This Holga camera is named the “Holga-Cam of the Apocalypse” and is worth $24,000. Photographer Mike Martens created it using a Holga 120N camera body worth $25 and a Phase One P25 digital back worth $24,000. The two components are fused together using a horseman lens board (hence the camera’s name) and a foot of black gaffer’s tape. The camera shoots low-fi photographs at 22 megapixels. You can find more images of the camera here and sample photographs shot with it here.
London-based photographer David Wilman recently did some experiments in which he used a Canon 5D Mark II as a digital back for his MPP 4×5 large format camera. He placed his lens-less 5D at the back of the camera at the film plane and then placed a black cloth over the two cameras to prevent any light from spilling onto the sensor. Light from the Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 4.5/150mm lens entered straight into the open mirror box of the DSLR without any physical link between the two cameras. Wilman was surprised to discovered that this pairing produced quite a respectable macro setup. Read more…
There’s a subgroup of film photographers who are dedicated to coming up with inventive new ways to distress film in order to achieve unexpected — and occasionally beautiful — results. Last year we shared that soaking film in rubbing alcohol does strange things to your images. Here’s another crazy idea: put a roll of film through the dishwasher. Photographer Tom Welland did just that and ended up with some vintage-looking photos. Read more…
Here’s a super cool trick: instead of buying a special macro lens for your smart phone, simply use a drop of water! Carefully place a drop of water over your lens, carefully invert the phone, and voila — instant macro shots with the cheapest lens you’ll ever own. Alex Wild over at Scientific American has more details on the technique and some great sample shots taken with it.
This past Sunday, a group of amateur astronomers in San Antonio, Texas successfully “flashed” the International Space Station with a blue laser and spotlight as it whizzed by overhead. While this might sound like an easy thing to do, it’s much more complicated than you think. Astronaut Don Pettit shot the photo of the experiment seen above, and writes,
This took a number of engineering calculations. Projected beam diameters (assuming the propagation of a Gaussian wave for the laser) and intensity at the target had to be calculated. Tracking space station’s path as it streaked across the sky was another challenge. I used email to communicate with Robert Reeves, one of the association’s members. Considering that it takes a day, maybe more, for a simple exchange of messages (on space station we receive email drops two to three times a day), the whole event took weeks to plan.
The International Space Station maintains an orbital altitude of between 205 and 255 miles, so the fact that Pettit was able to see the flash of light from that distance is quite impressive.
Just in case you’ve always been wondering what it would look like to record footage with a camera attached to a spinning electric drill, French product designer Oscar Lhermitte did just that. The resulting footage is quite trippy, and would be a pretty unique way of capturing abstract photographs — as long as you don’t mind the risk of disintegrating your camera.
Last week we featured some “sound painting” photographs by Martin Klimas, captured by using a speaker to vibrate paint. Here’s a video tutorial by some Arizona State University Polytechnic students demonstrating how you can do your own “sound painting” photos. They use a thrift store speaker covered with a garbage bag and some Crayola poster paint.
Kai Wong over at DigitalRev recently conducted this interesting experiment in which they spent a week training a newbie photographer — an IT guy without any background — to go up head-to-head in a studio environment against an actual photographer. The goal was to see whether they could fake it well enough so that one of Hong Kong’s top photographers wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in quality.
YouTube member MJRecession came up with the idea of placing a digital camera onto the conveyor belt a sushi restaurant in Japan to record candid portraits of the other patrons in the restaurant. It’d be interesting to see this same thing done at sushi bars around the world to see how different cultures would react.
Gav of The Slow Mo Guys made this interesting video comparing different high-speed camera frame rates. Using a Phantom HD camera, he films coffee mugs shattering on pavement at 500, 1000, 2500, 5000, and 10000 frames per second.