June 2010

from Lomography.com

Old article, but I just found it now thanks to Bonsai Fojas (who makes excellent fascinators).

The folks at LSI were able to get the fantasy writer Neil Gaiman to shoot photos using an LC-A+. Follow the link to see his shots and the accompanying interview.


Now I’ve met Neil Gaiman maybe three times already – an achievement since I live nowhere near Minneapolis where he’s based. I’ve been able to interview him twice. I’ve also been able to shoot him using my Nishika N8000 3D camera, but I’ve yet to finish the roll. Gimme a few weeks to post a 3D photo of the Dream King himself.


It’s been almost two months since my grand trip to the US and I’ve yet to sit down and seriously sort out the photos from the 38-odd rolls of film I shot during the month long cross-country vacation. Tonight I started processing the rolls shot with the Nishika N9000, converting them from scans to animated wiggle 3D video snapshots.

Here are three so far.

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams isn't just a beer.

Benjamin Franklin's Tomb

Benjamin Franklin's Tomb

Corner Cat

Corner Cat

I’ll work on the other Boston shots as well and just add those to this entry.

Let me know what you think!

Shifting back to digital video from a few days of analog lusting, I finally found time to make a test video of the Jelly Lens “Polorizer,” quotation marks because I do know how to spell polarizer.

Surprisingly, this thing does actually work. Surprising because even el cheapo screw- on polarizing filters for SLRs and DSLRs are typically pricey. This one cost me less than a small Starbucks latte. I tested the polo on two monitors and a leather handbag to see how much the filter could cut down on reflections. The monitor tests show significant effect.

I’d like to see how this filter works with blue skies and color, but I’ll save that for a future video.

Before I plunk down money for that Gakkenflex I saw being sold locally, I thought I’d try my luck with Mijonju’s Gakkenflex Giveaway contest. I’m extremely lucky when it comes to raffles – might as well have a go at this.

Note to readers. It borders on the ridiculous to try and edit video using a weak-ass one year old netbook. It just doesn’t have the juice to handle video editing software, especially when your camera captures video in 720p.  I’m using a Kodak Playsport to shoot video, ArcSoft Media Impression to do minor edits, FormatFactory to convert from .mov to .wmv then Picasa to put it all together. Tedious, but until I get a desktop that can handle the processing requirements of video editing, I’m stuck wif this.

If you’re like me, then you’ve probably heard of the Gakkenflex, that assemble-it-yourself plastic TLR that comes free with Volume 25 of the drippingly cool Gakken Mook (magazine-book). If you haven’t, here’s what it looks like:

All hail the humble Gakkenflex!

This 35mm TLR only has a fixed f11 aperture, it has no hotshoe nor film counter, but makes up for its shortcomings with sheer charm and a true TLR viewfinder, unlike its closest counterpart the Blackbird, Fly from Superheadz. It’s also about half the price of the BBF.

The mook came out sometime last year and is pretty hard to find. Fourcornerstore.com had it for a while but have since run out. If you do feel you want to add a Gakkenflex to your toy camera collection, then you may yet have a chance.

Mijonju, of the most excellent toy camera blog circlerectangle, is giving one away to a lucky person who posts the best video response to his YouTube video, telling him why you want a Gakkenflex. So far only three entries have been submitted so you have more than a fighting chance. Here’s the video:

He also sells them, by the way, so if you don’t win, you can always order from him.

Good luck!

As promised, here is the second of my sample videos using Jelly Lens filters with a Kodak Playsport, this time with the delightful “Starburst” filter.

There’s a sweet spot near the center of the filter (but not dead on) where the image is clear. Radiating from it are etched rays, which gives this filter its distinct effect. I call it my “dream sequence” filter. My colleague calls it the “stalker” lens.

Apologies to Jason (the bald dude at the end) for including him here, but not really. Your thumbs-up was too good to pass up, even though it was shot in poor light.

To edit these videos, I use Picasa , which doesn’t natively process .mov files in its movie editor mode. I have to do a bit of file conversion using FormatFactory, from .mov to .wmv. Crossing my fingers this thing dosn’t have spyware, heh.

During my lunch break the other day, I made a dash to a nearby department store to purchase something I knew would add a cool dimension to my already cool Kodak Playsport.

Near the Ladies’ Lingerie section, at the bottom of a rack displaying bangles and bracelets was a row of Jelly Lens phone camera filters. These are el cheapo plastic filters from China designed to attach to the lens of most phone cams via a non-permanent adhesive jelly ring (hence the name). I’d spotted them a month ago while shopping there with my wife.

At about 2 US dollars a pop, these are criminally inexpensive upgrades to mobile imaging devices such as the Kodak Playsport and most likely the Flip cameras, which have small fixed lenses, like phone cams. There’s about a dozen in the series, and you can find them at http://www.jelly-lens.com.

I immediately bought five of the most useful ones: closeup, vignette, soft, starburst and “polorizer.” Ripped them outta the packaging and immediately started trying them out while walking out of the mall.

Best damn upgrade you can get for ten bucks.

Here’s a sample using the closeup lens and shot in 720p.  I’ll post more in the next few days.

BONUS: Here’s a clip I found of the Playsport’s water resistance being put to the test.

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