I’ve been playing with Poladroid over the past few days and having a lot of fun with it. It’s neat to look at some of my older and/or otherwise boring photos as Polaroids. It’s very easy to use, just supply the photo and it does the rest, including the color adjustments, the vignetting, and the framing. You can also sopt the processing at different steps along the way, or even give the photos a shake as they are being developed. Granted, it doesn’t replace the exact experience of shooting a Polaroid, but it may be the next best thing. ;-)
Posts that are mainly discussion.
Poor Man’s Macro
Taken from a post I made a while back on Flickr. I am posting it here because I recently came across a similar piece on another site and realized that quite a few folks were unaware of this option…
This might be old news for some, but hopefully someone else may benefit from it. This is how I go about getting the extremely close macros and just about all my cameras, digital or film, without spending on expensive lenses. Basically, you take one lens (prime is easiest) and you either mount or hold it backwards to the front of your existing lens (the one on the camera). In other words, you shoot through the lens from the camera lens. What it does is give you the ability to focus on objects as close as about 1/2″ away while zooming in on the subject extremely close with the lens that is on the camera. It sounds complex but it really is simple. There are a few outlets online that sell couplers which will mount 2 lenses end to end called a Macro Coupler Ring (basically a blank lens filter with threads on both sides). This will help you free up the hand you might need to zoom or focus with. Some people also make their own by gluing 2 uv or skylight filters face to face. I simply put the camera on a tripod and hold the inverted lens by hand, which takes a little practice.
If you don’t have a second lens, you can use any old lens really. I picked up an old screw mount 50mm MF lens for 10$ at a flea market and it is more than I need to get the job done. You can also shoot through a loop if you have one. I find the loop tough to use with an SLR but is good for the small lenses on most digital cameras. Either way, it is easy, cheap and can produce some pretty decent effects.
TTV or “Through The Viewfinder” is kind of a neat idea, though the results are sometimes very primitive looking. The idea is that you take a photo (usually digital) through the viewfinder of another, older (usually film) camera. Most folks shoot through TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) cameras, which have a large, waist level viewfinder which one can shoot through it with a standard 50mm lens or even a zoom lens. Others experiment with everything from old range finders to box cameras, and even toy cameras. Some cheaper versions of the waist level TLR cameras can be had for a few dollars on ebay. Since the functionality of the camera really doesn’t matter (you are only using the viewfinder), as long as the view piece is crack, mold, or fog free, the camera can be otherwise broken and still serve it’s purpose for you. Some folks even desire the dusty cracked, or fogged viewfinders for some added grittiness.
I, on the other hand, don’t currently own a TLR or any other camera worthy of this project (yet?), so I actually used some template layers that other folks have made with their TTV cameras and simply worked them into my photos. I cheated, yes, but I had fun at it, and may consider picking up an old Kodak Duaflex sometime soon to give the real-deal a go.
Show and tell…
Last of the flowers for now, I promise. Though I did have fun shooting them, and I learned a few new methods for lighting them for different moods and looks. The Daffodils are on the way out now, and the Tulips and Poppies are just around the corner, so I can’t promise that some “other” types of flowers won’t show up here in the near future.
So the weather was supposed to be cloud cover and a chance of snow for tonight’s eclipse, but instead there was just a light, thin cloud cover, almost transparent even. I decided to go out to take a look but hadn’t planned on photographing it due to the foggy cloud layer and also due to the fact that I don’t have a zoom lens that’s really capable getting in close enough. Wouldn’t you know that the clouds cleared out just in time for the eclipse to start, and I had to scramble to get my camera ready and set. I got in a few photos, these were the best, though still not terrific.
Just after the last photo, the clouds rolled back in, so that put an end to that. I have had very little luck with eclipses, mostly due to the magnification, but sometimes due to the exposure, it gets a bit tricky as the moon goes through the phases of the eclipse.
The next eclipse is not due for over two years now, just long enough for me to forget all that I’ve learned about shooting eclipses and to screw it up once again. ;-)
A visitor reading the inscriptions on the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts. The memorial is made up of six glass towers, each five stories tall, with a walkway that allows visitors to walk through each tower and look up through the four glass walls. On each of the glass walls are inscribed the numbers from 0000000 through 6000000 in order, split up over the six towers. There are also various writings, poems, and memos that were written during, or about the holocaust.
I’ve been thinking about a story I read some years ago, Samuel Beckett’s “The Lost Ones”, and now this photo stirs the memory once again. It was a short that I read many years ago after a recommendation from a friend. I think some time later, years later, I “got” the story and it made more sense to me. Maybe it was due to maturity, or just a fuzzy memory, I’m not sure, but now, I have been thinking about trying to track it down again and give it a second look. It also makes me wonder about the person who first recommended the book to me, as I think it held a deeper meaning for them that I just didn’t get at the time. I will likely read the story again soon, but I’m not sure it will have the same impact it has had on my for the past 15 or so years.
I am probably over analyzing this whole thing…but then again…?
I’m making an attempt to shoot photos differently than I usually do in hopes of finding some new ideas. I often find myself shooting the same things in the same way, over and over, and I feel the need to break that cycle. I’m certain to flop on a lot of ideas, but I am prepared for that. At the same time, I also hope to find a few little niches here and there and be able to expand on them. Either way, I think it will be good for me to do, maybe even push me in a different direction, one that I can feel a bit more comfortable in and still keep things fresh.