Archive for toy camera

More camera swag!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 11, 2010 by misterjrtaylor

I’ve just been given some more vintage cameras, this time all dating from the 70’s

I have a Praktica PL Nova L:

Praktica PL Nova L

A Chinon CX

and a Rollei XF35

I’ve been and bought a big bag of 35mm film (5 rolls for £7.99 – thanks Boots!) so it’s time to start experimenting!

Bruges with the Brownie Part 2

Posted in Art with tags , , , , on February 25, 2010 by misterjrtaylor

I’ve scanned a few more of the negatives, again with mixed results

Bruges with the Brownie

Posted in Art, Retro with tags , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by misterjrtaylor

Here are a few pics taken with the Brownie from a recent trip to Bruges… I’ve scanned them, and inverted + adjusted levels using GIMP…

I really like the image with the little door, although a spot of post-processing wouldn’t go amiss!

Vintage Retro Cameras: Food for Thought

Posted in Art, Cool Stuff, Retro with tags , , , , on February 23, 2010 by misterjrtaylor

Having recently inherited an old Kodak Brownie Cresta II camera, I’ve been on a steep learning cliff regarding all things vintage photography. I’ve snapped a few films worth of pictures with mixed results – some images turn out brilliantly, while others have been slightly more disappointing. For someone used to the click, delete and re-take culture of the digital camera, getting the shot right first time has been something of an eye-opener.

So, seeking further inspiration, I came across instructions of Flickr on how to use 35mm film in the Brownie, rather than the more specialist 120.

This produces some very cool images, a certainly given me the inspiration to keep trying with the Brownie!


Originally uploaded by nefoto…


Originally uploaded by nefoto…

Check them out Andrius Nefotografas &  Lo-fi Photography–the low down

GIMP Tutorial: How to create a vintage toy-camera Black & White Photo

Posted in Art, Gimp with tags , , , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by misterjrtaylor

This image was taken on a recent trip to Bruges on a simple Kodak digital EasyShare camera… lets add that vintage photography feel.

1. “Vintage” cameras tend to use medium format film, certainly my old Kodak Brownie takes 120 (6cm x 6cm) film… We’ll start by cropping the image square. The easiest way to do this is to change the canvas size

Click Image → Canvas Size…

Here you can see my photo is 2848×2134 pixels – I want to crop the image and keep the right-hand side, whilst discarding the left. Ensure the chain-link button is de-pressed (chain appears broken), and enter the shortest dimension of your image in the width and height boxes. Then drag the preview of the image to show the section you want to keep, ensuring the Resize Layers option is set to “All Layers”

2. Next we’ll desaturate the image to make it black and white

Click Colors → Desaturate

Turn the Preview on and choose either Lightness, Luminosity or Average, whichever gives the greatest dynamic range. Here I’ve picked Lightness.

3. Next we need to adjust the levels to enhance the image and bring out the detail.

Select Colors → Levels

Now you have two options: adjust the levels to enhance the dynamic range of the image to reveal a little detail; or adjust them to under-expose the image as you would expect from “old” film. The histogram in the Input Levels display shows the frequency distribution for each shade of grey from white to back (or to put it another way, how many pixels in the photo are of each shade of grey). You can see for my image the graph doesn’t extend to either the far left or far right, showing none of the pixels are completely black or white. I’m going to enhance the detail, so I’ll reset the black and white sliders (the little arrows under the graph) to the points where black and white starts to peak. By adjusting the slider in the centre, I can then set the overall “tone” of the image.

If, instead, you want to maximise the vintage-ness of the image, then leave the black and white sliders where they are (values 0 and 255 shown underneath) and move the central slider to the left a little.

Next, add a little blur to the image, since the optics in the vintage/toy cameras weren’t that good!

Click Filters → Blur → Gaussian Blur

and input a small number (lets say a few) and press OK.

4. Next, create a new layer

Click Layer → New Layer…

Click OK to accept the default values (ensuring the Layer Fill Type is set to Transparency). Then use the Ellipse tool to draw an ellipse which covers the area of your image. Don’t worry about being too precise here, light leaks are pretty random and look different in every photo!

Click Select → Feather…

and enter value approximately 25% of the width of your image (here I’ve entered 500 pixels).

Click Select → Invert

and then use the Bucket Fill Tool to fill the selection with black (simply click one of the corners of the image).

You should now be presented with a nice vignette which simulates the lights leaks you get with vintages cameras such as the Holga or Diana. The severity of the vignette can be adjusted by changing the opacity of the layer – I set the opacity to 85%.

And there you have it – a simple way to create a vintage-look photo!

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