Monthly Archives: July 2017

Instant Camera

The instant camera is a type of camera which uses self-developing film to create a chemically developed print shortly after taking the picture. Polaroid Corporation pioneered (and patented) consumer friendly instant cameras and film, and were followed by various other manufacturers. The invention of commercially viable instant cameras which were easy to use is generally credited to American scientist Edwin Land, who unveiled the first commercial instant camera, the model 95 Land Camera, in 1948, a year after unveiling instant film in New York City. The earliest instant camera, which consisted of a camera and portable wet darkroom in a single compartment, was invented in 1923 by Samuel Shlafrock. Polaroid cameras can be classified by the type of film they use. The earliest Polaroids (pre-1963) used instant roll film. Roll film came in two rolls (positive/developing agent and negative) which were loaded into the camera and was eventually offered in three sizes (40, 30, and 20 series). The next generation of Polaroid cameras used 100 series “pack film,” where the photographer pulled the film out of the camera, then peeled apart the positive from the negative at the end of the developing process. Pack film initially was offered in a rectangular format (100 series), then in square format (80 series). Third generation Polaroids, like the once popular SX-70, used a square format integral film, in which all components of the film (negative, developer, fixer, etc.) were contained. Each exposure developed automatically once the shot was taken. SX-70 (or Time Zero) film had a strong following with artists who used it for image manipulation.

Polaroid also invented and manufactured an instant movie camera system was called Polavision. The kit included a camera, film, and a movie viewer. When the movie was shot, it would be taken out of the camera and then inserted into the viewer for development, then viewed after development. This format was close to Super 8 mm film. Polavision film was different from normal film in that it was an additive film, mixing the primary colors (red, green, blue) to form the color image. The biggest disadvantage of the Polavision system was the low film speed (ASA 40), which resulted in having to use very bright lights when taking the movie, as well as requiring a special player to view the developed movie. It also lacked audio capability. Because of this, and combined with the advent of VHS video recorders, Polavision had a short history. Pack film cameras were mostly equipped with automatic exposure, but still had to be focused and a flash bulb or cube unit needed to be used with colour film indoors. The development of the film required the photographer pull two tabs, the second tab which pulled the positive/negative “sandwich” from the camera, where it developed outside the camera. If the temperature was below 15°C (60°F), the positive/negative “sandwich” was placed between two aluminum plates and placed either in the user’s pocket or under their arm to keep it warm while developing. After the required development time (15 seconds to 2 minutes), the positive (with the latent image) was peeled apart from the negative.

Creating Double Exposures That Rock

Simply put, double exposure is a combination of two different images in one frame to create a unique photo. Taking double exposures means overlaying or superimposing two exposures in one frame. Creating a double exposure photo normally requires one to take an initial round of shots and then a second round to create the superimposed images. Years ago, this was done using a film camera and a dark room for developing the images. Changing your camera’s settings to get double exposures may sound easy, but there are actually other things to consider aside from that. As such, it is important to know the basic tips to follow when shooting double exposures, especially if you are a first timer. You will be shooting two images with your old school camera. The first image will be your primary subject, while the second image will be the supporting or supplementary. Normally, first images have the light or sun behind them. The second image, on the other hand, can either be a landscape, figures, flowery items or a textured backdrop. Decide which images you want to be primary and secondary and try to imagine what they will look like when superimposed. This will give you an idea of how to execute the shot.

Whether you’re using a digital or the traditional film camera, you need to be absolutely sure that you have the right equipment. So, this is the first thing that you need to consider. Next, check your photoshoot location. Come up with a shot list or a prospect for the shots you are going to take. Be sure to specify which ones are initial shots and which ones are the second shots. As previously mentioned, it is important to have the right equipment before going out to shoot. For digital camera double exposure shoots, having a shutter release cable, a flash and a tripod will greatly help. Likewise, be sure to bring with you a plain black or white cloth or anything that can be used as a backdrop. The next thing you should do is find out where your camera’s multiple exposure features or settings are. You have to be familiar with how it works. It will be a good idea to read the user’s manual and to do a simple research online. It will also help if you practice before going on an actual shoot. You can do this at home or anywhere you want to, as long as you are able to practice using two images in one frame. The next step is for you to shoot your second image. Be sure to position and frame it well so it does not cover the entirety of your first image. The two images should blend well. To do this, experiment with the angles so you’ll know which scenes complement each other well. Do not be afraid to experiment; this is what double exposures are all about.

The actual steps for taking double exposures may be simple, but you will still need to follow some tips and consider some tricks that can help you.

  1. Although there are no set rules for double exposure photography, it is important to follow some techniques. For example, you need to know that using lighter or brighter subjects is not recommended because this will affect the details of the image. Instead, use darker scenes or subjects. The best advice? Use silhouettes. They work best for double exposures.
  2. However, it is also important to go a little extraordinary. You can, for instance, use a dark silhouette over a bright or shining white background. The effect will be quite dramatic, with the white washing out the image and creating an interesting scene.
  3. You can also choose to shoot double exposures that come out like ghostly apparitions. To do this, simply position your subject away from the frame. This will create a translucent illusion.
  4. Of course, some DSLR photographers, especially those who are busy, prefer to create double exposures with the help of a software. But, where’s the fun in that? It’s always exciting to try out something new in photography.

Capturing Great Autumn Bokeh

One especially excellent way to capture fall in all of its splendor is by looking to incorporate bokehinto some of your images. Bokeh is a Japanese word that translates into “blur,” and among photographers, it refers to the way the lens renders out-of-focus areas in the background or foreground as orb-shaped spheres of light. Looking to incorporate bokeh into your compositions can make for some striking images, especially during the fall, when the world is awash in color. If you’re hoping to capture the vibrant colors of autumn, consider heading out to a place where the changing foliage is in full swing. The sunlight filtering through the leaves makes a great opportunity for capturing bokeh, allowing you to create some classic autumn bokeh images. Heading out just after the rain can make for some striking images. Since the leaves will be damp they’ll be more vibrant and the colors more saturated than they would otherwise be.

In most images, bokeh features in the background, but you can capture beautiful foreground bokeh as well. Both foreground and background bokeh are similar in that if you focus on the subject, and there’s a distant element in the background, that element will be out of focus. Similarly, if you have an element that’s close to your lens, and it’s out of focus, you can capture some great foreground bokeh as well. For great foreground bokeh, you’ll want to pay attention to the light and look for elements of light. Autumn light filtering through some leaves, translucent flowers or stalks of grass, or drops of dew clinging to a spider web can present great opportunities for beautiful foreground bokeh.

If you have a fast lens, by all means use it, but if you don’t have one – don’t worry. You can still capture some great bokeh. Just increase the distance between your subject and the background, or zoom in closer to your subject to separate them from the background, resulting in more blur – and better bokeh. Keep in mind that the farther your subject is from the background, the more creamy and blurred the background will be. Bokeh can enhance almost any type of imagery. While the most common shots of autumn bokeh feature leaves or foliage, you can capture bokeh in a range of different situations. Consider photographing city lights after dark, or heading to a farmers’ market to capture the good that are on display. Aim to capture bokeh in the background of your autumn portraits, or get up close to an insect, an acorn, or seeds for some beautiful macro shots. There’s no shortage of opportunities for bokeh in the fall, so keep your eyes open! Any time you see some beautiful light reflecting off of something in the background or foreground, you know you have a great chance to capture bokeh.

Best Night Sky Photographs

You can take stunning night sky photos using just a professional photo camera. For best results, you can also invest in a fisheye lens, to capture as much of the sky as possible. This type of lens also adds a curving effect to the final image, which works well with night sky photos, as it can really capture the sense of awe it can inspire. If you do not have a professional camera, or a very powerful camera, or you just want to capture a higher level of detail, you can also use a telescope. Even a cheap Celestron telescope is enough to do the trick. You will also have to purchase an adaptor ring to mount it one your camera. Make sure everything is compatible, as newer adaptor rings might not work for older cameras. Night sky photos can be less demanding than proper astrophotographs, though there are a few tricks that makes taking astrophotographs easy as well. For these types of photos, buying a powerful camera and telescope is not optional. Set up is also more rigorous. But once you learn the basics of night sky photography, you can move on to the next challenge.

Obviously, light pollution can be a major issue when it comes to night sky photos. Part of the reason why these photos are so impressive is because we rarely get to see the stars and the moon in all their glory when living in the city. That’s why ideally you should be at least 50 miles away from any town when taking these pictures. At that distance, you’re more or less sure to have no light pollution. Air pollution can also be a factor, so you should steer clear of any large factories or other industrial operations. Even though they may not give off any light, smoke and gases can cloud the sky and obscure the subject. With newer, more powerful cameras, you can take clear pictures of the stars in as little as 25 seconds. Still, you should mount your camera on a tripod, as 25 seconds is a pretty long time to stand perfectly still with a camera in hand, especially if you’ve mounted a telescope on it. When it comes to settings, you should take a look back at your equipment. The wider the fisheye lens, the more light comes through the camera. That means you’ll have to spend less time capturing the photo.

Hopefully, these tips will help you see that night sky photography is much easier than it may first appear to be. Arguably, the most important tool at your disposal is patience. Patience to find the perfect locations, the right settings and the best compositions. And most importantly, the patience to experiment.