“Insider tips”

Sorry to disappoint you. This is not a blog for insider trading tips on Wall Street or international markets. However, if you are a hobbyist or professional photographer, you may be interested in these ideas for “unconventional uses of non-standard equipment.”

Have you ever wanted to use a welding mask as a lens filter to catch that solar flare? Maybe your object is¬†silhouetted against the sun, or you just need another filter to get this picture while a new filter is in shipment. Have no fear, the “jack of all unconventionally used equipment” has some suggestions. [No, the super hero bit does not work for the author. -Editor]

A welder’s mask is an option though usually bulky and not practical to carry with your bag of equipment.

On the left is a lens from wrap around sunglasses and a picture to it’s right that illustrates the effects it gives to a photograph shooting into the sun.

For less bulk and still providing some amount of light filtering, try using a lens from an old pair of sunglasses (picture on the right). Holding the sunglasses lens up to your camera lens as if it were your eye works very well.

Pictured below is a flash-light I carry in my camera bag which is not sold as a piece of photography equipment. The picture next to it illustrates what it adds to a shot.

The light which makes the walls to glow are from the lights in the Christmas tree, but without the flash-light pictured above, the presents and the bow would have been silhouetted. The use of the flash-light in this picture is in the style of photography called "light painting". It is a very interesting technique.

This is the family Christmas tree with some slight and true edits.

Have you ever needed a flash and the built-in flash never properly illuminated or over illuminated your subject? Try mounting your camera on a tripod and lighting your subject with a flash-light, by hand, instead of a flash. This can be tricky, but with planned coordination a lot of fun! There are several things that will need to be prepared before hand in order for this solution to be effective.

  1. A sturdy tripod adjusted to the appropriate height.
  2. Camera shutter speed set so that you have time to illuminate the subject.
  3. Test the proper White Balance setting for the flash-light so as to prevent odd coloring in the photo.
  4. Test the amount of time you will need to illuminate the subject for proper exposure.

This is not meant to tell you how to do anything, although we do hope it gives you the help and creative suggestions that you need to try new things. Enjoy and keep learning!