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10 Ways To DIY Your Own Photo Studio

Lights. Camera. You! Take creativity into your own hands with Nikon.

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1. Rely on daylight as a light source when you can.

Kannan Muthuraman/(CC BY-ND http://2.0) / Via Flickr: wellbredkannanclicks

Daylight is arguably the most beautiful light source in the world. Take full advantage of it when you can. Go the extra mile by manipulating it with bounces and diffusion if necessary.

2. Build your own light box for jewelry and still-life shoots.

Light boxes are the best way to get 360* white light. Perfect for jewelry, translucent objects, and other small still-life shoots. Learn how to build your own inexpensive light box here.

3. Chinese lanterns are a cheap but superb solution for soft lighting.

Boudewijn Berends/ (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: boudewijnberends

Soft lighting is very important for taking portraits. Soft light can bring a sense of drama to any photo. Achieve this look without breaking the bank by using a normal mid-watt lightbulb in combination with a piece of diffusion like a Chinese lantern.

4. Use poster board to achieve a "seamless" background look for small subjects.

Getting that photo studio look of having a corner-free and edgeless background can be accomplished on a small scale by using a regular piece of poster board and slightly bending it without creating a crease. Take a look at this example.

6. Make sure you have enough room to use a telephoto lens to get natural foreground and background separation.

Owais Farooqi / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: owaislenseaddict

Telephoto lenses (any focal length beyond 55mm) will optically enhance your photos in various ways. One of the coolest effects of the telephoto is that, at wider apertures, it creates a sharper contrast between the foreground and the background, resulting in something like what's pictured above.

7. Take advantage of in-camera settings to achieve different looks.

One of the most accessible manual settings to manipulate is shutter speed. Using a longer shutter speed will allow the camera to capture the scene (but more particularly the light in a scene) for a longer period. Use a long shutter speed to achieve the "light writing" effect pictured here.

8. Grab a piece of foam board to use as a bounce-fill.

Frédéric de Villamil/ (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: fdevillamil

Filling in harsh shadows with a bounce board will take your photos from amateur to professional. You can use something as simple as a piece of white foam board. Go the extra mile by covering it with aluminum foil to achieve a stronger bounce.

9. Experiment with different types of lenses to achieve unique looks.

Macro, super telephoto, tilt + shift, and fisheye are just a few of the different lens types that are out there for you to experiment with. Go beyond the expected and try your hands at something new. You might be surprised by what you come to like.

10. Build your own soft box to achieve a well-lit background.

Ashley Campbell / (CC BYhttp://2.0) / Via Flickr: ashleycampbellphotography

Soft boxes are the key to getting ideal directional lighting and/or a well-lit background. Professional setups can be expensive, but you can also make your own without spending too much. Check out a simple guide here.

More than any before, this generation speaks through its images. Tell the story only you can tell with Nikon.