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10 DIY Photography Projects to Save You Money

For those who don’t know, the DIY Photography equipment niche has gone from strength to strength recently. More people are becoming interested in photography, but can’t afford all the tasty equipment that comes with it. So they get creative.
As a lover of putting together flatpack furniture (yeah, that’s right), I love DIY photography. They don’t always work out to be the best quality gear, but that’s to be expected when you consider the cost. But they can give you a really good sense of whether you want to invest in the branded gear.
This post was inspired by an article I recently saw on David Hobby’s website, The Strobist. There he reviews a product called Bounce-Wall. It looks like a great product and something that I will keep my eye on,.
But the very next day after hearing about it, I see the DIY guide is already available. And what’s more, the guide was produced by the very company who produce the Bounce-Wall.
Pretty cool.

[ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here. —Ed.]

Bounce-Wall

The concept is that you can hold a screen above your camera, and bounce your flash off of it. This gives you a really soft light because it’s indirect, and a much better alternative to using an off-camera flash without a modifier. It’s also easier to carry and shoot with.
And you can reproduce this product for a mere 99c. Pretty cool, huh?
The guide is in German, but the photos are good enough for you to work it out for yourself.
DIY Bounce-Wall – $1
Create your own bounce wall - DIY Photography Projects Custom Bokeh
You can buy expensive filter holders, with custom made bokeh shapers. But that’s not entirely necessary anymore. Thanks to this useful tutorial, you can create your own custom bokeh.
When done correctly, you can create a gorgeous professional image that really pops off the page (or screen).
This post shows you how to customize the shape and style of your bokeh with your very own makeshift bokeh filter.
DIY Bokeh – $1 Make your own bokeh - DIY Photography Projects

Light Tent

If you want to take some clean product photos, with a white background, then this is a really useful tutorial. Ordinarily, you’d have to invest in some professional grade gear, but that’s not what this article is all about.
Darren Rowse over at Digital Photography School has put together a guide with some information provided by a forum member, on how you can make one yourself using some very basic materials.
DIY Light Tent – $5 Make your own light tent - DIY Photography Projects

Image Stabilizer

The best way to stabilize your camera is to use a tripod, but who wants to always carry one of those with them? Not me.
And to be honest, most of the time, I don’t want to carry a monopod either.
Especially when it’s winter, and the metal is cold against your skin.
In comes the $1 camera image stabilizer, which is just a bolt, a piece of string, and a washer. Remarkable stuff.
String Camera Image Stabilizer – $1Create your own image stabilizer - DIY Photography Projects

Pop-Up Flash Bounce

Pop up flashes produce notoriously bad lighting, which is why most photographers never use them. But it doesn’t have to be like that anymore, because there are a few ways you can modify the light, and this is one of them.
Rather than having the flash face the subject, you place some reflective card in between, at a 90-degree angle, and bounce the light above and behind you.
This makes for much more natural lighting.
DIY Pop-Up Flash Bounce – 25cMake your own speedlight bouncer - DIY Photography Projects

Beauty Dish

The beauty dish is probably my favorite lighting modifier because I love how the light falls off the subject, in a really soft way.
I recommend them to everyone, but they’re not always the cheapest thing to buy. That’s where Todd Owyoung comes in from IShootShows. He’s written a hugely detailed guide to building your own.
Check it out.
DIY Beauty Dish – $20
Make your own beauty dish - DIY Photography Projects

DSLR Steadicam

As people film more and more with DSLRs, it’s important to keep this footage steady. That’s where the steadycam comes in.
This will counterbalance any movement from your hands, and keep your photos and videos steady.
Problem is though that it’s quite expensive, so here’s a much cheaper way to do it.
DIY DSLR Steadicam
Create your own steadycam - DIY Photography Projects

Softbox

I’ve seen a number of DIY soft-boxes. Most are made from cardboard, wire and fabric or other random items. None of these look very good or are very strong.
Andrew (the writer of this guide) wanted something that would hold up to some abuse and that didn’t look like it was assembled from old boxes.
It’s a really great guide, check it out.
DIY Softbox
Make your own soft box - DIY Photography Projects

Ring Flash

Right flashes produce some really good lighting, but boy can they be expensive. Not if you do it the DIY way though, and opt to use some materials from your home, and a little bit of your time.
This is a really detailed tutorial, although it does require you to use your flash off camera. That’s not hard though.
DIY Ring Flash
Create your own ring flash - DIY Photography Projects

Backdrop Stand

This article will explain how to design and assemble bluescreens, greenscreens and backdrops for photos and video. It will also show you how to easily and inexpensively build a portable frame to support these backdrops. You just need some PVC pipe or metal conduit for the frame.
It’s a really thorough article, with good details on pricing too.
DIY Backdrop Stand
Make your own backdrop - DIY Photography Projects

Hey, that’s all folks. Like it? Pin it! 🙂

11 comments
  1. I built a great slide to digital converter for around $10.00 -better than a film scanner, and looks very professional.
    Looking to sell an illustrated article on it – any suggestions? Want to buy it?
    I am a retired industrial photographer.
    Milt

Comments are closed.
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