Flash and Expose: It’s National Photography Month!

May 10, 2013

perfectly-timed-photos-23

Ah, yes, the perfectly timed photo, one that either captures our awe or makes us guffaw, and just one of many types of photos that is celebrated during the month of May, otherwise known as National Photography Month. And it couldn’t come at a more opportune time. Think about it: with programs like Photoshop and apps like Instagram, every person has a chance to play Ansel Adams– or at least Joe Schmoe who happened to be in the right place at the right time, like above. Being able to achieve all those cool photography effects– fisheye, filters, saturation– all come so easily so that even the most mundane items have new life and seem more interesting (just use #foodporn and you’ll see what we mean). Moreover, high quality (and might we add, very stylish) point-and-shoot (AKA digital cameras) and 35mm cameras are much more affordable and accessible, making out-of-focus, bland, or otherwise simple photography a thing of the past. So let’s focus that lens and all that energy into getting those awesome photos with those modern cameras we mentioned!

1. Diana F+ Camera with Flash

diana f lomography 35mm camera

Diana Samples

Diana F+ Camera Photo Samples

We’ve featured Lomography Cameras in previous blogs such as our Christmas gift guide for hipsters, and the Diana F+ Camera is one we just can’t get our minds off of. That famous saturated look for photography was popularized by mid-century cameras and revived with the variety of filters via Instagram. The Diana F+ offers a huge assortment of options for your photography needs, be it amateur or not: color filters, pinhole option, long exposure (for night shots), multiple exposure (so more than one picture can be taken on the same frame), and panoramic pictures. The 120 film camera also includes a really awesome cube flash and a really awesome retro design to complement those photos.

Even with a great camera, a shaky hand or bad lighting can ruin a potentially great shot. Try some of these DIY photograhing techniques to help keep the focus on the Diana F+ photos and not your bad photo job:

  •  If you lack a tripod, try using some string wrapped under your feet and secured with a hook attached to where a tripod would go:

DIY tripod

  • Use black and white film with your Diana F+ for high contrast photos with a lot of drama.
  • Make a light reflector with wood and white paint to bring sunlight up toward your subject.

Check out Lomography’s website for more tips on using this medium format camera!

2. Paint Can Camera

Paint Can Camera

Paint Can Camera Sample

Paint Can Camera Sample

Moving from a retro gem like the Diana F+ to something like a Paint Can Camera, we can’t help but wonder why on earth something with this weird bulky shape would be suitable as a pinhole camera. But it works! Being a pinhole camera, the Paint Can Camera is about as simple as cameras come, with just a light-proof container (the can), the pinhole, and film (supplied by you). Because of the low exposure from a pinhole (versus the larger lens of a digital camera that you might be used to), the canned camera can just sit in one place for a very long time (hence, the can exterior), producing flat and totally in-focus images. Good things come to those who wait, after all!

Here’s some tricks to try when using a Paint Can Camera or other pinhole camera:

  • Solargraphics: leave your pinhole camera somewhere for a really long time– we’re thinking months– and it will capture all the movement and light over that duration.

Solargraphy

              Or try making a solargraph camera yourself!

  • Multiple Pinhole Photos: A pinhole camera can be modified by wrapping the film around a cylinder and poking more pinholes in the surface, creating photos that overlap each other with artsy vignettes and a whole ton of depth.

Multiple Pinholes

3. Lomography Fisheye Camera

lomography-fisheye-2-camera-valge-19997

Fisheye Camera

Fisheye Camera Photo Samples

Perhaps most recognizable from skate videos, a fisheye camera uses an oversized bubble lens to get super-wide photographs. The Fisheye Camera, also a Lomography brand camera, uses a 170-degree lens for that characteristic depth. Like the Diana F+, this 35mm camera also allows for long exposure time as well as multiple exposures on the single frame, providing lots of options for photographic effects.

Not sure how to maximize the fisheye lens effect? Try some of these photographic techniques out:

  • Try tilting your Fisheye Camera at an angle or holding it overhead. The move will give your photo a different perspective and help emphasize the fisheye.
  • Keep it simple: because a fisheye lens captures so much in its field of view, it can get messy pretty quickly. Simple shots, especially ones that use the lines between earth and sky, actually generate more interest.
  •  Remember that the fisheye lens is known for its rounded edges, so subjects in your field of view should be close to the camera and toward those edges.

Be sure to check out some of the different fisheye photography taken with a Lomography Fisheye Camera!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about those that leave you speechless? Or those that don’t seem to have words for them at all but just make you smile, laugh, or admire? You’ll never know what might happen on any given day, so carry a camera around with you and never miss a moment. You never know what you might capture, something stunning like this…

Greek Lightning Nature Earth photos National Geographic

something eyebrow-raising and interesting like this…

optical-illusions-41
optical-illusions-28or this.

Great Coverup

(Be sure to check out Bored Panda for more optical illusions and perfectly timed photos, and spread the word about National Photography Month!)

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