Make Your Own Filters and Special Effects
In our last camera tricks session we covered some basic techniques related to camera operation, lens usage, and camera settings to achieve different image effects without the use of Photoshop.
This time around we will still achieve in-camera effects but with the use of homemade lens filters and accessories that you can use at a moment’s notice.
Some of the following images show the final effect, while others represent the typical effect that can be realized.
An easy solution is to use a pair of polarized sunglasses. Merely place one of the sun glass lenses in front of the camera lens. Look through the camera viewfinder or LCD display while rotating your sunglasses. The sky’s color will gradually change to a deeper blue. Once you see the level of saturation you are satisfied with, snap your picture and you’re done.
Get Hosed with a Pantyhose Diffusion Filter
Ask your girlfriend or female acquaintance for any pantyhose they are planning to dispose of. Once you get a pair, simply cut a swatch out that is large enough in size to wrap itself around and in front of a camera lens. The result is an unusually soft diffusion effect. Using different colored pantyhose modifies the image according to the hue used.
Wire Mesh Star Filter
Go to your local hardware store or garden supply house and ask a sales rep to cut and sell you one square foot of wire mesh screen. Use a soup can or other round object to trace a circle large enough to cover the front of your lens. Any specular highlights or bright light sources will be surrounded by a four point star effect.
Clear Focus Diffusion Effect
For this effect to work, all you need to do is to smear some Vaseline jelly in a donut shaped pattern around your clear filter lens or piece of glass. The middle is clear while the rest of the “donut” shape is covered with a thin film of the lubricant. To increase the effect of diffusion, use more petroleum jelly or make the clear center area smaller.
Experiment and Have Fun
Photoshop and other image manipulation programs are great at enhancing, transforming or augmenting photos. But the use of in-camera effects has its place in helping graphic artists and designers to achieve unique special effects that are simple and quick to implement.
The bottom line is to have fun with these effects and keep them in mind on your next photo shoot. You may find them to be very helpful for that special mood that you are trying to achieve.
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