Photography may not be one of the cheaper hobbies, but it is certainly one of the most rewarding. Being able to capture beautiful shots of family gatherings, special occasions or your child’s first steps is a useful talent that your entire family will appreciate. As every avid photographer knows, a decent camera and lens is only the most basic equipment required to produce the perfect shot. Camera accessories can sometimes cost as much as a camera itself even though most are made from nothing more than paper and plastic. If you have a digital printer, some cardstock, scissors and a little patience, you can create your own camera accessories that are almost as good as the real thing.
Flash gels help to balance the colour of a photograph when using the flash. Although gels are not the most expensive piece of equipment around, anyone planning on a serious photography career will certainly be going through a large number of them. You can download and print your very own flash gels in PDF form using just a transparency sheet and a digital photo printer. Be sure to use high quality ink cartridges such as those available from Stinky Ink for the best result.
Flash Gel Holder
Once you have your gels, you will need a way to hold them in place. The folded flash gel holder is an ingenious tool that you can print out and fold according to the instructions. The holder will then fit onto your camera flash and keep your gel perfectly in place while you work on getting that perfect shot.
A lens hood is an essential piece of equipment that protects your camera lens and blocks out light from the side to prevent glare. A replacement lens hood for a top quality camera can cost as much as £400, and you will have to order the correct model for your camera and wait until it arrives. Alternatively, you can download a printable lens hood for your camera immediately and completely free of charge. A printable camera lens also has the added benefit of being completely portable, and you don’t even need to worry about losing it.
Flash Bounce Card
A flash bounce card is the most simple and perhaps the most effective homemade camera accessory. All you need is a piece of white card trimmed to fit in front of your flash. The flash bounce projects the light away from your shot making it look less harsh. Many professional photographers use a bounce flash for events such as weddings or christenings where a soft, flat light is more appropriate than harsh white lighting.
Homemade camera accessories help you to decide whether or not it is worth shelling out hundreds of pounds on the real thing. Although your paper accessories may give a similar effect to the actual equipment, they will probably not be able to stand up to repeated use or shooting in extreme conditions.