Amazing Photo Tricks Using 5 Common Tools

Oh, the things you can do with old Christmas lights! Whether you’re feeling uninspired or simply looking for new ways to shoot old subjects, this video by SLR Lounge reintroduces photographers to five everyday items (well, four everyday items and one we bet you don’t have lying around the house) you can implement in your own photography. Check it out:

Here’s a breakdown of the five items,how you can use them and what they look like in action.

1. A Spray Bottle

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Spray Bottle Bokeh

This one’s easy; fill a spray bottle with water and spritz in front of your lens. (Not into your lens, obviously.) The result will create a fine mist that, if your aperture and shutter speed are set right, can catch light rays to create awesome foreground bokeh.

2. An Old Prism

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Prism Filter

This one you may not have lying around your house, but it’s certainly not hard to find. Stick it in front of your camera like a filter—you’ll find images slanted and reflected in interesting ways, while it refracts light in a more organically magical style than Photoshop ever could.

3. LED String Lights

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Christmas Light Foreground Bokeh

Notably available on Amazon for just $10, Christmas lights can be reused to gently illuminate otherwise dark images. Stick them in the background or foreground—or, if you’re like the photographer behind the image above, do both and see what happens.

4. Sparklers

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Sparkler Flare

Sparklers—not just for light painting a heart around yourself! By shooting quickly through the sparkles about a foot in front of your lens, you can replicate a sun flare with big, gentle bokeh in the foreground.

5. A Fog Machine

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Fog Machine Effect

Okay, so this last one isn’t exactly an everyday household item. But fog machines are actually pretty cheap to rent, and you can use them during the day or night to illuminate natural or artificial light, creating beautiful streaks and leading lines across your frame.

What other ideas do you have to share?

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