5 Photography Hacks Under One Dollar

5 Photography Hacks Under One Dollar

Last Updated on July 21, 2021 by PixelPluck

Photography is an expensive hobby. However, there are tricks to get the best out of photography on a budget. These cheap photography hacks under one dollar will help you create unique photographs with limited resources.

There are many tricks in photography that can help you to get impressive results. Here are 5 of them which you can try out today. All of these photography tricks and hacks are simple and none are going to cost you more than one dollar at most. Most of these hacks use household items and you don’t even need to spend that one dollar. All tricks under 1 Dollar.

1. Custom Bokeh Shapes

Items Required:

  • Card-paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Disposable glass

You can create your bokeh shape in place of those circles. You can create heart shapes, Christmas tree shapes, squares, or just any shape. All you need is a thick piece of card paper, scissors, and disposable glass. For best results use a lens with a large maximum aperture like a 50mm f1.8 lens. 50mm is the lens of choice when upgrading from the kit lens.

cheap photography hacks under one dollar
Bokeh Shape Hack

Cut the paper into a round shape which should be slightly larger than the diameter of the lens. Cut out a custom shape right in the center of the card paper. Now cut out the base of the disposable glass. The glass should be just big enough to slide on your lens. Paste the cut-out of paper-card on the glass bottom and that’s all. Snap it on your lens, shoot and enjoy your custom bokeh shape. Use a larger aperture value like f1.8 for better results.

custom bokeh shapes hack
custom bokeh shapes

2. Flash bounce card

Items Required:

  • Playing card (Ace)
  • Rubber band

You might lose your inbuilt bounce card on your external flash or your built-in flash may not have one. Bounce cards are very useful in directing the light in a certain direction as well as bouncing them to get an even flash effect. You may use a playing card and use a rubber band to replace your small or lost bounce card. Using Ace card ensures most of the surface stays blank for better reflection.
Check the Top External Speedlites.

cheap photography hacks under one dollar
Using playing card on Flash

3. Blurred background and Haze

Items Required:

  • Transparent & Thin Plastic bag
  • Rubber-bands

Most amateurs and hobbyists rely on their kit lens and crave some good blurred background in their portraits. Well, you can very well buy the inexpensive 50mm f1.8 lens or just have some fun trying this trick. Crumple the plastic bag. Wrap it at the front of your lens. Use a rubber band to fix it.

diy photography hacks

Tear it at the center using your hand which will bring stretch marks and will produce a fading transition effect from blurred to sharp region. You can use two bags to achieve greater blur. The images will be different and interesting. This bokeh is called foreground bokeh.

4. Turkey pan as beauty dish

Items Required:

  • Large turkey pan container / any container with aluminum foil
  • Scissor
  • Tape
  • Aluminum foil
5 photography hacks under one dollar

The beauty dish is extensively used by portrait photographers to get beautiful lighting effects on their subjects. It is a popular photography hack for lighting. The intensity of light on the subject is much higher than the surrounding which makes it stand out. The silver color reflected adds to the effect. Just cut a hole at the center in the turkey pan which should be large enough for a flash/bulb to be inserted. Add some aluminum foil in front so that the light is reflected in the pan. You may also use a compact disk for this.

Assemble as shown below and voila. If you don’t have an external flash then you may use a light bulb or a fluorescent bulb. The quality and white balance will depend upon the type of light source you choose. You can adjust them later in post-processing but it’s always good to get things straight at the shoot to minimize post-processing requirements.

5. Shoot underwater

Items Required:

  • Ziplock Bag
  • Smartphone or a camera
cheap photography hacks

Ever imagined shooting underwater in a swimming pool? Or maybe dropping a coin or anything in a bucket full of water and shooting it from below? You can do these awesome shoots with your normal point and shoot, but yes there will be a risk so try it out with care and at your own risk. (But the risk is fun!). Just switch on your camera or smartphone and put it inside the zip-lock bag, close it. You can use another bigger zip lock for extra protection. Now start experimenting with underwater photography. Drop objects in the bucket and shoot from inside the water. Be creative and use external lighting like a table lamp if required to get faster shutter speed. Using cheap photography hacks under one dollar means getting resourceful.

These 5 cheap photography hacks under one dollar will help you get unique photographs without spending on expensive equipment. It is good to experiment and learn. Learning by doing is the way forward in photography.

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