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Five creative projects for the avid photographer
Five creative projects for the avid photographer

Just look at some of the most popular apps and websites, like Instagram, Flickr and even Facebook Photos: they've exploded in activity as people discover a previously untapped passion for capturing moments and quickly sharing them with the world.

As a fellow everyday photographer, I scoured blogs, Pinterest and (unashamedly) previous How To posts to dig up the tips, tricks and tutorials that take this new-found passion for photography to greater heights.

Whether your smartphone is your primary lens, or you've adopted a dSLR that hardly leaves your side, this collection of tips can be enjoyed by just about anyone.

1. Make huge prints inexpensively. Like a neighbourhood Italian restaurant decorated with large canvas photos from the better days, your home can really get a lift from displaying large prints of family and friends. Most of us, however, will quickly dismiss this idea after a glimpse at the price of canvas prints. Sidestep this barrier with a simple tutorial from Jenny Komenda, who shows you how to make large canvas-style prints on the cheap.

2. DIY Instagram photo strips. Insta-addicts will love this simple tutorial that will help you turn your carefully edited Instagram shots into vintage-style photo strips to display in your office, gift to friends or use as a bookmark for your "old-school" books. Get the steps here.

3. Wood photo transfers. Photojojo, an awesome website packed with unique photography-related gadgets and novelty items, never fails with its DIY projects. This time around, the clever staff shows you how to transfer a photo to a wooden surface and create a one-of-a-kind piece of art where your photo takes centre stage.

4. Your headphones as shutter release. iPhone users, did you know? Your headphones can double as a shutter release, allowing you to take super-steady shots from a distance. This isn't a project, per se, but will become a go-to technique for any avid iPhotographer. Get the quick tip here.

5. A simple, effective portrait set-up. Gorgeous portrait shots often seem difficult to achieve. The immediate assumption is that the photographer must have used a high-end camera with an equally pricey lens. Sometimes that's the case, but in general, lighting and technique is more important than fancy equipment. Rachel Durik shows you her easy, DIY set-up over at her photography blog, Savour Photography.

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