After recently purchasing a Nikon 1 V1, Swedish photographer Sven Hedin decided to work on making the camera work with an external flash. Not just any external flash, mind you, but a vintage flash unit — the kind that uses disposable bulbs.
One of Pentax’s big announcements for this year’s CES 2013 was the MX-1, a camera that is designed to compete against other retrotastic compact cameras that are currently generating a lot of buzz (namely the Fujifilm X-Series and the Olympus OM-D).
Well that was fast… Just hours after Instagram launched a major update to its popular photo sharing app, Twitter dropped a bomb on the industry by finally unveiling its own long-awaited and recently-leaked retro filters. The move brings it into direct competition with what Instagram offers — the two services virtually offer the same product now, except Instagram is solely focused on images while Twitter lets you Tweet text as well.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and even people who don’t ordinary take pictures are likely dusting off their cameras in anticipation of capturing snapshots of family gatherings. Photography wasn’t as cheap back in 1926, so people needed a little more encouraging. The above ad placed by the Master Photo Finishers of America tries to do this is a slightly morbid way:
Save the day with snap shots. Thanksgiving, the day of the year which brings most families together, is a splendid opportunity to take snap-shots of the entire family, both singly and as a group. Next year may be too late. Have your camera and a few extra film ready.
Interesting marketing tactic, eh? Here’s Boing Boing’s paraphrase: “Take Thanksgiving snapshots, before everyone you love dies.” The ad was discovered by Flickr user Alan Mays, who regularly posts scans of quirky vintage finds.
Photographer Dominique Vankan wanted to play around with the old Autochrome Lumière process from the early 1900s, so he built himself a custom large format camera using LEGO pieces, cardboard, and duct tape.
We’ve featured a couple of projects involving cameras strapped to birds recently (see here and here), but photographing with birds is anything but a new idea. It was actually invented a little over a century ago, in 1907, by a German photography pioneer named Julius Neubronner.
Have an old Polaroid camera lying around collecting dust? Did you know that you can use it for wet plate collodion photography? AlternativePhotography writes,
Most collodion photographers are using dedicated wet plate cameras, because wet plates are not nice to put into any ordinary modern cameras. There are instructions on how to use some normal medium and large format film cameras in the wet plate process. Most modern large format cameras are readily usable; only a special wet plate holder is needed. The drawback is the silver nitrate, possibly dripping from the holder inside the camera and eventually ruining it.
There are, however, certain types of cameras that you can use as is, without any modifications. Polaroid 100 – 400 series cameras were designed for Polaroid instant pack film, and the empty film holder can be converted to an excellent wet plate holder.
Once your film holder is modified to hold wet plates, you’ll also need to give the camera a makeshift “bulb mode” by covering its ‘Electric Eye’ light meter with black tape. The tutorial also discusses how you can expose wet plates using an enlarger and/or digitally printed film.
Wet plate collodion with a Polaroid camera [AlternativePhotography via Pixel Análogo]
Image credits: Photographs by Jalo Porkkala/AlternativePhotography
Fujifilm is a camera company that’s going all-in on the idea of “retro design”. We’re not complaining. Its new XF1 compact camera brings the sleek design of X-Series’ cameras to the world of “point-and-shoots”, featuring a minimalist aluminum body that’s covered with faux-leather. The camera feels very nice and solid in the hand. It’s not as compact as other point-and-shoots (the Canon S110 is around 30% smaller and 20% lighter), so I’d say it’s purse-sized rather than pocket-sized. What it lacks in portability, however, it makes up for in beauty and brawn.
If you want a 50mm f/1.4 lens for your DSLR, you’ll need to shell out at least a couple hundred bucks, even if you buy one made by a third-party manufacturer. For those of you who don’t mind losing autofocus, you can get the same focal lengths and apertures for much cheaper by buying some old glass and an adapter. By much cheaper, we mean as low as $10-$20! India-based photographer Brock Whittaker recently did this after seeing an auction on eBay for an old Mamiya camera kit.
Daré alla Lucé is a project by photographer Amy Friend that features old photos that resemble constellations in the night sky. Friend creates the images by finding vintage photographs (online or in shops) and then poking tiny holes into them. My Modern Met writes,
The series began through her desire to see the photograph as an object. Friend wanted to find out what it meant for them to change, “to become something different than what they were originally intended to be” yet still remain the same. To her, the images represented “a life, a face, a moment, but only through a momentary glance.” By altering them she hopes to playfully bring to light stories beneath the surface or what she refers to as “the unknown.”
“It is the unknown that shines through the photographs. It is the unknown that releases the photographs and allows them to become something new.”