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3D printing: How my husband hacks my camera gear

    “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”

    This pithy quote comes from Canada’s answer to Tim “The Toolman” Taylor. The Red Green Show ran from 1991 to 2006, a helluva lot longer than I realized it was on.

    My husband caught wind of this quote once — I may have dropped it a time or two to teach him some Canadianisms — and loves to mention it when he does something handy.

    Like help me with my camera gear.

    The things he 3D prints for me

    A handful of years ago, he added two 3D printers to his office. He did some coding in high-tech and wanted to add 3D printing to his skill set.

    He needed ideas for things to print.

    Enter me … always losing things, always spending too much money on little things. You know the type.

    I came up with things that would add to my camera gear.

    Here are a few bits he’s created on his 3D printers.

    1. Filter wrench

    I still like to do some landscape work. Most every spring, I head down to the Palouse and see the world start to come alive again.

    I’ll usually bring my packet of filters — a circular polarizer, a couple of neutral density filters — and have a little fun.

    Palouse tree at sunset
    A lone tree on the Palouse


    These things can be a bitch to get off my lens. It doesn’t help that I broke my dominant hand in 2007 and it has never regained full strength or dexterity. And when I say broke, I mean broke in that Angela way of doing all things with incredible gusto.

    My right hand had to be rebuilt, the thumb reattached and the tendons stitched back together (I’m guessing that’s what one of the best small muscle surgeons in Canada had to do to deal with all of the tendons torn).

    My husband saw my struggle and printed a filter wrench to help out my camera gear:

    filter wrench

    It’s easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy now.

    2. Lens hood

    I have very short-term relationships with lens hoods and lens caps.

    When they enter my house, I have a little chat with them:

    “Hello, you aren’t going to be around for very long. You’re going to go someplace magical. I don’t know when or where that’s going to be, it’s just going to happen. It was nice knowing you. Best of luck to you.”

    But then I started struggling with lens flare on my 10-24mm and bitched about it.

    Chip said, “How do you fix it?”

    “I buy a new lens hood but I can’t find any anywhere for this lens.”

    “I’ll print one.”

    Mind you, this is also how Frankenlens came to be a part of my camera gear.

    Lo and behold, my new lens hood.

    3. Strobe handle

    This one’s my favorite.

    I was struggling to manage my off-camera flash and hiking. I needed something more manageable than my crappy travel tripod and my heavy, sturdy tripod.

    I could have spent $17 on a Godox grip handle but why when we could build this for less than $5.

    Oh sure, it doesn’t look pretty. It’s an amalgamation of part of an old outdoor light sconce, PVC pipe, a bit he printed to hold everything together, a carabiner for easy clipping to my backpack and — celebrating my Canadianism some more — hockey stick tape.

    It all comes together like this:

    a DIY grip handle is a big part of my camera gear

    And the banner image at the top this page is a result of that workmanship.

    4. Dog whistle

    This is vital equipment.

    I have a bag full of noisemakers and wildlife calls. Each one I’ve spent around $10 on. Some can be as expensive as $20 or $30.

    That may not seem like a lot.

    Until you start losing them. I tried having them attached to a lanyard but, folks, that shit gets in the way. Especially when you’re rolling around on the ground trying to get that shot.

    For mere pennies, he can print out a new whistler whenever I need one:

    3D printed dog whistle

    And that’s how I get those curious looks and head tilts.

    Ssssshhhh, don’t give away my secrets.

    One more hack for my camera gear

    He didn’t print this one for me.

    It’s kind of genius, though. I learned this one on a webinar focused on hacks for my camera gear.

    Silicon Mason jar lids as lens caps.

    silicone mason jar lids as lens caps

    Yes, that’s what I said.


    silicon Mason jar lids in my camera gear

    They’re about 12 bucks for 10 of them.

    As opposed to 10 bucks for three new lens caps.


    All around the circle

    That’s a little peek into how my husband helps me manage my camera gear. He isn’t always a willing participant.

    Sometimes he says “no.”

    Like this week when I said, “hey, make me one of these mini tripods.”

    I will get my way. I promise.

    In the meantime, let’s head out to the worldwide pet photographers circle and see how my friends hack their gear.

    Start with Sacramento pet photographer Kylee Doyle sharing her favorite hack to get your hyper dog to look at the camera.

    When you get to the bottom of Kylee’s post, click the next link in the circle and then keep going until you find yourself back here to how the 3D-printed hacks for my camera gear. That’s when you know you’re home. 

    Right where you belong.   

    And if you’re ready to see how I use those hacks to create epic portraits of you and your dog on adventure together, book a consultation.


    Dogs. Adventure. Outdoors. These words set Angela's heart afire. Angela Schneider, an award-winning writer and dog photographer, documents the story of you and your dog and the adventures you take together. Your portraits will be a statement piece in your home, art that will make your friends and family beg to hear its story.

    5 thoughts on “3D printing: How my husband hacks my camera gear”

    1. So green with envy right now! I have a VERY handy (and patient) husband who indulges every single one of my “hey honey, I have an idea, do you think you could build x for me?”, but he doesn’t have a 3D printer! Nice catch!

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