Snapping photos with a phone is fast becoming it’s own subgenre of photography: “iphoneography.” While the cameras in our phones get better and better, there are still some things — macroshots, decent lighting, the perfect selfie angle — that you can’t expect your phone to manage straight out of the box. To help you get some unique shots, here are seven projects to mod your smartphone and experiment with photography.
Gobo Arm Camera Phone Stand
Overhead shots can be notoriously tricky to get right if you’re holding your camera in your hands. If you’re doing a lot of “Step-by-step” photography, often overhead shots are the easiest way to illustrate a step (trust us, we should know!). This stand will latch onto your workbench allowing you to get your top-down shot without having to juggle your phone, your project, your tools, and allow you to focus on what’s really important: your hand modeling.
Inexpensive Digital Microscope
Perfect for the citizen scientist, this project uses the lens from a laser pointer and some cheap materials to create a digital microscope rig that just needs your phone’s camera to work. Use more than one lens and you can get up to 375x magnification!
A Very Basic Macro Lens Hack
For a little more maneuverability you might want to put the laser pointer lens directly over your phone’s camera. The ol’ tape and bobby pin method is very effective and uses minimal supplies, but if you’re looking for something that looks a little less thrown-together, then this 3D printed lens holder posted on Youmagine is made to fit into a phone case.
DIY Ring Light Case
Nothing throws off a selfie like harsh shadows on your face. To minimize shadows, Simon Ellington created this ring light phone case from a camping light. Ring light bonus: you’ll get little circles of light reflected in your eyes.
Flexible Smartphone Tripod
Henk Rijckaert made this flexible tripod design from items in his shop. The electrical wire used for the legs of this makeshift tripod is rigid enough to hold your phone up and in place for a quick shot, but can still be bent, allowing you to wrap it around railings or tree branches.
DIY Gimbal for Iphone
A steadier hand can make for better photographs, but it’s an absolute necessity when it comes to film. This 3 axis gimbal is made with a smartphone in mind (instead of camera) and gives your home movies a much smoother movement.
Of course, you’ll want to show off your photography skills once you’ve had some fun experimenting. Here’s a Make: project to project images from your phone onto your wall.