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5 innovative ways to use a plastic bag in photography

A handful of states have already banned plastic grocery bags, but if you live in one of the many that still has them, and if you are a photographer, you may want to hold on to a few.

YouTuber Chungdha has shared a a visual list of five different ways you can use a plastic bag as a tool in your photography arsenal. In the 60-second video, Chungdha shows why it might be worth keeping a plastic bag in your camera case, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

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Below are the five different ways, broken down and summarized:

Flash Diffuser – If you’re stuck using your on-camera flash, it’s best to make the most of it. By wrapping a plastic bag around the flash and slightly inflating it, you can effectively create a makeshift softbox of sorts. Be sure to not let the bag touch the flash itself though, as it could melt to the front panel of the flash.

Color Filter — Similar in practice to the previous tip, this one relies on a colored plastic bag. If you don’t have any gels on hand, a blue, green, red, or yellow plastic bag can work as a simple solution to giving your flash a little extra color.

Soft Edge Filter – For this tip, you’ll also need a rubber band. Simply rip a hole in the bag, wrap it around your lens, secure it to your lens with a rubber band, and let the excess bag hang over the front of the lens. By using a large aperture, the bag will be out of focus and effectively create a soft edge filter that can add a little stylization to your shot.

Rain Cover – This could be the most obvious one. If you get caught in an unexpected storm, you can wrap the bag around your camera, make a hole for the lens, and use the bag as a means of protecting your camera from the rain or snow.

Rain Bag – If you’re caught in the rain and not shooting, the plastic bag can still be used as a means of protection if the camera case you have isn’t waterproof. Much like the bananas you originally carried inside the bag, place your camera bag inside, tie it up, and even heavy rain should repel off, keeping your gear safe and sound.

Some of these tips might seem obvious, but if even one is new, it’s worth the watch. After all, the video itself is shorter than many advertisements on YouTube.