10 Weekend Photography Hacks on Make: Projects

Photography & Video Technology

What better way to wind down our Photo and Video Month on MAKE than with a roundup of 10 photography hack projects you can embark on this weekend. Check out our photography archive for the full month’s coverage and then some. All 10 of the projects listed below are available in their entirety over on our projects wiki, Make: Projects. Below you’ll find embedded mini versions of each project, but click on the project of your choice to see the robust build with full-sized images.

Pictured above is an image taken with the super simple bokeh cardstock lens attachment project, contributed by Sindri Diego, which shapes the blurred lights in a picture’s background. On the project page, also check out Matt Richardson’s bokeh video.

Another easy project that yields impressive results is the Stroboscope by Nicole Catrett and Walter Kitundu, which first appeared in MAKE Volume 24. Make a mechanical strobe with a toy motor and construction paper, pair it with a digital SLR camera, and snap awesome photos of moving objects.

The Invisible Strobe Flash project by Jerry Reed, originally in MAKE Volume 20, shows you how to filter your flash through five layers of “limo black” window tint film to illuminate the field of a sensitive video camera from 10 feet or more, resulting in great nighttime shots!

The 2-Mile Camera Remote by Tom Rodgers (from MAKE Volume 15) teaches you how to use a handheld radio as a remote control for your camera, enabling you to make long shots accessible.

For another shift in perspective, check out William Gurstelle’s Pole-Mounted Aerial Photography Rig from MAKE Volume 16, and snap birds-eye pics.

Moving from the big picture to minute details is the DIY Macro Photography hack contributed by Ethan Perrin. Ethan discovered that if he lined up his SLR prime lens backwards onto his digital point and shoot, he got amazingly detailed results.

For more microscopic imaging, Tom Zimmerman’s Lensless Microscope project from MAKE Volume 14 teaches you how to hack a webcam to create lensless microscopic images.

Next, use an ordinary flatbed scanner coupled with a homemade large-format camera to build Mike Golembewski’s Simple Scanner Camera from MAKE Volume 14. If you like your results and want to mod your scanner and dedicate it to camera use, you can get higher image quality with the Deluxe Scanner Camera.

And we’ll wrap up with two super simple hacks. The first is the Easy Lens Converter contributed by Edward Piper, who had purchased a lens from a secondhand store and hacked it to fit his Canon DSLR with a couple of old lens caps.

Last is Ben Wendt’s Remote-Controlled Camera Mount from MAKE Volume 20. Ben asks, “What do you get when you combine a chunky remote control toy car with a lightweight camcorder? You get a street-level action cam that captures video on the move!”

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at snowgoli@gmail.com or via @snowgoli.

View more articles by Goli Mohammadi


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.