8 DIY Photo Filters You can Make at Home

Photography can be a pretty spendy hobby or profession, so when someone comes up with an ingenious photography hack, I have to share it.

Our friends over at the Cooperative of Photography (COOPH) managed to come up with not one, not two, but eight awesome DIY filters that you can make yourself.

Droplet Filter

Have you ever wanted to take a portrait like the one above, with some interesting textures, patterns, and light leaks?

Well, all you have to do is grab a water bottle, spray your lens filter (put a UV lens on so you aren’t spraying the actual lens glass), and fire away.

This trick works during the day and at night, giving your photos just a touch of extra visual interest.

Lens Flare Filter

Lens flare can be a beautiful addition to your photos, and it’s really easy to get.

Just cut a short length of fishing line, stretch it in front of your lens, and tape it to the barrel of the lens on either side.

Add another for good measure, this time at a different angle across the lens.

When you shoot, the sunlight will bounce off the fishing line, resulting in gorgeous flare like what you see in the image above.

Fake Tilt-Shift Filter

Though this filter might sound overly difficult to create, it’s really quite simple. Get some translucent plastic and outline the barrel of your lens with a pen or pencil. Next, make a thick cutout in the plastic, as shown above, and tape the plastic to your lens.

As you can see in the sample image above, you get results that emulate a tilt-shift lens.

You can even experiment with this look by cutting different shapes out of the plastic!

Plastic Filter

One of the easiest filters to make at home is a plastic filter.

Grab some plastic wrap, wrap it around your lens, ensuring that it covers part of the lens glass, and then start taking photos!

The plastic will soften the colours and the contrast in the shot, resulting in the unique look you see above.

Wooly Filter

To create the look in the image above, get some coloured wool yarn and bundle it up. Then, hold the yarn in front of your lens, shooting through the random assortment of strings to photograph your subject.

If you use multiple colours of yarn, you’ll get an even more pronounced filtering effect that gives the shot tons of interest!

Tinsel Filter

If you’re fresh out of wool yarn but still have your Christmas decorations laying around, grab some tinsel for a quick DIY filter. Just like with the wool yarn, simply hold the tinsel in front of your lens to get a soft, colourful effect in your photos.

Since tinsel is so shiny, it will have the maximum effect if you shoot outdoors on a sunny day or indoors with a direct light source aimed at the tinsel.

Foggy Filter

No fog? No problem!

All you have to do is hold your lens to your face, breath on it to fog it up, and take the shot (quickly though!).

As you can see in the photo above, just a little warm breath is all you need to create an interesting misty look.

Bubble Filter

Everyone loves bubbles, right?

Well, you can use their fun and whimsical qualities to add more interest to your photos. Just blow some bubbles in front of your camera and shoot through them to create an awesome, unique look.

Give each of these DIY photo filters a try and see which one you like the most!