3 Inexpensive DIY Projects for Photographers

Unless you’re into flying, skydiving, or thoroughbred racing, photography is probably one of your more expensive hobbies. If you’re looking for ways around spending big money on equipment, there’s nowhere better to look than the DIY scene. For example, check out this video from the folks at CNET, with three low-cost, creative DIY projects for photographers:

1. 360 Degree (Panoramic) Timelapse Timer

If you’ve been looking to try out your smart phone’s timelapse ability, this kitchen timer panorama trick may be just what the doctor ordered. Just make sure you use some form of easily removable adhesive like the Command adhesive strips Sharon uses in the demo, so you don’t get a sticky mess all over your phone.

smartphone timelapse trick


  • wind up kitchen timer (ideally one with smooth motion)
  • L-shaped bracket
  • adhesive tape
  • Command adhesive strip
  • timelapse app like Lapse It or Hyperlapse

2. Dolly/Slider

Professional sliders can cost quite a bit, but if you need something short term—maybe for a project or two—this might be a workable solution. And if nothing else, it looks like fun. It might even be worth leaving the antenna in, just to see if you can add in a remote control.

DIY Dolly/Slider


  • $30 remote control truck (that can support your camera)
  • enough PVC for the size of run you need
  • a flexible camera tripod
  • screwdriver
  • small pulley
  • eye screw
  • string

 3. Ring Light

Ring lights are super helpful when doing portraiture with a shallow depth of field (not to mention you get a cool reflection in the eye), but they can be a pricey investment. The solution presented here is not the most ideal (it’s only good for high ISOs), but it can give you a feel for what using a ring light is like (and it’s free if you already have the gear).

ring light trick photography


  • big flat screen monitor or TV
  • camera with exposure control
  • tripod

Will you be trying any of these projects? Definitely let us know if you try any of them out!

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