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!


Expanding Horizons with Filtermania 2

With over 300 filters and endless ways to combine them, Filtermania 2 is a great way to expand your creative boundaries.

Agave plant macro photo edited in Filtermania 2

Dropico Media’s latest update of its Filtermania app includes 20 categories of filters, from Classic, Frames, Nature, Destruction and Famous Places, just to name a few. One of the best things about this update is the ability to change the opacity and luminosity of each filter. Other highlights include

– Over 300 Photo Filters + New Filters Added
– Layer Filter-on-Filter for Unique Creations
– Rotate, Move, and Scale Photos
– History Feature: Move Back and Forth Through Your Work
– Share to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Flickr, or Save to Your
Camera Roll

 When I first started messing around with Filtermania 2, I only used one filter at a time to create vintage looking photos. Here are a couple that I took with Hipstamatic then edited in Filtermania 2.

Sailboats in Hipstamatic, edited in Filtermania 2

Dog Paw in Hipstamatic, edited in Filtermania 2

Then, I decided to just use the native camera and goof around. I took some macro shots of flowers and gave them a Filtermania 2 treatment

After getting lost on Instagram and seeing all of the wildly creative things others are doing, I got inspired. My son’s toy soldiers were sitting on the kitchen countertop. By layering a couple of filters, they were transported to otherworldly war zones.

I’m having a blast with Filtermania 2 and since it’s free (and so are all the filters), it’s a great time to download it and try it out.


Instagram is Photographic Crack

I have a problem and its name is Instagram. It’s fun, inspiring and addictive, kind of like crack (or so I’m told). I am an analogue girl at heart, but the instant feedback of this little app is very satisfying. Before I go into a full-blown ode to my newest favorite app, I should probably start the story at the beginning, when I downloaded it.

I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me by clicking on the instacanv.as/ipdegirl link here 🙂

I’m already a member of some very cool mobile phone photography sites, namely Eye’em and iPhone Art. They’re wonderful sites that feature groups, critiques, event listings and all other kinds of fun things. They both have apps for the iPhone, but to use the features fully you need to be on the web. Much like Flickr , these sites are much better when viewed and surfed on a computer.

Enter Instagram.

I resisted for a while, but finally downloaded it in early 2011. For the longest time, these were the only two photos that graced my Instagallery.

The second photo is truly underwhelming, but I uploaded it anyways. Then, something happened around March. I uploaded pictures from some St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans, then, I uploaded pictures of my Mud Run in April. By the time I went to Florida in May, I was in full-blown Instagram-uploading mode. I couldn’t tell you what the catalyst for all of this activity was (maybe other photog’s uploads, the ability easily post to FB?) but my Instagram portfolio took off.

Enter the e-book “Instagram Uncovered” by Guy Yang and Audrey Taylor of The Beginner’s Lens. Yang and Taylor break Instagram down in this guide. From the absolute basics, like how to upload and ‘like’ photos, to tips on tagging your photos and getting enough ‘likes’ to make it to the popular gallery, this guide is a must-read for any Instagram user. For example, I had zero likes on my pictures until I started tagging my photos. As soon as I started tagging, I started getting noticed. I’m not on the popular page or anything, but it is cool to know that other photographers are seeing my work.

For me, the truly addictive part of Instagram is the immediacy with which I get feedback, along with the fact that it was specifically designed for use on the mobile phone. As soon as someone likes or comments on one of my photos, I receive a silent notification. Now THAT’S instant gratification. Even more fun, and possibly more addictive, is how easy it is to search for and view works by other artists. I liken it to looking up a word in the dictionary. If you’re a nerd, like me, you’d flip through the book looking for your word but, inevitably, get distracted by some other crazy, exotic sounding word that you just HAD to find out the meaning of. Ten minutes later, you’d forgotten the word you were looking up, but had learned the definition of at least seven new words along the way. That’s Instagram. It’s even inspired me to want to try some crazy stuff that I’d never consider before, like layering lots of filters and effects to make a photo that looks like some crazy sci-fi fantasy.

The shots in this post are all macro shots of flowers and an agave plant, taken with my magnifying loupe and processed through Filtermania 2 (which I’ll review next week).  If you want to catch more of my iPhoneography, in real-time, hit me up on Instagram under the user name ipdegirl and while you’re at it, help me get an Instacanvas shop by clicking here. An Instacanvas gallery allows you to purchase any of my Instagram photos on a canvas for a very reasonable price. While you’re at it, let me know if you are on Instagram in the comment section below.

 


Double Everything

I’m truly obsessed with Fusioncam. It’s such a fun app. I like using it especially in museums because my husband is one of those people who reads everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, on each and every plaque. All the waiting around drives me nuts, since I’m one to skip to the highlights or just read things that interest me, but having that extra time has inspired many creative moments. Here are a few shots from a recent trip to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

Display of USNA Class rings, version 1

USNA Rings, Version 2

WWII Japanese Artifacts

Aviation Artifacts

WWII era Japanese Uniform and Plane Silhouette

Silver Candelabra and American Flag

We happened to be back in Annapolis this weekend for a wedding and the Chinese lanterns strung across the ceiling gave me some good ideas.

 

 This is my favorite

 Sometimes a double exposure ends up looking like a hot mess, but when it works out just right, it’s beautiful.


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.


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