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Finally have an iPhone I can call my own. First app purchase was, of course, Hipstamatic.

Some analog purists might hate me for this, but I’ve always been Machiavellian when it comes to photography. The end justifies the means, the end here being images I can enjoy.

I don’t mind at all that this app simulates what folks like about toy cameras, those low-fi analog mistakes and imperfections like light leaks and vignettes and stuff. My analog cameras will always be there to do exactly that. However, when I feel the need for instant “analog” gratification, then I am glad Hipstamatic is available on tap.

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I’ll share more of my thoughts on Hipstamatic in a future post. Suffice it to say that I (as a career tech editor) have been waiting for this paradigm shift in digital photography for more than a few years.

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Hurray for squiddy goodness!

Camera Creative

I was browsing the photography section at a local bookstore this afternoon when I stumbled upon a freshly stocked book titled Camera Creative. Written by Chris Gatcum, a former editor at What Digital Camera?, the book is a compilation of all the quaint tricks and techniques I’ve been dabbling in for the past few years – false tilt shift photography, light painting, lomography, plastic lenses, digital cross processing and then some.

Over four chapters, Gatcum describes 52 techniques/projects covering creative shooting, lens and accessory tricks, DIY lighting gear and the dark arts of digital post processing. Included are features on toy cameras and Holga hacks as well as el cheapo stereo photography, yay!

In the eight hours that I’ve owned this book I’ve only been able to read a few pages, but from what I’ve seen so far, Camera Creative is a great jump-off point for folks who like going against the grain. This isn’t a book for everyone, but the stuff in here will most definitely add a new unexpected dimension to your photography, if you apply the lessons well.  There’s a lot of cool things to try out.

As for me, I can’t wait to have a go at TTV photography. TTV stands for Through The Viewfinder, where you mate your digital camera to a TLR and shoot the image that appears on the TLR’s viewfinder. Such a cool hack, methinks. Will definitely post results once I build my “contraption” (it seems this is what the TTV community calls the DIY interface) and shoot. Meanwhile, here’s a TTV flickr group to keep you occupied.

If you’ve got a bookstore near you, give it a look. Otherwise, there’s always Amazon.com.

 

So, I took the Demekin out for a spin last week, taking photos of the office compound and nearby Eastwood City mall. Here’s what I learned:

 

1. The Demekin needs a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of light for it to take a decent shot. Bright day, strong, direct sun.
2. The fisheye lens means I have to get closer to my subjects.
3. Don’t wind the film until you are ready to shoot. The shutter button is unprotected and easy to press accidentally.
4. Stand still while shooting. No drive by snapshots. The shutter is relatively slow.
5. People like the Demekin and will invariably ask you about it. Be prepared for a short chat.

 

Here are some of my test shots:
shadowy

shadowy

 

crosswalk low

crosswalk low

 

total bunting

total bunting

 

fountain fisheye

fountain fisheye

 

forklift forking

forklift forking

 

More photos are posted on my multiply account: here.  Do let me know what you think. Cheerios! 

Say hello to my brand spanking new Demekin camera from those Japanese folks over at Superheadz.  Found this baby in my recent trip to Hong Kong, at a small boutique-slash-gallery along Gough Street called Gallery de Vie.

One of the more exotic toy cameras around, the Demekin is the first ever fisheye camera that uses the 110 format, a film standard popular in the seventies and early eighties and is quite hard to find today.  It has a plastic fisheye lens that gives you 146 degrees of coverage, an aperture of f/8.9, and a shutter speed of 1/100sec.

I managed to buy ten rolls of 110 film from my new favorite camera store Oh Shoot! (see previous post)  at 80 pesos a pop (that’s about a dollar seventy in US$) .  Since the film format is hard to come by, I plan on using this camera sparingly. With its diminutive size and light weight, the Demekin is the perfect camera for a pet project that’s long been gestating in my head. Will post sample shots soon.

 

Superheadz Demekin Finds a Home

Superheadz Demekin Finds a Home