Tag Archives: toy

Taste the Rainbow with Revolog Kolor

Revolog’s Kolor film adds rainbow hues to your pictures, giving them an extra dimension of beauty.

I love how the color shading turns an otherwise hum-drum picture into a thing of beauty. Kolor comes in 36 exposure rolls (love!!). Each frame’s coloring will be slightly different with hues in all shades of the rainbow. These shots, taken at a minor league baseball game, just happened to be shaded green, which really accentuated the color of the seats and field.

Unfortunately, Rite Aid didn’t do a very good job with this film. There were tiny little dots all over the negatives. At first, I thought my scanner was just incredibly dusty, but I think it’s little droplets of residue.

According to their website, the color shading will be more intense in areas of under exposure, making this the perfect film for toy cameras or any other fixed-aperture camera in which under exposure can be easily achieved.

This roll was taken in my Olympus XA4, so I had full control of aperture and shutter speed. Next time, it’s going into my Vivtar UWS or La Sardina.

Once again, I’m thrilled with Revolog’s handmade films. They may be expensive, but they’re worth it. Turning drab memories into a technicolor dream, Kolor can make your film look like it was taken in a leaky camera or cross-processed, all on the same roll. What other tool in your analogue arsenal can claim that statement?


Running In the Mud and Taking Photos

In April, Team Will Run For Beer conquered the second annual Mud Run in Milton, Delaware and I was there, not only as part of the team but also as the official team photographer. I took my cheap underwater camera with me to document as much of the shenanigans as possible. It was no easy feat running with my silly little camera, but none of my friends were surprised that I decided to bring one of my “crazy cameras”. Here are a few pre-race shots.

This ultra light kept buzzing the pre-race crowd

Leah ran the kids Mud Run. Her sister Ella probably thought she was a little crazy.

Another team of kid runners

 I was really talking up the Mud Run this year at work, telling everyone how much fun we had last year. There are lots runners in Delaware, so I didn’t have any problem recruiting people. Here are some shots of the suckers who decided to run this year.

Ashley, on the right in the green shirt, ran with our team. She does Zumba but doesn’t run (poor girl). Kathy is on the left.

Gene runs and does sprint triathlons, so he was “in it to win it”. I told him we were “in it to finish it…for the beer”

Pam and Lisa ran as “The Skidmarks”.Pam (on the left) even got her two nephews to run the race, too.

As you can imagine, a mud run can make you pretty messy. Here’s a shot of our shoes before the run.

Before we started the race, we decided a show of team solidarity was in order. We stacked hands and on the count of three, yelled “Beer”!

After that, it was off to the first obstacle, a large, muddy hill.

The woods hid some messy obstacles. We dodged low-hanging tree branches and waded through sometimes thigh-deep water. There were also some mucky spots where a few shoes were lost. We slogged our way through with smiles on our faces and thoughts of the post-race celebration in our minds.

Once out of the woods we had to climb over and through lots of things, including hay bales, tires, large drainage ditch tubes and a maze. There were a few spots where we had to wait in line, so I was able to get some more crazy shots. This one is of me and my husband. We’re not terribly messy, so it must be pretty early on in the race.

After this series of ditches, I had to put the camera down until the finish line. It was just too damn hard doing an army crawl through muddy pudding with a camera strapped to my hand. Fast-forward to the finish line!

Even Ashley finished the race. I wasn’t sure my little Zumba friend was going to do it, but she’s a trooper. Jake met her with a can of beer. He was the brewski ambassador, handing out a brew to friends who looked like they were in need, like our friend Russ, in this shot.

We had a blast at the mud run and while it was fun getting stupid shots this year, I don’t think I’ll be running with the camera next year. Go Beer!


Trippy Key West, or How Toy Cameras Made My Pictures Extra Special

Key West is a crazy place, but how do you capture the essence of the insanity? Through a plastic lens and some crazy film, of course.

The view while floating on my back in the pool where we were staying. I miss that palm tree. Shot with Holga on Kodak Tmax 400iso.

Our favorite coffee shop in KW

While I was in Key West I did a little experimentation with double and long exposures, as well as with Revolog’s Tesla II and Rasp films. My results were trippy, mind-warping goodness. These toy camera shots not only show you the sights, they really capture the essence of Key West.

I own two Holgas and they each take very different pictures. The Holga I brought to KW was my zebra-striped special, which has a lens that fuzzes out a lot of the periphery of my pictures. Look at the first picture in this post, the palm tree. You can see the softness all along the borders of the photo, giving it a very dreamy quality. Floating beneath that tree in the pool, enjoying the cool water, was very relaxing and tranquil, a mood that is captured perfectly in this Holga picture.

Let’s start our tripped-out tour of Key West with some black and white Holga shots from my brother’s wedding.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and it was HOT! The sultry air made everyone feel a little lazy. Add some beer and tequila to the mix and the world became a little soft and fuzzy. The Holga plus black and white film brings that mood to these pictures.

I really love using the Holga for long-exposure shots at weddings because it captures the energy of the day, as it does in the long exposure shots of my brother Jim and his wife April, as they cut their cake.

The two shots at the railing by the water are especially sweet. They show Lexi, April’s daughter (and my new niece) gazing out at the sea, one with a friend Shane and the other, all by herself. Check out the clouds…all zoomy and funny looking at the edges.

Next, we’ll move onto some shots made trippy by the film I used. You’ve seen a couple of these shots before, but bear with me. The first two are taken on Revolog Tesla II and show April and Jimmy with lightning bolts.

It’s great when the random special effects on this film show up in just the right areas. Next, a couple taken on Revolog Rasp. The first is very underexposed, the second is just phenomenal.

The textures of Rasp add a funkiness to these shots that I just love.

Back to shots from my Holga, which has a tendency to wind film in a wonky manner, causing some overlapping. First, you’ll see the two pictures separately, then all together.

We’ll finish up with some of the weirdest shots on the roll. I tried for some intentional double exposures, which turned out okay, but when the film was exposed to light as I unloaded it from the camera, these shots became magic.

The background is of a fence with a sign that reads “No Parking Unless Snow Depth Exceeds 2 inches”

Long exposure of a British phone booth in someone’s backyard

Trippy scooter

Sailing off into the great unknown

as my husband put it, “sailing through tide and times”

Toy cameras are the perfect medium for a funky place like Key West. I will never go anywhere eclectic without my Holga and some film. I do love the iPhone photos I took, but once again, film gave my pictures a depth and character that I couldn’t have achieved otherwise. Thanks for virtual tripping with me ;)


Holga Microclicks

I’ve been wanting to try microclicks for a long time and I finally got around to doing it earlier this year. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this technique, microclicks is a way of making an overlapping panoramic shot in a Holga or Diana. You aim the camera at your subject, take a picture and instead of winding to the next frame you just wind it 3 or 4 clicks and take another shot. Make sure you turn about 20 degrees every few shots and eventually you’ll have a dreamy panoramic picture that spans the width of 2 to 3 frames of medium format film or, if you choose, you can make the entire roll into one large panoramic photo.

For this roll I used my Holga with Ilford’s Super XP2, iso 400 and a yellow filter. If you’re doing this in sunny situations, a filter will be necessary to counteract any overexposure. As you can see in this first shot, taken at the Philly Art Museum, the yellow filter didn’t really help. I was trying to take a shot of the outside of the building from the Rocky Steps.

Oh well. Here are a couple more photos from that day.

Long exposure of a window in the museum’s cafe

 

 I did make some successful microclicks when I took my Holga and yellow filter to the beach.

I’m very happy with these results! I got these by aiming, clicking, advancing the film 4 clicks and turning slightly after each advancement of the film. Next time, I’ll only advance the film 2 or 3 clicks and make a slight turn every 3 or 4 shots. It’s a really fun technique.

Here are two non-microclick pictures from our beach day. The yellow filter really makes for wonderful contrast in these pictures. I’m going to have to start using it more often.


Throwing Lighting with Revolog Tesla 2

I love what I have to share with you today because not only are these pictures from Key West, but they’re on Revolog’s Tesla 2 film. I love Revolog’s films because they add another layer of unpredictability to my photos, creating a little surprise in each frame. This was my first time using Tesla 2 and it’s my new favorite Revolog film, for sure.

With Tesla 2, reddish lighting bolts appear in random places within your picture, kind of like this.

How fun is that? You can channel your inner wizard/mad scientist, like my brother did in this picture.

I used my Lomography La Sardina for this roll, which in retrospect may not have been the best camera for the job. The focus is SO touchy! If you’re not in exactly the right place, your pictures will be fuzzy, and not in a good way. I brought this camera because of the bulb setting and ability to make multiple exposures but I think my Vivitar UWS would have been a better choice. With it’s fixed focus, I wouldn’t have had the problems I did with the La Sardina.

I’m not sure what the trick to getting bright lighting bolts to appear is, but I’m willing to spend more money and play around with the Tesla 2 to figure it out. Here’s what the film looks like when the picture is black. I’m unsure of what happened to this frame. Possibly, the shutter was tripped accidentally in my bag?

I love it!! Freaky cool, isn’t it?

It seems to me the more underexposed the picture is, the better the lightning shows up. More lighting also shows up in the darker places of each photo.

In these pictures, which are exposed properly or don’t have many dark places, it’s tougher to see the lightning.

These two pictures were long exposures. Much like the properly exposed film, the lighting effects are more subtle.

Because Hannah and Michael, the creators of Revolog film, produce each roll by hand, the effects are totally random, so there’s no full-proof way of framing your shot to maximize each film’s characteristic. To me, that’s the fun part of it all.

Once again, Revolog has wowed me. I love the subtle effects of Tesla 2. Because I was taking pictures of an already beautiful place, the lightning didn’t detract from my subjects. Instead, my pictures received a little injection of humor and surprise. I only wish it came in frames with 36 rolls instead of just 12 :)


2011 World Toy Camera Day

World Toy Camera Day is always a fantastically fun day for me. Not only is it a great excuse to use any of my cameras, but it’s also the same day as the party of the year in my neck of the woods. My great friends hold their annual Lakeview Invitational Lawn Tractor Race, which is a little poke at the culture in our area, mixed with Halloween costumes and the biggest drinking game on wheels (don’t worry, we only stick to the lawn).

Riders are in teams of two and must be in costume. First person chugs a twelve ounce beverage of their choice, then does one lap around the house. When they get to pit row, the second rider chugs a beverage and hops on until each rider has completed three laps. So that the chugging is the element of speed (so to speak), there is a qualifying round in which the judges take your tractor for one lap to determine your start time, which is staggered so the slowest riders go first. After the race, there’s a wicked Cornhole tournament, then a poker game.

This year’s winners, The Flintstones, with the coveted trophy

The Ref and Fred

I was the Queen of the Tractor Races

Flo the Progressive Car Insurance lady and the Utz Girl

My daughter Phoebe on our borrowed sweet ride

My other daughter Zoe as a Dead Lalaloopsie Doll—she always dresses as something dead

Gorton’s Fisherman and Jolly Green Giant discuss the details

Sarah and Zoe

Favorite shot of the day—Flashing the woods

My husband Jake, dressed as the “One Percent” who’s rich in the USA

Phoebe’s Glamour Pirate Shot

Assessing the Cornhole bracket

Cornhole overlapping shot

All shots were taken with my Holga on Fuji slide film that was cross-processed.


Overlapping Goodness

I have been using my Holga without either the 12 or 16 frame mask and getting some really nice results. I love the exaggerated vignetting and light leaks that occurred on every picture. These pictures all come from The Art of Waiting roll from September 2010, shot on Fuji Velvia.

I also got some really nice overlapping pictures. I don’t remember if these were intentional or not, but they’re still really cool. Here’s one example.

The two shots just bleed right into each other. I really like it. Here are the shots separately. I don’t think they are nearly as interesting.

Here are a few more overlapped shots shown together and then singly.

Unlike the first example, I think these two pictures stand well on their own

This was on the end of the roll. The shot on the left is pretty underexposed so it doesn’t stand well on it’s own.

Here is my favorite overlap on the roll…

…and the two pictures separately, which I think stand pretty well on their own.

I love happy little accidents. I’m going to have it printed and see what it looks like ‘for real’.

Tomorrow I’m going to Philadelphia to see the Van Gogh exhibit. I’m taking the Fuji Natura Classica and am hoping for some good photo ops.


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