Monday, September 22, 2008

Seeing things a little different

About a week and a half ago I was reading a scrapbook related website and read a blurb about a photography technique I had not heard about before. It's a rather bizzare sounding thing, but something about it peeked my interest, so I went off to read more about it. Ten days later I had in my hungry little hands the tools needed to venture off on this new quest of seeing things a little differently.

You may have already heard about "through the viewfinder" photograpy - TTV for short. It's basically taking a photo with your camera while looking through the viewfinder of another camera. It's a fun way to experiment with your digital camera. Most of the cameras used are vintage twin-lens reflex cameras. The popular ones are Argoflex Seventy-Five and Kodak Dualflex. Well, you can read about all the technical stuff on the net - just google ttv photography. Oh, and you have to build a contraption, too. Yeah - a contraption. Google that, too.

Within a few days, I bought a camera for less than $15 including shipping. My camera arrived Saturday - just two days ago. It's an Argoflex Seventy-Five. It was in excellent condition and even came with a leather carrying case, which I really don't need, but it's nice to have it. I disassembled it to check the inner parts, which were all in great condition, then I cleaned the lens(but not too much).

It was midday and the sun was hot, but I took an old cereal box and crudely made my first "contraption". Then I went outside to see what I could photograph. Here is one of my first photos.

After reading up a bit on filters, I purchased in inexpensive set of macro filters and built a more sophisticated contraption. Sorry, no photos of that. But I did go downtown and snapped away. You'll notice if you look around on the web at ttv galleries, that the amount of dirt on the lens varies from camera to camera. It's a desirable effect and unique in every camera. Here are some photos of day two.

You've probably noticed that the text is reversed. The camera takes a mirror image. I find another cool effect along with the slight curve of the photos themselves. Later that day I went to a tailgate party and brought along my newfound toy. It's a great conversation starter. You don't even have to do anything because people almost chased me through the parking lot wanting to see the "old timey" camera. What a hoot. Here are a couple of pics I took before the sun went down.

I hope I've inspired you to try something new this week. I've enjoyed playing around with my new toy and as soon as I figure out how to print out square photos, I'll be putting some of these on my scrapbook pages. Have a wonderfully inspiring day!


Linda Beeson said...

Melanie - that is just plain amazing!!! Can I come to your house and play!!?? I have had an interest in getting an older camera and now you really have my interest, your pics turned out sooooo cool. They are really digi prints, right, since your main source is your digital camera? Trying to get the picture here.

Melanie said...

Yep, Linda - you look thru the viewfinder of the old camera with your digital camera. It's fun! Come on over!

Miki said...

These are beautiful Mel! Who would have thought that a dirty lens could be so darn cool!

Ginny said...

I just read about this as well, must have been the same scrapbook blog even though I can't remember where I read it. I thought it was cool too & I'm pretty sure I saved the post :)

I would love to see the contraption you made, I need to see to understand, lol.

I love love love the idea of this though, so cool! You took some awesome pictures & that old camera is so cool.

I've always wanted to put older cameras on a shelf in my scrapbook room. Whenever I come across a good deal though, I haven't had the cash to start my idea yet. One day :)

Anabelle said...

I can't wait to try this! Such a cool technique. You'll have to point me in the direction of one of those cameras. ;) LOVE the photos. The one of Daniel is my fave!

Stacey S said...

Mel! These are awesome!! I love the idea and your photos are great! Can't wait to see what you do with these!

Lynnlee Designs said...

I ran across your blog and saw these photos. They are really great. I had to do some research, and no I am the proud owner of an Argoflex camera. I can't wait to give it a try. It's funny how these days we spend so much time making these look old after we have spent so much time coming up with new ideas. Thanks for sharing your pics.