Tag Archives: macro

Macro Yashica

Here are the results of my Yashica macro experimentation. Most of these are a little underexposed because I forgot that you need more light when using the diopter. I was also using 100 speed Fuji Velvia, not the best in terms of film speed, but you can’t beat the wacked-out colors.

I took a stroll in my yard to capture these images. I held a +10 diopter in front of the top lens when composing the shot, then moved it to the lower lens to take the picture. Shutter speed was at 125 and the light was bright and beautiful.




The picture of my daughter Zoe is a double. I tried to capture a macro shot of some pink flowers as one of the layers of that shot, but it just ended up overexposed. Oh well. It’s still a great shot of my girl.

I really love the third shot of the pink tulip. The light was really nice and the composition was good, too. It’s a kind of crap-shoot when you use this technique, especially when the wind kicks up and starts blowing everything around. Once the lens is moved from the top to the bottom, there’s no way of knowing what the shot will look like. I just hold my breath, press the button and hope for the best.

While not a particularly inspiring shot, the next picture of little pink flowers on a tree branch is nice for the little pentagons of light that appear in the middle left and bottom right areas of the frame. My favorite is probably the last one, the dandelion. Other than being a little dark, it’s just what I hoped it would be!

Has anyone else used a similar technique? Any recommendations for Yashica filters? I’m going to try some color IR film soon and need to figure out a way to affix a filter to the lenses. I’m thinking that holding the filter in front of the lens may be the easiest way, but any suggestions would be appreciated.


Two New Cameras plus Works of Art Through the Eyes of the iPhone

My parents, who so generously got me the Yashica 635, arrived at my house last week with two more vintage beauties for me. This Konica C35 was purchased at the same time as my Yashica.

I know next to nothing about this camera but am excited to play around with it. The other camera came from my Mom’s cedar chest. It was her camera back in the day….a Polaroid Land Camera Automatic 103

This one I am familiar with. It’s the relative of another Polaroid Land Camera that I own, the 220, and just like my 220 (which I affectionately refer to as Aunt Bertha’s camera because it came with EVERYTHING in the case, including a little lace hankie, and smelled like the top of a moth-ball-filled closet), it included the case, manual and a flash unit. Once I get a battery for it I’m going to give it a try. I’m hoping the roller functions better than the 220 so I don’t get gluey rollers half way through my film pack. What a pain it is to clean.

I’m still waiting for my first Yashica roll to come back from the developers. I took it out last week on a foggy morning as we took the kids and dog for a walk in the woods. I’m hoping for some moody, misty shots. Until then, I will share some iPhone photos I took while at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Curators are masters of using light to highlight the best parts of an exhibit. Whether the lighting is very low, casting gorgeous shadows on the walls, or warm and inviting, everything is beautiful and begging to be captured by an intrepid photographer.  Whenever I visit a museum I treat it as a workshop in lighting. I push myself and try new techniques to see how my camera best responds. This first shot was taken through my Holga Lens Turret’s blue filter.

This last shot was in the cafeteria. I used the Salvadore 84 lens on all the pictures that look doubly exposed.

Museums are also great places to test out your camera’s macro abilities. The iPhone is phenomenal at close up shots and even better with the Holga Lens Turret’s macro lens.

The rest of these pictures are taken without the macro lens.

Happy World Toy Camera Day!

October 15, 2011: Today is the day. Break out your coolest plastic-lensed DIY creation, dust off your Diana and load up your Holga. It’s World Toy Camera Day.

(Random picture I found while searching images for “World Toy Camera Day 2011”. I just thought it was hilarious, and it’s about Baltimore, my favorite city)

I love that this day always coincides with the Lakeview Invitational Lawn Tractor Races, started by one of my best friends and her husband, that pokes fun at the local ‘culture’ here in my neck of the woods. It’s essential a very large drinking game that consists of you and a partner dressed in costume, chugging a 12 ounce beverage of your choice and doing a lap on the lawn tractor around their house. You and your partner alternate laps and chugging so that each of you is going 6 times around the house. I document this event every year with a toy camera and it is a blast. It’s a beautiful day today so I think my trusty Holga and a roll of color slide film will be my tools of choice.

We’ve been replacing the roof on our house the past week or two. I took the opportunity to take a few iPhone macro shots of a coil of roofing nails. I walked out into the garage and saw them and instantly loved the pattern, colors and textures. The first two pictures are Hipstamatic using Lucas AB2 lens and Float film.

Lucas AB2 lens, Ina’s 1969 film

Lucas AB2 lens, Ina’s 1969 film

Tejas lens, Ina’s 1969 film

Tejas lens, Ina’s 1969 film

Tejas lens, Ina’s 1969 film

iPhone Honors and Experiments

I’ve had a fun week or two with my iPhone. First, and most exciting, I won honorable mention in the 5th Annual iPhone Photography Awards! Check out their site for some fabulous iPhone photos and enter the 2012 competition. Here’s my winning shot

Pretty nifty, even if there’s no fame, glory or money that comes from it. It’s nice just to be recognized and know that other people think my work is cool, too.

All the new Hipstamatic lenses and films that have been coming out lately have had me shooting with my iPhone non-stop. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of their abilities, but here are some favorites from the last few weeks of experimentation:

Lens: Roboto Glitter       Film: Big Up

Lens: Tejas     Film: BlacKeys B+W

Lens: Hornbecker     Film: BlacKeys SuperGrain

Lens: Hornbecker     Film: Cano Cafenol

Lens: Tejas    Film: Blanko

I’ve also been goofing around with my plastic loupe and making some abstract macro iPhone shots. Here’s some of my favorites from that session:

Lens: Tejas     Film: Cano Cafenol

This one’s probably my favorite from the macro sessions

Lens: Tejas    Film: Ina’s 1969

Lens: Tejas     Film: Cano Cafenol

Clearly Tejas is one of my favorite Hipsta lenses. I hadn’t played around much with Cano Cafenol until this session but I really like it and understand a bit more how I can use it. I’m also really loving the Hornbecker lens and can see that it’s going to be in heavy rotation on my Hipsta Cam.

One more thing. I’m going to have some down time coming up at the end of the month and have decided to dedicate it to cataloguing and categorizing my photos. Right now I just burn them to CDs but I think a proper organizing system is in order. Could anyone recommend a good program for cataloguing a massive amount of stuff? I’d love to hear how you have your pictures categorized.

Philly Lessons

Whenever I travel I bring a film camera along and our latest trip to Philadelphia, PA was no exception, but there was one little twist. Usually I bring a 35mm or medium format camera with me but yesterday I brought along my Polaroid Spirit and three packs of The Impossible Project’s instant film. It was a little bit of a risky move for me because it’s tough taking instant shots on the run: My family gets tired of stopping for me and often leave me in the dust so I have to be fast with my composition, focus and button pressing. Also, I’ve not yet mastered TIP’s films and usually get crappy results.

Of course, I also had my iPhone with me and I set a mission for myself. Take some macro shots of anything but flowers. They’re so easy as macro subjects, beautiful too, but I wanted to try to branch out (no pun intended). First thing I needed to do was find out what kind of film was left in my Polaroid–color or black and white. These two shots were the last of that pack.    

Lesson # 1: I got much better results on the second shots because I turned the light/dark slider to the middle, where it should be been in the first place for a bright sunny day, instead of all the way to the light side, as is often recommended for TIP films. So from now on, I’m going to set that slider where I think it should be, not where they recommend it be set.

We got a late start leaving and didn’t arrive in Philly until well after 1:30 pm so the first stop was lunch at Reading Market. I had a VERY yummy Italian Pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone cheese from this shop

Lesson #2: You can actually take a decent Polaroid picture inside a busy market! I was shocked that this one came out as well as it did but I applied the knowledge gleaned from lesson #1 and voila!

Next we visited the Franklin Institute where I tried to take some macro shots but there just wasn’t enough time. We had to move quickly through the museum because we only had an hour and ten minutes before it closed. These are my macro attempts This diamond patterned metal never looks as cool close up as it does far away. I’ve tried a couple of times to do macros of it and haven’t found an interesting way to photograph it close up. I did, however, get some other really cool photos

The entrance to the museum

Pendulum filled with sand that drew a pattern on the table as it traveled

Pola shot of some optical illusion art

Looking down the stairs at the pendulum on the bottom floor

Surgical instruments

Cool, glowing light sconce

Old pocket watch and my eldest daughter in the background

We had a long walk back to Independence Hall and had to plot our course, so we stopped at the giant fountain in Logan Circle where I got one of the best shots of my three kids to date.

First they were goofing around. My son waded up to his knees in the water and then I got….

The Money Shot!

I saw them sitting staggered on the side of the fountain and took two shots, in which my son was giving his best cheese-ball grin, before I got this one. Look for it in this years’ Christmas card.

Lesson #3: The best family portraits are ALWAYS spontaneous!!

Our hike included Chinatown where I got some of these pictures

Loved the red in the lady’s hat and bags that echoed the red ribbons on the Foo Dogs necks

I’ll probably texturize this in Pic Grunger at a later date, but I loved the symmetry

On to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall where I KNOW I got the coolest shot of the day

I was FLOORED that this came out so well!!!!! It’s far and away the coolest Liberty Bell shot of the day. Here’s the picture I took with my iPhone. It’s a bit of a different angle, but you get the idea

No where NEAR the same detail. Which brings me to

Lesson #4: Just because a film has performed poorly in the past doesn’t mean it will perform poorly in the future.

I did NOT expect to get the crazy, detailed results of the Bell in those poor lighting conditions but, once again, I switched the light/dark switch all the way to dark because it wasn’t very well-lit, and I got a fantastic picture.

Other cool stuff from that area…

Granite wall with the names of George Washington’s slaves

Looking for something for dinner we strolled through what must’ve been the young and hip section of the city. All the beautiful people were sitting in tables on the sidewalk eating fancy food at restaurants with one name. That’s not really our style, especially with the kids in tow, so we found an alley with some excellent Irish-style pubs. Dinner was eaten here

Then, it was back on the subway for the trip back to the car. There are TONS of things to photograph in the subway. Here’s my Philly subway collection.

It was a really fun day and I learned some important lessons. The last of which is…

Lesson #5: Go with the flow. You may start out your day expecting to do one thing (taking macro shots of stuff other than flowers) but that thing might not be in the cards for you that day. Something better may be planned for you instead (getting excellent family photos and Polaroids).

Thank you, City of Brotherly Love, for inspiring my photographic journey. My little family and I will be visiting again very soon.

2011 through 1970s Canon Cam

When I was a kid I remember both my Dad and Step-Dad using their cool, fully automatic film SLR cameras. I loved being able to get my little-kid hands on them (whenever I was allowed to touch them) and look through the eye piece, moving the lens and aperture ring around to fuzz-out then re-focus the world. During one recent pre-retirement purge of his house, my step-dad’s Canon AT-1 kit became mine! I was super-stoked. His kit included the camera body and wicked-cool retro yellow, orange and white camera strap, a Quantaray 28-80mm lens, Tamron telephoto lens, Vivtar 70-210mm macro lens (which must weigh 15 pounds), a Power Winder that attaches to the bottom of the camera and advances the film automatically, plus an assortment of UV & polarizing filters. Pretty effin’ cool.

The day after I brought it home (sometime in January) I took it for a spin. I couldn’t find the battery compartment (this being the first piece of Canon equipment I’ve ever owned, I wasn’t sure where to look) so I started shooting away with the battery that had been in the chamber since sometime when Ronald Reagan was president. It worked for four frames before it died. Here are a couple of those shots that I got at my friend Tracy’s art studio.

I was pretty elated when I got them back. The light was perfect–just as it appeared in her house. These were shot on Kodak Elite Chrome slide film iso 200. All that time spent playing with a light meter proved to be very helpful.

It took me almost three months to replace the battery but last week on a nice, warm, early spring afternoon I brought it along on a family hike in Cape Henlopen State Park. The results were equally as nice.

Some of the lighting conditions were a little challenging. In the above picture of the rusty bunker door I had to set the shutter speed pretty slow and open up the aperture to get enough light for the slide film. Even still, it had to be lightened just a tad when I scanned it.

Because I was using a longer lens it was a little tough to keep the shot completely in focus, as you can see in these next few pictures.

I don’t think these are terribly out of focus besides, as one who works with toy cameras I enjoy a little fuzziness.

I’ve always wanted to get a shot like this of the road. I got it by just pointing the camera down at the road—didn’t have to bend down or anything.

I’m also proud of these two shots. They’re reflections of reeds in a puddle in the woods.

I can’t wait to develop more film! Right now it’s loaded with some hand-made Revolog film and has the kit lens attached. Hopefully I’ll get those shots developed this week. What a great gift it was to get this camera. After collecting dust for so many years it’s great to get it back in action.

Holga Halos

Holy Holga Halos, Batman!

No, my camera hasn’t suddenly died. Those weird halos on my black and white snow storm pictures are the effect of my Holga Tele Lens. I’m not sure it was worth the $15.00, but I did get some interesting effects from it.

I was pretty excited about it when I first saw it. There are plenty of times when I’d like to get closer to my subject but not macro-lens close. I also really like the idea of being able to use a magnification lens for the Holga without all the measuring and preparing that goes into using my diopters.

Here are the stats:

Works with all types of Holga cameras (120 and 35mm series)
• Tele Lens zooms in 2.5x
• Includes a protective pouch, instruction manual, and lens cap

It’s pretty simple to use. Like any other Holga lens attachment just pop it on and start shooting. My first experience with Holga lens attachments was the fish eye lens. I used it twice and never achieved the cool, bendy fish-eye look to my shots, so it’s just collecting dust now. Maybe I got a dud? Who knows. I was hoping the tele lens would be different.

I was less than thrilled with the telephoto effect. It didn’t seem as if there was much magnification at all, however I do like the spacey selective focus look. It reminds me of a roll I shot with my Brownie camera’s lens flipped backwards. You get dreamy, fuzzy edges and a focus somewhere towards the middle of your subject. For that, I do like the tele lens. I’ll use it a few more times to make sure it’s not operator error, other than that, I’ll use it more the special effects it creates than anything else.

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