We’re all familiar with the notion that it’s better to get the shot right in camera.This idea is often cited when you want to ensure that the basic settings or the composition of your shot is correct and you don’t have to salvage your errors in post production.

However, this can also apply to the more complicated special effects that add more depth to our projects. Generally speaking, adding good special effects to a video can be time-consuming and expensive endeavors; which is you’d be tempted to avoid them. But, there are creative methods that save both time and money and the crew over at Aputure has five lens hacks to help make your next video project more epic.

1 – Sunset Simulation 

By shooting a tungsten light directly into your camera lens as you shoot, you can create a warm and pleasing flare effect that looks both unique and realistic. You may not the funds for an Aputure light but, a trip to the hardware store or a quick search on Amazon will give you tons of cheap alternatives.

2 – Flashback Effect

If you’re looking for a dreamy flashback effect and you don’t want to use a cheesy plug-in that comes stocked with your video editor, you’ve got a natural resource handy to help fill the need. Spraying a small amount of water on the front of your lens and shooting at a wide aperture can give you an ethereal look that fits the mood of your flashback scene.

Just be careful not damage your gear.

3 – Using Fog

Spraying fog into your lens while shining a light through it will fill your image with a soft misty light that adds depth to your shot. Used well, this can help your film budget punch above its weight and create some special images. You can find this fog in a can here.


4 – USe A Drinking glass

Holding a drinking glass over your lens as you shoot can distort your image in useful ways that help you tell your story. All this effect requires is a trip to your kitchen cupboard and a little practice. You can also heat up a sheet of plexiglass and hold it over your lens to achieve a similar look.

5 –  Use Clear Tape

If you don’t where to find tape, filmmaking might be a bigger challenge than you anticipate. Anyhow, a strip of scotch tape over your lens will refract the light in your image to produce some beautiful flares and colors. It’s a simple yet effective method for creating outstanding footage.