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If you’re looking to try out some fun new photo tricks without breaking the bank, here are three photo tools for under $5.00 each. In fact, you might already have this stuff lying around your house!

1. Foam board. For a couple of bucks, pick up a large piece of white foam board from your local craft store and you’ll have an incredibly versatile photo tool. Use it as a reflector to bounce light onto your subject, or use it to create a white backdrop. Perfect for still life photography, as my friend Sarah Ehlen used it here:

Foam board makes a great photography background

2. Foil. Here’s a fun idea… crumple up some foil and blur it in the background to create an intriguing and beautiful abstract backdrop. All you need to do is shine light onto the crumpled foil and open up your lens aperture as wide as it will go. The foil will transform the light into beautiful orbs. Try shining different colored lights to play with the effect. By the way, silver wrapping paper will also work in place of foil.

Foil makes a fun photography background

3. Bubble wrap. Believe it or not, you might want to add some bubble wrap to your camera bag! It can make a great light modifier for your external flash. All you need is a rubber band or some Velcro tape to attach it to your flash, and you’ll be good to go. Here’s an example:

Bubble wrap photography tool

It’s not a fancy set-up, but check out the results below. The photo on the left was taken without bubble wrap, and the photo on the right was taken with bubble wrap placed over the flash.

Examples of changing the light with photography

Notice how the bubble wrap diffuses the flash to create softer light and a more evenly lit subject without overly bright hotspots.

Do you have any cheap photo “hacks” that you’ve tried? Share on the Breakfast Stock Club Facebook page.

Photography is less about the tools you have as it is about your creativity and experimenting. The more things you try, the more you’ll get to know your camera, settings, and find all kinds of creative results.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about getting started selling your photos online in stock agencies – no matter how much or little photography experience you have – in the Breakfast Stock Club e-newsletter. It’s once a week, and it’s free to join, here.]

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