Need Some new “Gear”? Try These Options!
A Lens Skirt: It’s nighttime or twilight. You’re looking out of the closed windows of a rooftop restaurant or observation deck, or out of your hotel window, at a lovely view of the illuminated city below. Or you are standing on a street trying to take a picture of the pretty display inside a store window. You push the shutter and find the picture is full of reflections of the ceiling lights or street lights behind you, messing up your view of the city. We’ve all been there, right?
There’s no app, but there IS a piece of equipment for that! It is called a Lens Skirt, a stiff cloth bag with 4 suction cups, one in each corner, that you affix to the window. In the back of the bag, which looks like a small hoop skirt, is an opening into which you insert your camera lens, pulling the drawstring tight around the lens. Now the lens is right up against the window and all the backlight has been eliminated by the lens skirt. Check it out at: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1186330-REG/lenskirt_lskirtxl_xlhtml
A Crystal Ball: Try taking photos that are upside down and reversed! Find a location that has good contrast/colors (usually with the sun behind you) and place the crystal ball on a base on a tripod. Adjust the positioning of the crystal ball to achieve a good composition both in the image in the crystal ball and the photo.Use a wide aperture (small number) and focus on the crystal ball from about 3 feet away, using manual focus so that the auto-focus does not “lock” on the reflections on the crystal ball. A zoom lens works well for this technique so that you can easily adjust the composition.
The Crystal Ball in this photo is 60mm in diameter and made from K9 Crystal, so it is free from distortion and defects. It came with a zippered carrying case, a suction-cup base which can be screwed onto a tripod mounting plate or onto the mini-tripod that was also included. It can be purchased at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SKH59PD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1