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Tips & Tricks

5 Easy In Camera Tricks with No Computer Required | Film Riot

By Justin Heyes on January 31st 2015

Visual effects have come a long way in the past several years. Now, with just a few click of a mouse, an entire city can be made. In the past, to actually build a set would take a construction team several weeks. Most of the time, it is more practical (and economical) to use CGI than practical effects.

Even for photographers, and I definitely am guilty of this, we will take the shot and think, “I’ll fix it in Photoshop later.” In the following video, the guys of Film Riot show that with a little bit of forethought, effects done in camera can be better than effects done in post production. Here are a few of my favorites from the video. Scroll down to see the entire video for all the tips.


Forced Perspective

Starting off with an oldie, but a goodie is forced perspective. Used in major films like Elf and The Lord of The Rings series, forced perspective is a technique that make objects of similar size seem drastically different. Using small apertures, a large depth of field is created; this, combined with the correct angle, can make objects of varying distances look like they’re on the same focal plane and can interact with each other.

[Rewind:Off Camera Flash | 5 Tips to Get You Started]


Lens Flare

For those who can’t get enough lens flare, the simple trick of adding a fishing line to the front of your lens will streak any lighting directed at your lens. This trick will won’t give you that JJ Abrams look, but it will give you a look similar to an anamorphic lens.



Lens whacking, also known as “free-lensing” is a technique where the lens is disconnected from the camera and moved around to achieve a tilt-shift look to your footage. It creates a very distinctive dream-like look with lens flares and constantly changing focal planes. The problem is that the technique can be difficult to master. Luckily, we have 3 tips on lens whacking here.

Check out the video for all 5 tips below.

Film Riot’s Quick Tips: 5 Easy Camera Tricks!


Though the video demonstrates the effects for mainly video usage, most of them can be translated to photography. Getting effects done in camera instead of faking them in post is always the best solution if time and budget allow it. It often is obvious when a fake effect is added in post. The one trick I really want to try now is the fishing line lens flare. What effect do you want to try? Why not try experimenting with theses techniques and post your result on our Facebook Community Page?

[Via Film Riot Youtube / Images screen captures]

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jason Boa

    Yeah baby break the “rules”

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  2. Bogdan Roman

    great tips, especially forced perspective!

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  3. Chuck Eggen

    Adding these to the repertoire.

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  4. Tosh Cuellar

    cool tricks

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  5. Orlin Nikolov

    I have to try few of those tricks

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  7. Brandon Dewey

    Cool tricks!

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  8. Murray Severn

    Interesting. I thought that a digital camera would have had a safety to prevent the shutter being used with out a lens properly attached. My mistake. Another method to experiment with now…

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