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6 MORE Ways to Use Your Digital Camera for DIY

by on Sep 30, 2010

Last week I posted 6 ways to use your digital camera for DIY, however, if you include the GREAT TIPS in the comments section of the post, it was more like 12 ways. With such a wonderful response, I thought I’d add a few more ways I use my digi for DIY. 

1. You can get some wonderful design ideas from public spaces such as hotels, restaurants and, yes, even bars, where proprietors are used to camera flashes. (I’m often inspired by their lighting and their over-all ‘festive’ feeling, which is great to infuse in our own homes.) But be warned, taking pics in places such as office atriums, retail stores and even mall common areas can get you a reprimand–or at least a dirty look from a mall cop. So, if you want to take a photo or two in those areas, it’s best to get permission from someone in authority first.

2. Playing around with mosaic accent tiles is very much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, only YOU have to decide what the picture is. When experimenting with tile placement, I like to lay the repeat pattern out on the floor to be tiled (or on a large piece of plywood if the surface to be tiled is a wall) and then take pictures of each design incarnation. A quick reference later will help me decide which pattern I like best. 

3. Tote your camera on walks through your neighborhood and take pics of thriving plants that appeal to you. This is good practice for two reasons. One: you already know the plant(s) will grow in your area. Two: you can take the picture(s) to your garden center and say, ‘Gimme one of these things.’

4. And speaking of plants…we recently put in a shade garden and I had NO CLUE as to how to arrange possible plantings to make it look cohesive with the surrounding area. I snapped a shot of the space under consideration. I took the pic to my garden center where one of their plant experts gave me suggestions based upon what she witnessed in the picture. Also, lighting conditions can and should be of big concern for any potential garden spot. If you’re not sure if the area gets enough sun–or shade–to sustain your desired plantings, take some pics over the course of the day, documenting lighting conditions of the area. This will help your garden center help you find the appropriate plants. 

5. Have you ever fallen in love with some interior furnishing at a store but couldn’t tell if it really suited your interior style? (When this happens to me, generally it’s something I WANT to suit my style, not that it actually does.) Try taking a picture of the object first (with permission, of course) and then when you get home you can look at it in its potential new surroundings. If it seems ‘at home’, great; if not, keep looking. This, of course, helps avoid the very irritating buy-to-try-only-to-have-to take-it-back-later bother. 

6. We LOVE to see before and afters here at Curbly, but even if you don’t have any intention of sharing such things with the world, you should ALWAYS take a before and after picture of every project you do. It will not only inspire you to do more DIY projects, it’ll fill you with well-deserving pride knowing that YOU did it.  And, if the results are less than you expected, that’s okay too. The pictures will serve as reminders for those ‘What I’ll do different next time’ moments. 

So, does these tips spur any MORE ideas? If so, so share in the comments below!



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  1. I use my phone to record so much these days and it’s such a great idea – just remember to set up an album to drop them into if you are like me and take a lot of photos as it makes them easier to find for reference. I’ve had trouble finding my reference shots many times and this makes it so much easier.