Picture This: Camera Accessories

Did you post your photo in our last challenge? If not, don’t worry – here comes another challenge to get you out with your camera. I’ve also got some tips on how to burn money buying camera stuff! From camera straps to camera phones, here are a few things you need (okay, could use) in your camera bag!

A New Camera Strap

I find my stock camera strap incredibly uncomfortable. It digs into my skin, makes me itchy, gets sweaty and kind of hurts every now and then. It never occurred to me that I could buy a new one until recently when I was out shooting with a friend and I noticed her squishy, gel filled camera strap, which got me to thinking – maybe there are other straps I can use! With a quick look around the internet, I discovered you could sew or crochet your own strap cover. You can also re-purpose an old bandanna or one of your dad’s ties! Lots of ideas, lots of opportunities! Why keep using the same scratchy strap when you could have a better one?

Yellow Camera Strap
I love how simple and cute this camera strap is!


Want something new and want something cheap? Try these cool lenses that won’t break the bank: LensBaby and the detachable camera phone fisheye lens! A Lensbaby Composer Lens gives you the ability to create tilt-shift photos for a mere $200, a real bargain compared to the price of actual tilt-shift lenses! Click here to see some photos of what you can do with a Lensbaby. Similarly, with the camera phone fisheye lens, your photos will start to stand out for little out-of-pocket cost. At just $20, I think this is worth the investment. Read a review of the camera phone lens (just note that it’s in Spanish and you’ll need Google Translate).

That's some lens, baby.

Or you might want to try your hand at 3D photography! For $160, you can buy the Loreo 3D Lens for Canon DSLRs. The idea is that you take two photos and combine them to make one image, though results vary. Click here to see samples of 3D photos by photographers on Flickr.

Hey, I'm seeing double!

Another cool option: take your photography underwater! You could buy a waterproof camera, a waterproof bag to put your camera in, or an expensive waterproof housing for your DSLR, but what if you had something completely hands free? The Liquid Image Camera Mask lets you take photos and videos underwater while you scuba, snorkel, and swim. It’s a little bit on the expensive side ($250) but if you consider the memories you’ll save on your next dive trip, it might be worth it.

A pair of swim goggles with a camera attached between the eyes.
This way if you are eaten by a shark, we'll know what happened.

This one is probably one of my favorites: the Pet’s Eye View Camera. Did you know your dog was a photographer? Probably not! But with this gadget, you can get an idea of what your little critters are up to while you’re at home. For $25, I think this could make a really fun gift/project.

A camera that attaches to your pet's collar and takes photos automatically.

Getting Around Obstacles

If your camera doesn’t have a swivel screen, it can sometimes be hard to get photos at certain angles. What can you do other than upgrade your model? You could try attaching a digital tilting screen like this one from Aputure. What would you use it for? Take photos from the ground up, shooting over heads at a concert, squeezing up against a wall to get the right angle, or self portraits. (Disclaimer: I do not advise photographing up skirts as the advertising photos suggest.)

If your camera doesn't have a swivel screen, this could be really useful.

Just yesterday I was saying to my boyfriend that I wished I had a tripod for my phone. Turns out GorillaPod makes one for iPhones! I actually own a GorillaPod which I find really useful when out and about with my point and shoot camera. I’ve wrapped it around rocks, fence posts, branches, across uneven ground, and even used it as a simple tripod on a flat surface. GorillaPods are remarkable for their versatility but they are also amazing because they come in such a wide range of sizes for all kinds of cameras. The iPhone GorillaPod is undoubtedly useful for the photographer on the go who likes to be prepared. GorillaPods cost anywhere between $5-$80. Check out Amazon for prices.

Tripods for image stability that are extremely flexible.
GorillaPods can go wherever gorillas go – including up trees.


Want to get professional lighting without paying professional prices? Try the Impact Strobros Portrait Kit for $83. It’ll give you several tools to even out and diffuse light from your external flash so that the people in your portraits come out looking fresh rather than like deer in headlights. Or, if you’re not ready to spend that much or go into so much detail with your equipment, you could try an attachable softbox for your external flash. These attachments are dummy proof and cost so little that they’re worth a try ($10).

An attachable softbox for external flashes using velcro.
A cheap way to introduce lighting accessories into your photography.

Now down to business! Have you been out taking photos? I have! Last week I explored an abandoned mental hospital (not nearly as spooky as it sounds) with a friend where we took lots of broken-down photos of deserted places. It was a first for me to photograph an abandoned place and it made me wonder about the traces we leave behind. How will we be remembered? In billions of years, how will people study our way of life? So your challenge this week is “Evidence of Man.” Be creative and think about little traces of human life left behind, little clues about the people who lived there and lives they lived. Maybe it’s cereal and spilled milk on the table after breakfast, a melted crayon on the sidewalk, or the faded paint on the windows of an old shop. I’ll hold onto my photo from the hospital and share it in the comments! Come back here any time over the next two weeks and post your photo. If you’re having a hard time finding the post, remember to use the category filter on the right side of the page. Choose photography and all the Picture This posts will display from most recent to oldest. Okay, are you ready? Let’s go take some pictures!

By Thelma

Thelma is a photographer and traveler currently residing in Sydney, Australia. In her free time she can be found with her nose behind a camera or obsessing over koalas.

10 replies on “Picture This: Camera Accessories”

I have been taking pictures! It’s just that I haven’t actually finished any rolls. This may have something to do with having gotten 3 new cameras in a fairly short span of time. (I haven’t even loaded film into the last one. But it needs some repairs, so there’s that.)

Crocheted strap cover!!! How did I never think of this?

For underwater photography I’ve always preferred to just rent the camera+housing from somewhere… paying the extra to risk someone else’ expensive stuff rather than my own was worth it to me:)

Kortney, you have no idea how excited this post makes me! There are so many new goodies that I want to get now! I only recently discovered that camera bags can come in girly, beautiful designs instead of just boring utilitarian ones (see here), so I am very excited about this new world of even more delightful camera goodies! :) I’ve been especially interested in finding a way to waterproof my dslr should I ever have the opportunity to be in a place where I want to take it swimming with me.

PS. I really like this theme too. :)

Ooh good! Meghan sent me that link too for the camera bags– SO CUTE! I forgot to include them so thanks for posting it! Of all these links and items, I’m especially in love with the DIY tie camera strap! I can only imagine it would be nice and silky smooth against my neck!

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