Is it so wrong to think you can use lifehacks in school to take world-class photos using just your cellphone from the “comfort” of your desk?
Is TikTok a Good Place to Scout Lifehacks?
Tiktok is the latest expression of the spirit of the internet, aka the Gen Z spirit. It is probably the most polarizing platform you know. TikTok often gets pegged as a posterboy for social media vapidity.
Critics do have a point. The whole point of TikTok isn’t to connect with friends, but to strike fame. Unapologetic fame-seeking is actually one of the characteristics of Gen Z.
TikTok has risen to infamy on the back of thousands of trends that could be described as vapid or even straight-up stupid.
“the whole point of TikTok isn’t to connect with friends, but to strike fame“
There are two main points I’d like to make in TikTok’s defense:
- Play isn’t a bad thing as long as nobody is getting hurt
- There is amazing educational content on there
The platform’s management team seems acutely aware of its reputation. It has recently launched a massive initiative intended to pivot how it is seen. For the entire month of August, TikTok will be boosting the visibility of videos with the hashtag #learnonTikTok
These lifehacks are sourced from photography channels and TikTok creators. They mostly consist of crafty filters and clever angles.
Lifehack #1: The Frozen Filter
This was the favorite photo hack of YouTubers Alex and Alan Stokes. My personal opinion is that it looks really cool (pun unavoidable).
- Find a table with a glass top
- Get a bag of ice
- Model goes under the table
- Ice goes on top of the table
- Arrange the ice to surround your model’s face
- Sport a blue filter when you shoot
- Go nuts
This effect comes out looking borderline cinematic. The trick gets you special effects pictures that will do well on social media and have your followers wondering if they need to call 911. Little do they know …
Lifehack #2: The Contortionist
This trick is an optical illusion based on angles. Unlike lifehack number one, there are no props involved … Unless you count your friend’s legs as a prop. In a nutshell, you lie on your belly looking at the camera while your buddy lies on his back on top of you.
- Find a friend with legs that look like they could be yours
- Lie on the floor on your belly
- Ask your friend to lie on top of you with his head facing your feet
- S/he should be face up
- Place your camera about 2 feet away from you, also on the ground
- Make a constipated face for the full effect
This optical illusion is a simple, fun way to get a unique picture and uhm … bond with your friend.
Lifehack #3: The Instant Uyuni
The Instant Uyuni is named after the famous Uyuni salt desert in Bolivia. That link goes to an awesome music video by FKJ that was filmed there. This natural wonder of the world is literally a 500-mile mirror. People flock there from all over the world to take pictures just like this one.
Being the smart life-hacking individual you are, you can use this life hack to save the money your dear, sweet grandma would spend buying plane tickets to Bolivia.
- Get a second phone
- Place it directly under your camera with the long side facing your model
- Lock the screen
- Angle the two phones
- Tell your friends about the magnificent salt desert you visited in Bolivia
Life Hack #4: The Phantom
Did somebody call Bloody Mary three times in the dark? This creepy effect can be produced using the panoramic tool on your phone. It might involve a little finessing, but you will be impressed with the results. This is also one of my favorites.
- Get a friend
- Set your phone on panoramic mode
- Model should be facing you with her back to the mirror
- Pause while scanning horizontally AFTER the camera captures your model, but BEFORE it captures your model’s reflection
- The model should turn to face the mirror
- Finish the panoramic by scanning your model’s altered reflection
- Call a priest
Life Hack #5: The CD Flare
If you or your family has any CDs lying around, this is one way to put that wonderful shininess of theirs to good use. Solar flares are for beginners.
- Grab a flashlight and a CD
- Place them both near the camera
- Leave a tiny piece of the CD in the corner of the frame
- Adjust the angles so the flashlight is hitting the reflective surface of the CD
- Snap away
This one might take a few tries to get the angles just right, but it gives a striking effect that will be liked by all your friends and stalkers.
These photographic life hacks can be done at school or at home. They are beautiful and fun. Maybe you can even build a following by using these tips. How many likes did you get by using this article?
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