It has been a long time since I have asked for something photo related for my birthday. I usually don’t ask, just because I’m very particular about what equipment I use, and my friends and family know it. But this year, it was different. I thought about dabbling in some old school photography, so I asked for a Polaroid 600 camera. My fiancée stepped up to the plate and delivered, gifting me an awesome 1983 Polaroid Sun 600 LMS. I had some fun with my first pack of film, but then it was time to start pushing the envelope.
An idea hit me one day, and I knew I had to try something that I’ve never seen done before: shooting off camera flash with an older Polaroid 600 instant camera.
Ithaca College, a small private school in New York, recently conducted a fun photo experiment to capture a day in the life of the students on campus. Instead of sending a photographer around to various student hotspots, the student social media team left ten disposal cameras in five locations around campus with a note that read:
Hey, I just left this camera here for the day. Take some fun pictures with you and your friends! I’ll be back later to pick it up
At the end of the day, all the cameras were collected, all the film was developed, revealing an “authentic view of a day at Ithaca College.”
Like everyone else who heard that Kodak was discontinuing Kodachrome in 2009 — and that Dwayne’s Photo would not develop the slide film after 2010 — I shot as much Kodachrome film as I could acquire, before that “last developing day” deadline.
What do you get if you apply every Instagram filter to a single photograph? Belgian blog Appelogen decided to find out, starting with a normal photo of a pathway and applying one filter at a time. The resulting image is pretty abstract, and prompted them to ask the question, “is it art?”
Instagram experiment: all filters on a photo [Appelogen]
Looking for a weekend project? Try you hand at creating an anthotype, or an image created using photosensitive material from plants. Grind up some plant matter to harvest the juices, paint the juices onto some paper, place a negative over the paper, and then leave the image out under the sun. When it’s done exposing, scan the image to preserve it and place the print in a dark place, since light will slowly cause the image to disappear. Photojojo has a step-by-step tutorial on the process here.
DIY: Create Photographs Using Plant Matter! [Photojojo]
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.
(via Photon Detector)
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.
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.
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.
Transform Your iPhone Into a Microscope: Just Add Water (via Gizmodo)
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.
(via Air & Space via Boing Boing)