Of all the photography-related novelty products we’ve seen so far, this one has to be one of the most bizarre. It’s a hand-held vacuum cleaner designed to look just like a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR lens. The device can draw its power from either the cigarette lighter socker in your car or the USB port on your computer. Read more…
Kingston University photography students Luke Evans and Josh Lake wanted to do something unusual for their final major project, so they decided to turn themselves into human cameras by eating 35mm film squares and letting their bodies do the rest. After eating and pooping out the film in the dark, they used fixer on the film and then scanned the film using an electron microscope. They are currently exhibiting massive prints of the images that show every detail of what their bodies did. Read more…
Touchy, by Hong Kong-based artist Eric Siu, is one of the strangest concept cameras we’ve seen. Here’s the description:
Touchy is a human camera, who is blinded constantly until someone’s touch enables the opening of the automated shutters. While a continuous physical contact is maintained between Touchy and a user, the camera shoots a photo every 10 seconds.
Oh, and the user is blinded by the camera’s closed shutters until there’s “human interaction”.
Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style is a spontaneous portrait project that photographer Nina Katchadourian started while traveling by plane in 2010. Here’s her account:
While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror. The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture. I decided to add more images made in this mode and planned to take advantage of a long-haul flight from San Francisco to Auckland, guessing that there were likely to be long periods of time when no one was using the lavatory on the 14-hour flight. I made several forays to the bathroom from my aisle seat, and by the time we landed I had a large group of new photographs entitled Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style. I was wearing a thin black scarf that I sometimes hung up on the wall behind me to create the deep black ground that is typical of these portraits. There is no special illumination in use other than the lavatory’s own lights and all the images are shot hand-held with the camera phone.
Some people just have to flex their photographic muscles regardless of where they are… Read more…
Toys are getting fancier and cameras are getting weirder. Mattel is set to launch a new camera barbie called Barbie Photo Fashion that’ll upgrade many a dollhouse with a human-shaped 5-megapixel digital camera. Unlike the soon-to-be-outdated Video Girl Barbie and its chest-cam, this new photography doll features a camera built into her back with the LCD screen moved to her frontside. She can store 100 photos, features a mini USB port on her lower back, and comes with 15 built-in photo “filters” — a must-have for toy cameras and apps these days. It’ll cost a cool $50 when it hits store shelves in the near future, though availability hasn’t been announced yet.
With camera-equipped phones eating up more and more of the compact camera market, manufacturers are turning to gimmicky features in order to lure consumers. Canon’s new line of ELPH cameras have a Sleeping Face Recognition mode that’ll make your camera creepy stealthy (i.e. turn off flash, assist beam, and sounds) when it detects someone sleeping in the frame. Olympus’ new VR-340 has a Beauty Make-Up Mode that offers 18 in-camera enhancements (e.g. whiten teeth, lift cheek bones) — something that Panasonic is also dabbling in. Too bad these features can easily be offered as an app on smartphones. Someone should tell camera makers to focus on ease of use and image quality — areas they might still be competitive in.
Back in March of 1954, Popular Science magazine featured an invention called the “dentapod” — a metal bracket attached to the tripod mount that you bite with your teeth to stabilize your camera. For some reason, this didn’t seem to catch on back then, but if any of you aspiring entrepreneurs decided to revive this thing for DSLRs, I’m sure it would be the next big thing.