Photography Hacks or Hoaxes: The Finale

Igor Stevanovic / Alamy

Alas, it is time for our final post in this series to sort the hacks from the hoaxes. If you haven’t checked out the others, read the first one, then the second one before you continue; we might spoil it for you otherwise.

I was rather looking forward to 2 of these 3 final hacks, as they would be ones that I would have actually used, but you’re going to have to read on to see if they were hacks or hoaxes, and get a chance to see more of my kitschy models.

Fifty Cent Flash Bouncer

I was expecting this hack to work, because it’s basic science, but I tested it out none the less. No local DIY stores had any mirror tiles in stock, so I used the next best thing; a compact mirror. Word of warning, basic science says that mirrors reflect, and boy is that right, so be careful that you don’t get blinded!

The picture on the left is just with a standard internal flash, and produces a very harsh light. On the right we have our bounced version, which is much softer. I would say that this is definitely a hack, and not a hoax. However, it’s not a great hack, as even with just a small compact mirror, it bounces the light a little too much, and can leave your image looking a little dark.

Inexpensive Light Tent

I’d seen this hack before, and had wanted to try it for a while, so this finally gave me an excuse. I really wanted it to work, but unless you have proper lighting, it just doesn’t. I’m afraid to report that this was a hoax. I tried both with and without a flash, but neither result was spectacular. If you’re shelling out for professional lights, I think it’s worth spending some more for a proper light tent too.

DIY Bokeh

This was the hack I was really hoping would work, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to my expectations. Now I don’t think that this was a hoax, as it may just be that I didn’t have the right lens to produce the expected results, so if any of you have had luck with this hack, let us know. After many, many, many photos trying to get this to work, I picked out the best 2 where you can sort of see the desired heart shape effect, one with an object in the foreground, and one without.

Thank you for following along with this short series. Hopefully it’s inspired some of you to try out your own photography hacks. If you have, let us know in the comments, or tweet us your images to @AlamyContent.




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