You need the best set of equipment and the most fashionable tool. But here’s the surprise: few professional photographers don’t rely on them. Instead, they tried and tested frugal hacks for their equipment.

Don’t waste your money on expensive protective lenses and bags, lighting kits and stabilizers. Instead, save for a good lens or essentials like filters. And until you save up, use these smart tricks to make it happen.

1. Use a balloon as a diffuser

Once the flash fires, it illuminates the entire room. But if you’re shooting a portrait, you’re likely to get harsh lighting on the subject’s face. The flash diffuser, as the name suggests, diffuses the light from the flash and distributes it evenly.

Instead of paying for a diffuser, the Koldunov brothers offer to take a white ball with them. Whenever you need a diffuser, blow up the balloon and hold it over the flare. It acts as a diffuser and works well in both portrait and landscape modes. Plus, when it’s deflated, it can sit in your pocket.

It is easier and faster than other photography accessories. accessories for like using a milk carton or a white business card that requires precise cuts.

2. Old phone screens as polarizing filters

If you’re wondering what to do with your stupid old phone here’s a great idea: take it apart to remove the glass screen and use it with your new smartphone’s camera.

You see, old LCD screens contain a thin film. This film is a polarizing filter, which is one of the main photographic filters. So when you hold it against your camera lens, it will change the look of natural sunlight by filtering out light reflected from other objects like water. And you can adjust the filter to get different levels of polarizing effect.

3. DIY camera stabilizer with gift bag

The human hand trembles when moving, resulting in shaky video. To avoid this, you will need a stabilizer, which can cost hundreds of dollars. Instead, try this cheap hack for smooth videos.

Take any old gift bag with a thick, stable base. The bag should be large enough to fit to the side. Cut a hole in the side of the bag so that the camera lens can protrude from the bag. Now put the camera in the bag with the protruding lens and start shooting.

As long as you hold the bag by the handle, the camera will not twitch much. The end result is a steady video shot for no more than a torn bag. This is one of the most useful photo hacks. hacks for hacks for .

4. Flip a regular lens to make a macro lens

Your regular camera lens is not what you use when you need to take a close-up of any subject. That’s where you need a macro lens, but it’s obviously quite expensive. If you’re in a quandary, try changing lenses.

You can buy a return ring adapter from your camera manufacturer. allowing you to flip a standard 18-55mm lens for macro photography. But you’re here to find out how to do it a lot cheaper, right?

The Internet advises two methods. The first uses the toilet paper roll shown above, while the second uses materials such as filters and putty. If this is your first time, use the toilet paper method, which is much less likely to damage your lens or expose it to dust.

5. Plastic bag as a waterproof case

The best shots come when the weather shows character. For example, after the rain, you will get incredible photos. But you obviously also want to avoid destroying your DSLR. Well, all you need is a plastic bag, rubber band, and the lens hood that your lens came with.

Attach the lens hood, then put the bag over the hood and camera. Secure the bag to the hood with a rubber band. Lastly, rip out a hole in the lens bag and slide it back onto the lens hood. Your entire camera and lens will now be safe from the rain.

6. $5 PVC Light Stand

Lighting is the cornerstone of good photography, especially lighting when shooting in low light when shooting If you are going to buy a lightweight stand, it will easily set you back $25 or more. Instead, Frugal Filmmaker has a $5 DIY solution. It may not look good, but you can’t beat this price.

He does it all with PVC pipe, which you can find at any hardware store. You will need about 10 feet of pipe, some tees and couplings, and end caps. Sounds overwhelming if you’re new to DIY, but this is one of the easiest projects to get started.

7. Flexible and rigid mount, stand or selfie

This project is anything but easy and not recommended for beginners, but there is nothing like it on the market. We talked about tripods and stands for smartphones. earlier, but hacker Megan Yeomans made a unique flexible camera stand and kickstand. This is a three-foot-long wire that is completely flexible, but can be rigid if needed. Think of it like a gorillapod, but with one leg.

diy flexible camera stand

Yeomans says you’ll need vinyl tubing, heavy gauge copper wire, brass ferrules, standard bolts, epoxy, a vise, wires, and a torch. Your local hack space will have some of these tools, but you will need to purchase tubing, wires, couplers, and bolts for yourself.

Check out the complete instructions for making this tip, including the complicated step of annealing the copper. And if that’s too hard for you, we’ve tested some cheap and simple do-it-yourself smartphone tripods. and light tripods for and light tripods for .

What’s your favorite camera hack?

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to camera hacking. The internet is full of tips and tricks, from building your own lightbox to taking aerial photography without drones. We want to hear more!

So there you are, MacGyvers and DIYers. What is the best camera hack? It doesn’t matter if it’s for a smartphone or a DSLR, we want photographic ingenuity here.

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