Tag Archives: review

Time Traveling the Hipstamatic Way

Hipstamatic’s new Tintype SnapPak has me feeling like I’ve taken a trip back to the early days of photography. It’s Tinto lens gives a selective focus that can be haunting and beautiful, especially when combined with either the D-Type or C-Type film filters.

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This newest pack gives your pictures the look of an old tin-type photo. It’s fun to see modern subjects juxtaposed with the antique format.

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James M lens, C-Type Plate film

I used my favorite new combo one foggy day in Annapolis, MD and got some beautiful, moody shots around City Dock and the Naval Academy.

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Today we took a cold walk on the beach at Cape Henlopen State Park. Here are some of those images.

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Currently, I’m in the middle of editing some Revolog film pictures I took in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m going to post them very soon. My spring semester starts in a few days and I’ll soon be back to studying and writing.


Is That a Light Saber or Revolog Lazer?

One of the staples of the Structure line of handmade films from Revolog, Lazer will give your pictures a touch of science fiction fabulosity, as if Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker were staging a light saber duel inside your camera. Dazzling green lines appear randomly throughout your roll of film. The effect is more subtle in over exposed shots and brighter in properly and under exposed frames.

Here’s the Lazer effect on an accidentally taken-in-my-photo-bag shot. I never intend to do this, but it’s fun to see the effects in their naked form (so to speak).

One of the first shots on this roll of film is also one of my favorites. Not only did I get a little light leaking, but I got a great green line. This roll was taken in my Smena 8.

I love the look of Lazer in my shots without people.

It’s not as nice through someone’s face, but it’s still interesting.

The first shots on this roll were taken at Playland, the amusement park on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk. It’s one of my favorite places to take photos because it’s just so loud and colorful and crazy.

In this double exposure shot you can see a faint light green line on the right side.

This long exposure carousel shot also shows the green line on the right side of the photo.

Overall, I’m digging Lazer, although for shots of people, I’d prefer another roll of Revolog film, like Tesla or Volvox. With Lazer, you can go for an overall ironic look to your photographs, like taking shots of a Civil War Re-enactment with Lazer. Better yet would be to take pictures of a sword fight at a Renaissance Festival with Lazer. Now that would be something!

Yes, that’s a bacon-wrapped beer bottle on the cover of that magazine


Collage Your Face Off With Frametastic

Since I became an Instagram addict, I’ve been trying many, many new apps, filters and techniques. One of the things I’ve been having fun with is making collages with Frametastic, a free, straightforward, super user-friendly program.

Select from one of the 44 frames available (you get access to most frames, but if you want all access must pay a small fee) and tap on one of the frame sections. To restore the last project you were working on, click on the wheel at the top right.

Selecting a theme will place your work on a background based on six categories: wood, sports, wedding, beach vacation, museum or roses. Here’s an example of the sports theme.

To begin, tap on a section of the frame, then choose from one of the options. Once you’ve chosen your picture, tap on it again and you can choose to magnify it or apply effects. Frametastic’s magnification feature is extremely useful for fine tuning and doesn’t sacrifice clarity. I’ve found it to be one of the best aspects of this program. Here’s a shot of my original photo before and after magnification.

If you want to apply effects, you can choose from an array of filters, including black and white, retro and cinematic. To rotate your picture, click on the circular arrow.

To use the same photo in another frame, tap and hold the picture and choose copy. Go to the square that you want to add the picture, tap and hold, then choose paste.

Lets look at the icons at the bottom of the screen from left to right. The arrows inside the rectangle allow you to choose the format of your collage.

Clicking on the envelope allows you to share your photo. You can save to your phone, some popular social media sites, email or even snail mail, plus you can change the resolution from low to high.

The question mark in the middle will guide you through some of the basics of using Frametastic.

To adjust the borders between photos, choose the frame icon and use the slider to widen or narrow plus, change the color of the border as well.

Finally, click on the square within the circle icon on the bottom right of the screen and you can adjust the corners of your collage.

I really love this program. There are plenty of options to customize your collage without sacrificing quality. A customized frame option would be the only thing I can think of that would improve upon Frametastic but, like I said, there are 44 options to choose from. At the low price of free, Frametastic is a worthy addition to your iPhoneography tool box.


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?


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.

 


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 🙂


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