Shoot Your GoPro Timelapse with an Egg Timer, & Other Super Cheap & Easy Camera Hacks

Now that we have post production software like Photoshop, many effects processes that used to be done in-camera (or at least while shooting) are now being done after all of the shooting is over. However, photography magazine COOPH has produced a video that demonstrates 7 super cheap and easy camera hacks that will produce certain effects in-camera, helping you bypass hours of post work. Continue on for the helpful video.

Here are a few thoughts before we get to the video. First, the bad news: COOPH's focus was trained on photography, so a couple of these hacks may not work very well for what you're trying to do (namely the on-board light diffuser). And using welding glass as a 10-stop neutral density filter, though way cheaper, produces unpredictable white balance issues that may not be worth it to you. (Here's a tutorial that shows you how to fix those issues, just in case!)

However, there is good news. Most of these hacks will absolutely work for your moving pictures, as we like to call them now, and yes, they are incredibly inexpensive and simple to do. In fact, most of these little tricks have been around for ages (ahem -- Vaseline on the lens), so if they come as no surprise to you, then feel free to enjoy this post for its nostalgic value.

So, what kinds of hacks are included in the video? Well, first of all, one that I've been looking into for a bit, the egg-timer-GoPro-timelapse-rig, is absolutely ingenious (as long as you get nice, smooth motion). In the video, a $6 egg timer from IKEA is used, however I've read that it doesn't always produce the best motion -- and there are other products out there meant specifically for this purpose that are made with essentially the same design -- though, of course, they're much more expensive (around $30 to $45).

One hack that I especially like is the "arty filter", because I'm partial to capturing effects in-camera. Of course I could go into Photoshop, drop a couple of gradients, add some Gaussian blur, and I'd be set. However, there's something I find quite dynamic about the unpredictability of capturing something while shooting, before you can perfect it in post -- my perfecting hands working in post are often no match for the volatile nature of -- well, nature!

At any rate, whether you prefer capturing in-camera or out, here are the hacks from COOPH. There are tutorials on how to pull off these tricks in the video, though they run through them pretty fast, so keep your cursor on the pause button!

What do you think of these hacks? Do you have any cheap and easy hacks you can share? Let us know in the comments below!

Link: 7 Simple Photography Hacks -- COOPH

[via Filmmaker IQ]

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Your Comment


Cool. Thanks.

May 7, 2014 at 4:20PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Cheers for those hacks! Keep em comin', I'm skint!
Made a free remote control for Canon DSLR (maybe others?) with separate focus and shutter release. Simply plug in a jack-to-RGB-Phono lead you may have knockin around to the remote port on your camera. Touch the red plug to the blue for autofocus and red to green to release the shutter. Also because of the shape of the phono connectors you can jam the red into the green on BULB setting and wander off for a cup of tea and a snooze. There. That just saved you about 20 quid. You're welcome.

May 7, 2014 at 4:49PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Funny... I just did a cheap hack yesterday:

Take a lens filter and crack the glass with a hammer. (Not so hard that the glass falls out)
Gives you a nice subtle light leak look when shooting into a light source.

May 7, 2014 at 4:58PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


One of the very first pictures I ever took with my DSLR (back when I was a super noob) using that same random concept!

I ordered the LEE filters sample pack and wrapped them over my flash hee hee.

May 7, 2014 at 9:37PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM



May 8, 2014 at 6:01AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


You can fake an animorphic lens flare by taking a piece of monofilament and taping it so it is across the lens... it will catch the light and look exactly like an anamorphic flare

July 22, 2014 at 8:49PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM