This was a fun one, despite the trial and error in finding a workable setup for this shot and the two hours of narrowing down which photo to submit. This is a ball of party LED lights on a black tee shirt background with a pair of nude pantyhose for the filter. After getting some boring results in my first shots, I realized this filter works best when pulled extremely taut and twisted a bit. The "star" trails look a little ghostly to me and imply a sense of motion even though the ball of lights is not moving. It's eerily appropriate for fall, I think.

Canon Rebel XSi, ISO 200, f4.5, 1/2 second exposure, approx 35mm zoom.

- Melissa Curry

This was shot by taping a stack of two lenses to my iPhone 4's camera: a red filter intended for a night-vision-friendly pocket flashlight (i.e. a cheap red translucent piece of plastic) and a small magnifying lens cannibalized from a busted pair of binoculars. The red filter, side lighting and monochrome nature of the coins made for a very contrasty black-and-red look (I happen to love that aesthetic and have used it occasionally in the past, although I'd always faked it before by messing with the colors in Photoshop... it was cool to see the shot come out like this "naturally" this time). The bino lens of course allowed me to get much closer to the coin and still stay in focus. All in all I'm pretty happy with the result and I'll definitely be trying it again with more interesting subjects (giant blood-red spider anyone?)


Shot details:
- iPhone 4 with one red "gel" and one small magnifying lens taped to the camera, no flash
- Straight out of the camera save for a crop and resize in Photoshop

- Frank Poulin

Sony Alpha 100
400 iso
Exposure 1/6 second
F 6.3

As a theatrical lighting designer and grad student I have access to tons of light filters used in the theatre. so the other day I grabbed a few and started having fun.
this was done with an R104 Silk filter which is used to give lights an even directional spread. so when i put it in front of my camera it made all the direct lighting have these light lines and all the indirect lighting became hazy.
the picture was taken In one of the theatres at my school while we were setting up the lights.

- Ronan Kilkelly


I used a Sony a330 for this shot- F5- ISO 200.

When I first heard of this challenge, I immediately thought of this diamond "paperweight" I have. One day in my dorm my friend walks in and goes- Here keep this. I just took it from the girl across the hall. I asked if I should return it and he said no... so here I am today with a trippy photo filter. I got this smurf toy in a happy meal from McDonalds- aptly I got "Panicky". I took a few pictures of him and it was down to two. One (this one) gives the kaleidoscopic effect that might induce panic and the other one was more of a lonesome feeling vignette-esque filter. I figured seeing multiples would send me more into a panic so I chose this one!

The only changes I made were cropping and slight contrast increase.


- Elizabeth Fleming

I found myself sitting on the couch one night, fiddling around with a blue tinted drinking glass. When I noticed the base of the glass was a similar diameter to my camera lens, I knew this was going to be the most grotesque filter and lens hood I will ever use. While this contraption has not seen the light of actual day... yet, it did get a few test shots pointed up at the ceiling fan. The view around the room made everything look a little small, blue and very dark. But pointed directly at a light source focused light down the sides and dispersed around the bottom of the glass. It looked kind of like a UFO. It kind of looked awesome. I filed this idea in the back of my mind and almost sent it in for the cheesy filter contest last week. Low and behold, this week's contest wants a physical filter and it's an idea I don't mind sharing.

Nikon D80, Tamron XR Di-II lens at 18mm. 1/10 second exposure at ISO-800.

- Josh Trautman

I call this picture Backyard Beerbottle Bokeh

I made three different types of filters for this challenge - a ND filter, a glass fiilter, and this bokeh filter. I cut the bokeh filter out of black construction paper, by hand, and taped it to my cheapo UV filter. At first I couldn't get it to work on my 18mm-55mm lens because I was too far away from my subjects, so I switched over to my 55mm-250mm telephoto, and that gave me alot more room to play with. My subjects are some beer bottles my friend and I emptied one night in my backyard. The vingetting is from the filter and was not added in photoshop, so I kept it in. In fact there is absolutely no photo editing done to this work. As for the other filters, they didn't work out as much as I'd hoped.

- R.J. Barrett

"Woman Behind Bars"

When I started I got out the plastic wrap and the colored Sharpie markers but all my testing didn't satisfy me. I decided the uniform color was uninteresting as I could do produce that effect in one easy step in Photoshop. Instead, I remembered the analog aliasing effect I got when looking through a red-painted wire-mesh trash can and decided to explore that. The really cool thing about using this 3D object as a filter is that the mesh's interaction with the picture changed based on where along the can's circular shape I looked through. That is how I was able to restrict the subtle red crosshatching to around the woman while leaving her relatively clear. T2i - Sigma 30mm @ 1.4 - ISO 200 - 1/125 sec.

- Eric Colon

I used one of the lenses from "Holiday Specs", which are novelty eye-ware. The cardboard-frame specs proclaim "Snowflake in every point of light!" "Let it snow" and "look at lights". They work great when looking at many points of light. With just the sun the effect is less pronounced, but it created some cool artifacts. I tried to shoot the rose with sunlight shining through the leaves.


Canon 7D, 100mm macro lens, aperture mode at f/16 to get a lot in focus. 1/160 second and ISO 2500.

- David Lee

The material for my filter is pure flame. The first idea was to take a picture of the distortion caused by the heat from a candle flame. That distortion, as it turns out, is more about the "live-action" shimmer than any still picture. Next idea was to de-focus the candle, and take a picture of something through it. I had fair results shooting some hanging kitchen utensils back-lit in a window. My final set-up was to shoot this peace lily flower through the blue flame of three cans of Sterno. On the right side, and to a lesser extent just left of the flower, you can see the blue from the flame—The filter seems to act most strongly on the darker and more receding areas of the subject.

Taken with a Canon 60D, 1/30 second at f/5.6, ISO 3200.

- Brian Hall

Canon 1100D, with kit 18-55mm IS lens @32.0mm. f/6.3 @ 1/40 ISO: 3200

So I read this and what immediately popped into my mind was sunglasses. I tried using some Guido (sun)glasses that I had, but their effect didn't change the picture as much. Then I tried some orange tint-polarized sunglasses (they aren't mine, trust me) and held them up to my lens and took the shot. I used a large aperture to get some blur of the chandelier in the background, which worked great. These are pink-ish orchids that have recently bloomed, and the filter actually brought out the colors much more, and makes them look much better!

-Zack Moshonas

I used the cutout bottom of a plastic water bottle with a hole punched out of the center. The photo is of a sago palm (I think) in my backyard. I used my Canon Rebel XTi, Lens EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and even though it was pretty sunny out I had to use the flash. I manually focused the palm and then I held the water bottle filter ove the lens. Even with the flash the histogram was weighted way toward the right, so I calibrated the levels to make it much more vibrant, other than that it is untouched. The white halo effect is caused by the build up of plastic from around the hole I put in the water bottle. Hope you like it.

- David Oliver

It was a cold day in Baltimore when I shot this. The cold makes me feel sad and gloomy. My goal here was to capture that feeling. I used cheesecloth covering the lens, slightly doubled over in some parts to create a "foggy" and gloomy look.

- Peter Mares

Christmas light men battle! This was a great challenge to think outside of the box, I have never made a filter before. I just used a brown paper bag and a exacto knife to create the little stick figure. I held this over my 50mm 1.4 lens on my Canon Rebel XSi. I used two separate sets of Christmas lights to create the different colors.

- Seth Porter

I spent a lot of time this week trying to find the perfect "filter" for my camera. I experimented with different forms of liquids, wax paper, etc... Nothing quite turned out exactly how I planned until Sunday night. I was having dinner with the family and my 1 year old was still acting hungry so my wife asked her if she wanted some cheese...

I present to you the filter that I call "The String Cheese Incident".

Basically I took a clear lens filter and applied the string cheese. It created two dominate effects. The first was a nice burst filter for bright lights when the shot is centered on it. The second was a nice filter that you see here. It added a nice foggy effect that I would only use when shooting towards sunlight.

Camera: Sony Alpha DSLR-A560
Lens: DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM
Aperture: f/9
Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO: 320
Keeping with the theme of this week's challenge I limited my Photoshop work to just cropping the picture.

- Jeremy Martin

This photo was taken using a UV filter as the base and covering it with nude tights. I tried out different elasticity of the tights and finally found one which provided me with softness in the photo.

Nikon D3100, ISO 100, f/4.5, 1/250s, No flash, 35mm.

I agree to the Standard Contest Rules.


- David Ogilo


The power was cut to my street for several hours on Saturday night, so I had to break out the tea light candles. I decided to play around with Optimus Prime and the candles with several homemade analog filters. I knew that I wanted a gradient filter to make the edges very dark, and the best filter I could find in the house was black lace panties over the lens.

Sony DSC-W220
EV +0.7

- Jeannie Moulton

I wasn't really planning to submit anything this week (with a busy sans-camera weekend planned and no real motivation to make a DIY filter anyway), but I managed to snap this shot of the sunset in the park on my way home after work on Friday. I didn't have anything to hand to use as a filter besides the lid from my Tupperware® lunchbox, but the result turned out better than I'd expected! Canon EOS 550D @ ISO100, 135mm, -1.3EV, f/5.6, 1/2000. - Nick Hale

- Nick Hale

My dad recently downsized his home and I ended up with my mom's kaleidoscope collection and my dad's tin truck collection sitting in box in my living room. I decided to combine these elements and created a homemade filter by coloring a piece of plexiglass with markers. I placed the toy truck on a tablecloth and hit it with flash from above.
Canon 7D with EF24-105 at f4.0 for 1/80 sec, ISO 100.

-Brian Jones

"Lola and the Garden Hose"

I made my filter using a plastic lens out of a pair of kids novelty glasses that I mounted into a piece of black matte board and then just held up in front of the camera lens. I took about 15 shots of my bulldog Lola in different places around the yard, but when she sat down next to a garden hose I thought it added both interesting color and motion to the photograph. I shot this on a Sony DSC-F707 with its built in Zeiss lens and no special settings.

- Wayne Laakko

Canon 50D
ISO 1600

This was a quick shot taken through my rainy windshield. It created a perfect analog filter for a nice cloudy sky and the sun peaking through the trees. It goes to show you it's always a good idea to have your camera with you because you never know when an opportunity will arise.

- Michael Durr

Always wear protection when you shoot

I used a condom... Pretty self explanatory. First I had to wash the lubricant off with soap and water. Then I just wrapped it around the lens hood in the privacy of my home. Had to stretch it around a bit so it would be flat. Then took a pretty picture. Unfortunately I didn't have a studded, ribbed or color one handy.

f /5.6, ISO 200, 1/30th Sec, 35mm, Condom Filter.

- Tim Drivas

Photo name: my own little snow globe.
Equipment: Nikon D40,18-55 kit lens, ISO 200 and a defective glass lens (-7.5dioptres, Index 1.6), little bit of Lightroom editing.


Description: This photo was taken after I read a DYI fisheye guide linked from Giz. I immediatly went to pester the local opticians to give me a defective glass lens to try my very own fish eye photos.After a few hours, I got one. I played around with it, and here is my luckiest shot. I just hope that more people will realize that you don't need a 500$ lens to get this cool fish eye effect that works really, really well! Most opticians also have defective lenses that they use for training, so if you're nice, you'll just get one for free!

- Alexander Grecu

By accident, my brother gave the idea to use as a filter the blue part from a pair of 3D specs. He kept nagging me about a 3D movie and since I'm a sucker for sky scapes, I made the blue...well, bluer.

Canon 450D, 5mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, 1/250sec at f/13.

- Claudia Neacsu

This photo was taken as part of a class assignment in Photo 1 for a series of abstract images and was very much an accidental discovery as far as location came out. Just a simple drive down the road and upon turning the corner there was a straight section covered almost completely over the top by the trees with the sun setting straight between them to give a set of elongated and dramatic shadows.


Done on a Pentax K1000, 50mm at f5.6 and 1/125 using Kodak T-Max 400 black and white film which was developed and then enlarged onto Ilford RC paper by myself. The filter itself was originally a standard R2 deep red filter but a close encounter with a sand blaster prematurely ended its life for normal use. Sitting in my basement workshop it ended up with a coating of dust and another encounter with spray mount has fused some of it to the glass. Currently the filter is a lovely spotted rust color between the parts of red filter left and the dust glued to the scratches left by being sand blasted.

When I heard about this contest my mind instantly jumped to this filter that I had laying around. It had not even crossed my mind to waste a single exposure to see what looks might come out but I decided to give it a whirl, but only once! To my amazement when the film was finally developed and I looked at my contact sheet I could only stop and stare at one frame with how lovely the small version even looked. Coupled with a light bit of burning and dodging on the enlarger I ended up with what is currently my favorite print so far and I am now left if I should even try to better myself using the poor, abused filter that I had left to die or let this be its last great moment before going to the photo graveyard in the sky.