Camera “hacks” are fun, oftentimes do-it-yourself (DIY) ideas or tricks that help you get the most out of your camera gear to capture interesting photos. Frequently, however, camera hack tutorials can be more silly than helpful.
That’s not the case with the below video where photographer Mark Denney shows you eight camera hacks “that actually work for landscape photography.”
“There’s a ton of camera hack videos out there, but many of them contain hacks that are pretty outlandish and don’t really apply to landscape photography specifically,” Denney says. “The hacks covered in this video range from gear-related hacks to in-camera hacks that can all improve one’s landscape photography while on-location.”
Here’s a rundown of the hacks covered in Denny’s tutorial below with time-stamps on where they are in the video.
#1 Bungee Support – 3:20
Loop the bungee cord through the top of your camera bag and then hang the bag from the hook at the bottom of your tripod to provide stability. “What makes it different from just hanging your bag on that hook is that the bag is actually sitting on the ground itself, so the bag can’t move at all,” Denney explains. “It really anchors the tripod down.”
#2 Sea Legs – 5:13
If you need to place your tripod in water – such as in a river or the side of a lake – you can prevent the joints in the tripod’s legs from water damage by extending just the lower section of the legs into the water. This way, the joints won’t get corroded and start to stick later on.
#3 Always Polarize – 6:20
“I used to only apply a polarizer whenever I was shooting around moving water to remove reflections. But there’s so many situations where a polarizer can benefit your scene and I’ve gotten into the habit now of trying a polarizer out on every single scene just to see if it’s doing anything.”
#4 Shower Cap – 8:30
“In my opinion, it’s the best rain solution for your camera and it’s just this basic little shower cap right here. What’s so cool about this solution is it takes up literally no room in your bag. It’s tiny and you can buy tons of these things for just a couple of dollars.”
#5 Vertical Telephoto Panorama – 9:11
“If I put my camera in a vertical orientation and make a sweeping panorama, then it alleviates the issue of having that very small field of view. But at the same time, I am still able to enjoy the effect that that long lens provides.”
#6 Dragging the Shutter – 11:31
“This is a way to getting around using filters if you don’t have filters with you. There are a lot of ways to slow or drag the shutter without using ND filters if you’re photographing moving water.”
#7 Stop Down Sunstar – 13:08
Create a Sunstar effect in an image by stopping down the aperture.
#8 Hand Organizer – 13:50
“Whenever I start a panorama, I will take a photo of my hand, and whenever I’ve done moving my panorama for the final image, I will take another photo of my hand. That way when you import everything in Lightroom, you can see where your panorama begins and ends. And the same thing can be done with focus stacking.”