Sometimes creative camera tricks don’t need to involve specially designed setups or expensive post-production software. In fact, you don’t even have to spend a dime to achieve some amazing results. Techniques such as getting a kaleidoscope-like effect or filter-like foreground bokeh objects can all be done in camera with everyday household items.
Below, filmmaker Dustin Kahla shows off three different creative camera techniques that will instantly add a touch of intrigue to your footage. Best of all, you can pull these off in less than a minute.
The first technique featured in the video creates somewhat of a Tunnel Vision effect. This trick is extremely simple as all you need to do is take a stemless, round-bottomed wine glass and place it in front of your camera.
The sides of the footage will look spherical and distorted while the center of the image remains slightly clearer. If you want to add variety to this effect, try experimenting with glasses of different lengths, shapes, and sizes.
Another technique shown in the video creates a mirror effect on the image, almost duplicating a subject in random order within the frame. Similar to the previous setup, this particular technique is pulled off by filming your shot through a piece of jewelry that has a reflective, shiny, and refractive surface.
Looking at the footage out of the camera, it creates a trippy aesthetic that looks like a play on a kaleidoscope. If you want to make the shot more interesting, try rotating the piece of jewelry mid-take.
The final effect featured above is my personal favorite as it basically creates bokeh in the foreground that looks as if it was added in post. This is perfect for showcasing a person or a product as the softly-focused spheres in the frame combines looks of elegance and shine.
Just take a small bundle of Christmas lights, wrap it around one side of the lens, and then hit the record button. You can change up the look by using different colored lights and by adjusting their position. It’s also essential to use a fast lens and shoot at the widest possible aperture to get the best results. Alternatively, you could put the lights in a glass and place it in front of your lens.
Practical effects like these could hardly be beaten, so it’s always great when you can add some new tricks to your creative skill set. Of course, all the credit goes to Dustin Kahla for sharing these fantastic tricks with the community.