Posts Published in May 2010

Accordion Obscura is a Photo and Music Geek Chimera

Accordion Obscura is a sculpture by Andrew Lewicki that mashes together an accordion keyboard and the front of a 4×5 large format camera, joined together with the part they share — bellows. The result is a strange piece of equipment that would certainly cause weird looks if the thing were actually used on the street, though making the setup usable is a whole nother story.


Image credit: Photograph by Andrew Lewicki and used with permission

Store Your Photographs on USB Cufflinks

Here’s a unique way to keep your photographs close at hand (literally): USB flash drive cufflinks. Removing the lid on each cufflink reveals at 2GB flash drive, for 4 gigs of total storage. They’re available in gunmetal and gold finishes, and can be customized with an engraving. Sadly, these novelty items are usually absurdly expensive, and these cufflinks are no exception — the pair costs a whopping $195.

4GB USB Flash Drive Cufflinks (via Wired)

7 Easy Steps for Instant Cashback on Photo Gear Using eBay

A while ago my friend discovered Microsoft’s Bing Cashback program, which provides instant savings for “qualified” purchases. What’s neat is that any eBay purchase made with “Buy It Now” and paid using PayPal qualifies for the savings. After he discovered this, my friend bought Canon 5Ds in bulk on eBay and sold them on craigslist for a profit.

I just bought a used 5D yesterday on eBay for $1200, and instantly saved about $100 using this method. Here it is as a step-by-step tutorial:

1. Search for the Product on Bing

Head on over to Microsoft’s Bing search engine to search for your product.

2. Click the Sponsored eBay Link

In many cases you’ll find the link in the sponsored sites box. If you don’t, just type in something else until you do find an eBay link (i.e. “Canon 5D”). It doesn’t need to be the item you’re looking to purchase. As long as you enter eBay through a sponsored link on Bing you’ll be qualified for cashback.

2. Check the Top of the Page

At this point, there should e a special “Microsoft Cashback” graphic at the top of the page, with the text “Must use Buy It Now and PayPal”. As long as you see this, you’re good to go. If you don’t enter eBay through the sponsored link on Bing, you won’t see this and you won’t be participating in the program.

3. Find Your Item

You can now search for any item you’d like to buy, using eBay just like you normally would. You have 60 minutes to find and buy what you’re looking for before the cashback expires. If it does expire, all you need to do is start over and reenter eBay through Bing. It’s really that easy!

Since the program requires that you Buy It Now, it makes sense to filter by Buy It Now listings, and to sort by price from lowest to highest.

4. Purchase the Item Using Buy It Now

Make sure the special graphic at the top from Step 2 is still visible. If it is, click “Buy It Now” to purchase the item.

5. Check the Review Page

After clicking the “Buy It Now” button, eBay takes you to a confirmation page to allow you to review what you’re getting into. If you’ve done the previous steps correctly, this page will also have a special “Microsoft cashback” box that tells you exactly how much cash you’re going to get back with the purchase. If everything looks right, hit the “Commit to Buy” button to make the purchase final.

6. Pay Using PayPal

Pay for the item like you normally would using PayPal. As long as you pay using PayPal, you’ll get the cashback.

7. Sign Up for the Bing Cashback Program

Once you’ve purchased the item, you’ll receive an eBay message in your account telling you to check your Microsoft Cashback page. If you don’t have one, you can create one at this time. Make sure you create your account through the link provide in the message.

The signup is very fast and simple.

You will soon find the cashback amount show up on your account. Ordinarily, cashback takes 60 days. However, if you sign up for an account beforehand, you can go into your Microsoft Cashback settings and join the “quick cashback program.” This allows you to have the cash sent to your PayPal account very shortly after the purchase (sometimes immediately).


That’s it! What’s great about this program is that you can use it for anything on eBay as long as you use Buy It Now and PayPal. After buying the 5D yesterday, I used the program to purchase a VGA adapter for my MacBook Pro, and saved 8% on that as well in addition to the low 3rd-party price I found on eBay.

Good luck, and leave a comment letting us know how it goes!

WWI Machine Gun Shot Medium Format Film Instead of Bullets

The Mark III Hythe Machine Gun Camera was a camera designed to mimic the American-made Lewis machine gun, and was used by the British air force during World War I to train their aerial gunners in air-to-air combat. The reason was that 120 film was much cheaper than live .303 ammunition, and that the resulting photographs would inform the evaluators of how accurate the pilot was during the combat simulation. To train the gunners in changing magazines, the gun camera included a fully functional — albeit useless — Lewis gun magazine.

Needless to say, this camera would probably give you problems if you were to use it nowadays.

(via Gizmodo)

Wallet-Friendly Video DSLR Shoulder Rig

One major hitch when capturing video with a DSLR is that there aren’t many convenient or affordable options for stabilization tailored to DSLR gear. Jonathan Berqvist recruited the expertise of his father to create a wooden shoulder rig, but most people have to pay upwards of $300 to get a setup.

Habbycam now has a slightly more affordable SD Camera Brace, available for $250 from their website.

The rig weighs about three pounds and can support up to 20 pounds of gear, which makes it just about right for video DSLRs.

What’s especially notable about the SD Camera Brace is that the shoulder pad has special holes in them that can be used to mount weights, mics, and sound recorders. Again, a good fit for video DSLR shooters who probably won’t be using in-camera audio anyways.

(via Wired)

Uber-Rare Nikon 6mm Fisheye Lens on eBay Can See Behind Itself

There’s a super rare Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 fisheye lens for sale on eBay. How much does f/2.8, 6mm, and a 220° field of view cost? A mere $34,020.

Aside from this uber-rare lens being uber-expensive, it’s also ridiculously heavy, weighing in at close to 11.5 pounds. Here’s what Photography in Malaysia has to say about this lens:

You are looking at one of the most gorgeous looking lens in 35mm SLR photography – a lens that can actually see behind itself! This series of lenses were originally developed for special scientific and industrial use where wider-than-180° picture coverage is required in surveillance work, photographing the interiors of pipes, boilers, conduits, cylinder bores and other constricted areas. But in applications such as advertising and commercial photography they are used extensively for dramatic effects.

To put the field of view in perspective, human vision is about 180°.

(via Photojojo)

MIOPS: Smartphone Controllable High Speed Camera Trigger

MIOPS is a new smartphone-controlled camera trigger that combines all of the features photographers want in a high-speed camera trigger into one convenient device.

Read more…

Secret Time-Lapse Playback Feature on the Canon T2i/550D

Did you know pressing the “Set” button on your T2i/550D while reviewing photos plays them back as a time-lapse video? Well, no… because it doesn’t. It’s too bad this video tutorial is just a well-made fake, but now you have fun way to prank your T2i/550D friends!

Here’s a direct link to the YouTube video, where the commenters seem to be oblivious to the fact that this is fake.

(via cinema5D)

Pixar-Style Lamp Repurposed for Tabletop Lighting

A few years ago New Zealand-based Flickr photog fettucininz was looking for an easier way to position his flash for table top photography, when he found that his old desk lamp had just the right screw thread for mounting his flash. The resulting setup is ultra flexible and super cheap (it’s free, after all). If you have an old balanced-arm desk lamp lying around, see if you can repurpose the thing as a nifty flash stand.


Image credits: Photographs by fettucininz

Miraculous Adobe Photoshop Day Cream

Adobe Photoshop does miracles for wrinkly skin, and it’s now available in a cream! If that’s not enough, you can also check out Photoshop Toothpaste.

We’re also hearing murmors that their “Stamp Tool for the Face” will be announced soon.

Can You Photoshop Me Later? (via A Photo Editor)

Create Easy Panoramas with Dermandar

Dermandar is a free flash-based web app that will automatically and seamlessly stitch photos together to form a panoramic photo. The resulting panorama can be viewed as a side-to-side scrolling image, or in “3D” mode, which is an interactive display that can be rotated, zoomed, and has a more obvious axis of rotation. Some of the most interesting images available for public view in the Dermandar gallery are actually 360-degree views.

You can upload up to 100 panoramas to the site, comprised of 2 to 4 images for partial panoramas or 7 to 24 for 360-degree images — plenty of photos to allow for overlap as well.

It’s a pretty cool tool, complete with sharing and embedding options. It also has a fullscreen mode that makes the viewing process very immersive.

Head on over to the create page to get started!

(via Lifehacker)