have to hold it in place, meaning that the part that normally locks your lens into the camera will be facing your subject, and the part that’s normally facing outward will be pressed against your camera body. Hold the lens tight against the opening of your camera. Since the lens is flipped, you won’t be able to auto-focus (or adjust focus manually) as you normally would. Instead, the trick to focusing your image is to move the camera closer and closer to your subject until it pops into focus in your viewfinder. Then all you have to do is shoot the picture.

10. The best equipment doesn’t help if you’re not standing in the right spot for taking that particular shot. Instead of wasting money on very pricey tools and programs to make your photos better, you probably just need to be a little more adventurous with your photography skills. If you think you have to climb on top of a building to get the best shot, then you probably do. With this, it’s best to take pictures when you’re most awake so you pay more attention to specific details within your potential photograph.

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