You are currently browsing the lomography tag archives.

Pics @ Etobicoke Creek

Posted 2012.09.23 23.20 in Hobbies, Photography

I went for a bit of a walk this morning, to have a look at where the local river (the Etobicoke Creek) emerges from a concrete diversion channel and reverts to its natural riverbed.

The diversion channel thingy was built in the 1950’s (if I remember right) as a solution to prevent downtown from flooding every year.

I’ve never really looked closely at it before, though it is not far from my house. The diversion channel thingy is really small and makes the river look like a wee little stream, but it must be deep and it does move fast.

Now I’m curious to go see the other end, where they squeeze the river down into that little concrete channel.

The film was expired Shoppers Drug Mart “EasyPix” brand (made by Fuji I believe), ISO 200. It came out with some interesting colour shifts, kind of an overall pink tone. I’ll have to try and remember to overexpose it by a stop next time to see if that helps.

Shot with my Lomography LC-A+ RL and developed at home in my kitchen sink with my tired old Press Kit colour chemistry – 14 months old and still going strong.

Black and White and 110 all over

Posted 2012.08.23 21.15 in Photography

So a few months back, the Lomography folks announced that they were reviving the 110 format film.

Also known as Pocket Instamatic film, 110 film comes in a little plastic cartridge. It uses a narrow strip of film 16mm wide, and you could get it in 12-shot and 24-shot sizes. The negative image was only about 17mm x 13mm, or a quarter of the size of a 35mm film negative.

I’ve got a handful of 110-format cameras in my collection, and until now I’d only been able to use them with out-dated (very expired) film. The results I’d been getting were quite poor.

Even when new the 110 format was not known for fantastic images – most of the cameras were cheaply made, with less-than-stellar lenses and inadequate exposure controls (or none at all). This resulted in grainy, fuzzy negatives that couldn’t be enlarged any more than small snapshots.

I think I’ve read that the last factory making 110 film closed up in 2009. Now, three years later, the Lomography people have brought it back. When they announced their new ‘Orca’ film, 110 format in black & white, I immediately ordered a couple rolls.

I’d never used B&W in 110 format, and was interested in trying it out. I also wanted to try out ‘fresh’ 110 film to see if I’d get noticably better results over the 10+ old stuff I’d been using so far. I loaded up my Pentax Auto 110 (an SLR system camera with interchangable lenses) and this past weekend I shot off a roll.

The results were pleasantly surprising. The camera is one of the best ever made for the 110 format, which helps of course. The film though came out very crisp with good contrast and a nice range of tones. Using a jeweler’s loupe, the film really looks fantastic.

The first six shots were taken in Eldorado Park, the seventh was shot from the car on the way home, and the last shot was taken at home, with a different camera. I moved the film from the Pentax into a Lomo Fisheye 110, to see how the Fisheye would work.

Film was processed at home in old T-Max 1:4 developer for 8 minutes. The scanned images are not as good as the film – my scanner seems to not be able to get a good read from 110 film. Perhaps because I’m trying to scan it from a 35mm carrier…

Road to Redscale

Posted 2012.08.21 10.29 in Photography

Last week I was off for a day, on a little road trip to visit my friends Athena and Jason at a cottage somewhere in the vicinity of West Guildford. Naturally I brought a camera.

It was the Lomo LC-A+ which I’d loaded with their Redscale XR film. I’ve had mixed results with Redscale in the past… and this time was no different. It varies wildly between underexposed and sort-of-acceptable. If you intentionally over-expose, you can get some more-lifelike colours. If you let it underexpose, you get deeper reds and oranges.

Unfortunately, although I brought the camera, I didn’t actually get much chance to use it. The (three-hour) drive home had some opportunities for playing around with it. Then this past weekend I finished off the roll at a local park along the Credit River.

There’s nothing particularily memorable about any of the shots, but I enjoy the experimentation now and then. Playing with film, playing with light, and playing with chemistry.

Camera Hack

Posted 2012.07.22 12.46 in Hobbies, Photography

Some long while ago I picked up a Lomography Action Sampler camera – a little multi-lens plastic ‘toy’ camera that takes four pictures in sequence when you press the shutter release. The four images all fit on a single frame of 35mm film, and are taken about 1/4 second apart.

It’s supposed to capture ‘action’ but the shutter speed isn’t very fast so if the subject is moving fast enough to capture the action, they’re probably going to come out blurry. And if they are moving slow enough not to be blurry, then there isn’t enough ‘action’ to capture.

Anyhow, I got the idea to modify it. I’d black out two of the lenses and remove the internal frame mask so that a) there was only two images instead of four, and b) they would bleed into each other.

It was a super simple modification, the frame mask was a plastic insert that just popped out when I tugged on it with pliers. To block out two lenses I just used some black electrical tape – so neither change is permanent.

I was hoping that the two lenses would have enough coverage to expose the whole negative, but it turns out they do not. I think there might be some more plastic inside that I could try and remove, to see if that does it. Or not. It’s not bad as-is.

The film was an OEM Fuji colour negative (store brand), ISO 400. Processed myself with my stale old C41 chemistry, 20 minutes at 76°F then scanned on my flatbed Epson.

Through the Cemetery

Posted 2011.11.09 23.08 in Hobbies, Photography

So last week the Lomography folks unveiled their new product – a new-fangled old-fashioned movie camera using actual film!

I confess I think they’ve done something very clever. 8mm, 16mm, Super-8, all those old movie films have something in common: it’s really hard to find somewhere to buy the film, and it’s nigh-impossible to find somewhere to develop it. There’s like maybe 4 places left on Earth that process Super-8 on a regular basis.

So what the LSI gang have done, is come up with a funky retro hand-cranked movie camera, that takes common normal 35mm film, that you can still buy lots of places, and can still get developed lots of places. (Except around where I live, apparently.)

Now the drawback is that a 36-frame can of 35mm film is not a lot of film when you’re talking about motion pictures. The LomoKino camera fits 4 movie frames in a single still-picture frame, i.e. instead of 24mm by 36mm, the movie frames are 24mm by 8.5mm. So your 36-shot roll of film gives you about 144 frames. The LomoKino can crank at about 5fps so this is…less than 30 seconds of footage for a whole film cannister.

Still, it’s pretty keen. The camera looks good and if you get bulk film off eBay and process & scan it yourself, it’s not that expensive to make your own retro movies.

Here’s my first – Through the Cemetery, shot on Kodak Tri-X with the LomoKino. Enjoy!

A Multilens Camera

Posted 2011.09.04 9.10 in Hobbies, Photography

Going in a completely different direction from my usual photographic interests, I recently picked up a totally plastic novelty toy camera – a multilens Actionsampler.

These cameras have four lenses in a two-by-two layout, which result in four 1/4-sized images on a single 35mm negative. The four mini-frames are taken sequentially (rather than simultaneously) so that the four mini-images are each a fraction-of-a-second apart. Thus, it lets you ‘sample’ some ‘action’.

Lomography Actionsampler

The camera has no focusing or exposure controls. The lenses have a 26mm focal length and the shutter speed seems to be about 1/100th. Focus is fixed, 1.2m to infinity.┬áThe aperture is unknown, but small – probably around f/11. They have some suggestions to vary the film speed based on the weather (sunny, cloudy, et cetera) but I’d ignore that and go with ISO 400 at the slowest. In fact I used ISO 800 and that was acceptable from bright daylight to dusk. Indoors it was inadequate – this is an outdoor daytime camera only.

The interval between pictures is listed as 0.22 seconds, so all four frames are taken in just under 3/4 seconds. With a 1/100 shutter speed, fast action will show some motion blur. Slow action may not show enough difference between the four frames, so there’s a trade-off to be had – either the four images will appear nearly identical, or you’re likely to see some bluring.

The camera does not take any batteries, winding and rewinding is simple and manual, and the shutter release is also a simple plastic button. There is no viewfinder as such – you frame your shots via a simple fold-up plastic frame. Or you just ‘shoot from the hip’ and hope for the best.

The camera is very light – 100 grams. It seems a little bulky and blocky, and feels like they could have made it smaller if they wanted. The size and light weight make it feel very, very cheap and toy-like. The biggest complaint I have though is actually the noise – when you trip the shutter, it makes a noise that is a bit unpleasant and quite noticable. Sort of a brief plastic grinding sound. I suspect it is a clockwork that causes the 0.22 second delay between each of the four shutters.

The Actionsampler’s four images start at the upper-left and end at the upper-right, moving anti-clockwise. With some practice one can figure out what kinds of motion / movement are most appropriate for this camera, and then I’m sure it would really shine. It does seem to love people, and although the focus is set for 1.2m to infinity, it’s mini-image format will make it happiest with people 1.2m to 5m. Not a great camera for landscapes or architectural shots, I think.

Overall, it’s not a good camera by any means. It’s a toy, and a novelty. So why’d I buy it? I was curious and I wanted to play!

Redscale

Posted 2011.08.09 12.14 in Hobbies, Photography

Another “experimental” technique for playing around with film and photography, Redscale is where you load the film backwards in the camera. That is, instead of the emulsion facing the lens, you load it so the emulsion is towards the backplate and the back of the film is towards the lens.

Redscale, like cross-processing, is another one of those well-known techniques that I’m only just trying out now.

This technique mostly only makes sense with colour negatives. The idea is that film for colour prints includes a red mask in its base layer. If you look at processed colour negatives you will see they do have an overall red, orange, or brownish tone to them. When using the film as intended, this has no effect on your pictures as the light coming in through the lens strikes the emulsion before getting to that red mask.

When the film is loaded backwards however, the light has to pass through the mask before getting to the emulsion, giving the pictures a red or orange tone. There can be additional strange colour effects as some films employ additional colour filtering in between the layers of emulsion, and when using the film ‘backwards’ everything is in the wrong order.

The four images above all came from the same roll of film. I found that the amount of red varies with the exposure, as the longest exposure had the most non-red in it. These were all shot with my beat-up Holga, using medium-format ISO 100 colour negative “redscale” film, processed and scanned at home.

I’m going to try some more of this redscale stuff. I had been thinking to try it with a faster film, but I’ve read that faster films have darker anti-halation coatings which nullify the speed advantages. I might try it anyways just to be sure.