Paul Mutton doesn’t want you to spend twenty bucks on buying a useful, but painfully simple, piece of black plastic.
Lens hoods, those round plastic rings that sit at the end of your SLR’s lens, are great at preventing lens flare and unwanted reflections when shooting in sunlight.
Unfortunately, buying or replacing one can be surprisingly expensive. So Paul created a whole series of printable, foldable, paper lens hoods you can download for free!
Just look up your Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina lens, print out the corresponding lens hood, fold it up, and slap it on. They even fold back up to make ‘em easier to carry around!
You’re always the center of attention, the star player. In fact, around the ole water-cooler people have been saying you’ve become something of an icon.
Time to prove ‘em right.
Send Iconize Me! a photo of yourself (or a friend, family member, or coworker), zap ‘em $50, and a graphic designer will get to work, creating a dazzling digital likeness.
Each conversion is made by hand, and can take a week or two. The results are worth it. You’ll get a full-page JPEG, a PDF, Mac OS X icons, and Windows icons (request ‘em, they’re free).
Perfect for your blog, MySpace, or Facebook, your IM or Flickr icon, heck, even the company newsletter.
Take a ton of photos? Keep filling up your camera with video? Then this is the perfect project for you.
Follow this simple tutorial to turn an old credit card (or one of those fake cards you get with new wallets) into a snap-in holder for an extra memory card. Then just stash that sucker in your wallet or pocketbook for when you need it.
With memory prices at an all-time low, having an extra card on hand–just in case–is a pretty smart idea.
p.s. Extra credit tip: The Sandisk USB+ SD Card plugs straight into a USB port, thus doubling as a thumbdrive. Stash that little guy in your wallet and you’ve got an extra memory card AND a thumbdrive. That’s thinking.
As great as it is, there are times when Photoshop is just plain overkill.
Maybe you simply need to nuke some red-eye before emailing a photo, or fix the exposure on a snap you’ve already put on Flickr. Picnik to the rescue!
Crop, rotate, resize, one-click fix, color adjustments, sharpening, saturation, even histograms. 95% of the stuff you’d do in Photoshop, you can do in Picnik more easily. Grab photos straight from your Flickr (and replace them with edited versions), from your computer, or the web; send your edited photos to your blog, to email, photo sharing sites, make a nifty slideshow, or even have them printed.
Picnik is fast. Better, it’s easy peasy, free, and filled with friendly features. (Example: Unlimited undo. Even for photos you edited months ago. Not even Photoshop can do that.)
We’ve been on the lookout for a halfway decent online photo editor for a while, and we’ve test-driven more than we care to admit. We’re done looking. Using Picnik is nicer than lying on a blanket in a grassy field on a sunny day.
Thanks to Sahadeva for the tip!
Got a photo you just adore and want a unique way to show it off?
Behold! Photo Pop-Outs!
Gather up a bit of foam core, a bit of tape, a knife, and 20 minutes and we’ll show you how to give your photos an eye-popping 3D effect — no special glasses required!
But wait, there’s more! We’ll even show you how to make a nifty tabletop stand when you’re done.
Pop on over to our tutorial to find out how…
Everyone has ruined a perfectly good group picture by blinking.
What to do? Put your math skills to use, my good friend.
Thankfully, Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization have already done the heavy lifting. Their research calculates the number of photos you must take to virtually guarantee that nobody in a group will have their eyes closed.
Here’s their rule of thumb: For groups smaller than 20, divide the number of people by three if thereâ€™s good light and two if the light’s bad. That’s how many shots you need to take. See their paper for the nitty gritty.
Now if only they’d come up with a formula to eliminate bunny ears…
p.s. These two won a 2006 Ig Nobel Prize in mathematics for this work. The Ig Nobel honors achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think.
– Nicole Ramsey, PJ Intern
Published on February 16, 2007 — See more Tips
Wanna blow up Uncle Lou to Leviathan-like proportions without breaking the bank?
Lou might be a Luddite, but you’re not. So before you head out to get an expensive enlargement made, hit the web.
BlockPosters.com will turn any photo into a poster using the printer in your home or office. Tell it how many sheets you want to use, upload your pic, and seconds later it’ll spit back a PDF.
Hit print, piece together the sheets, and you’ve got yourself one pixeliscous photo poster!
p.s. Eagle-eyed Jojo Fans might recall the similar Rasterbator we covered last April. The difference? Rasterbator gives your photos a newspaper-like dotted quality, while Block Posters preserves the appearance of the original photo. Both are pretty nifty!
p.p.s. Hallmark Day’s comin’ up. (Typically a big deal over here.) If you’re still searching for the perfect thing, it might be a great time to start a mailable mosaic to someone you love. Also: Craft: Magazine selected our photo blocks as one of their Valentine’s Day projects. Can’t argue with that!
It should as come as no surprise, then, that cubes constructed from your photos also rock.
Sit down with this Photo Cube Tutorial, six photos, a blade, and some double-sided tape and you’ll have a creative frame or a gift box in no time. Rockin’!
p.p.s. The latest Hey, Hot Shot! photo contest accepts entries up till next Monday.
Reckless, stupid, downright insane. Camera tossers have been called worse.
Camera tossing is, well, just what it sounds like. Set your camera on long exposure or self-timer mode, press the shutter, and toss it into the air just before it goes off. Catch the thing (or have it land on a soft surface), and ogle the results.
Why would you do this? Quite simply, it’s the photographs: beautiful, abstract images you can’t get any other way. Many photographers also find the technique liberating, as it forces them to exert less control over the final image.
We won’t blame you if you decide not to try this one. (And we won’t take responsibility if you do.) But if you decide to give it a shot, we’d love to see what you come up with in our flickr group!
See also: Camera Toss Flickr Group
Ever find yourself longing for the disheveled good looks of a drug-addicted Keanu Reeves living in dystopian, near-future Orange County?
This past summer’s A Scanner Darkly used a beautiful posterized live-action animation style that gave it a thoroughly unique look. The effect took thousands of hours of work and a frame-by-frame repainting of the movie in a process called digital rotoscoping.
Fortunately, applying the technique to a photo isn’t nearly as time consuming, and with this tutorial from one of the film’s animators, you’ll be well on your way.
p.s. Our pal Nick Gray tells us Amazon’s got some crazy great pricing on Sandisk’s superduper fold-it-up-and-stick-it-in-your-usb-port-no-card-reader-necessary memory cards: $25 for the 1GB (was $40) and $49 for the 2GB (was $90). Find out why we love these in our 2006 Holiday Gift Guide.
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