Pencil Versus Camera

pencil vs camera From my painstaking research (mostly just luck) I found the name for the style of drawing called Pencil versus Camera. Ben Heine (also on Tumblr, 500PX and Flickr) is given credit for the original idea and the style of illustration which uses drawing with photography to create an image where both versions work together. You need to see it, my description just isn’t that good.

Pencil Versus Camera group on Flickr  – A group for others who want to try the pencil versus camera style.

What Can you do with an Old Film Camera?

oldcameraI still have my 35mm (analogue) camera from college. I began using it about 20 years ago. It was a big purchase at the time, my Mother helped me pay for it when I was starting college and needed the camera for the Photography part of Corporate Communications at Centennial College (Warden Woods campus, which is now gone).

I can remember the teacher in the class talking about the future of film and photography. Computers were still pretty new then. Most offices had them for word processing but they were many years from being used in every home. The Internet existed, but almost no one knew anything about it. I can remember thinking how great it would be to have a camera which did not need film to be developed. The camera itself had been expensive but it was the cost of developing film and buying more film which was really making it hard to keep from falling behind in the class work.

Even though I have not used that old film camera for many years, I can’t quite let it go. I still have it in the case with the Canadian flag decorated camera strap. I could re-use the old strap for my new bigger digital camera but that just seems so wrong. Like deconstructing an old friend. I did let go of my old photography text book a few years ago. But that is as far as I have gotten to leaving behind the age of film.

What can you do with an old film camera, assuming you get the point where you can let it go?

There are a few people who still use the old film cameras? You could look for them (groups of them) and see if your camera is collectible or worth saving for posterity.

You may find a charity which will take them and be able to find people who will still use them. Or, an artist who wants to work with retro or vintage cameras.

Look for ways to repurpose them. Can parts be salvaged for other projects or for use with your new digital cameras?  A repurposed camera could be an interesting steampunk project.

Curating Cuteness: Building an Affordable Camera Collection for the Analog Enthusiast

Toronto Star: A Nerd’s World reclaims beguiling visions of our lives from old cameras

Atomic Vision: The Pleasure of Collecting Old Cameras

Camera Mods –  Take a vintage film camera that no longer works and convert it to digital.

15 Ways to Look Thinner in Photographs

  1. Smile, not just a small smile. It makes you look lighter in every way.
  2. Breathe. Holding your breath is not going to help.
  3. Step away form the camera. You look bigger when you fill most of the picture.
  4. Watch your posture, stand tall with shoulders at relaxed right angles.
  5. Don’t stand with you arms pressed to the sides of your body.
  6. Turn to the side, the angle gives you some depth versus the wider head on look.
  7. Stand with one foot in front of the other.
  8. Put your tongue against the roof of your mouth.
  9. Push your jaw a bit forward or back to match up your front teeth, top and bottom. 
  10. Angle your chin up, slightly. 
  11. Camouflage your trouble spots by standing in front of something or someone or hold something in your arms. Set your laptop, purse or other bag at your feet to hide ankles.
  12. If possible have the camera angle come from above you, nothing drastic, just enough to be slightly overhead.
  13. Romantic, soft or dim lighting will help blur lines of your face and figure flaws too.
  14. Wearing black is a long recommended way to look thinner, but wearing colours will actually help brighten up your look and make you seem happier and thinner.
  15. Avoid tight clothing but don’t wear something over-sized either. Baggy clothes make you seem bulkier.

30 Fun Things to do with a Digital Camera

  • Create a wish list. Make a catalogue of things you would like for your next birthday, Christmas or other event.
  • Take a photo of important information like a list of phone numbers, your Christmas card list, something you need to remember later and so on. Take a photo of your shopping list so you can send it to yourself if you forget the list at home.
  • Keep an idea file with photos of things you have seen and would like to make yourself. Or a hairstyle you would like next time you are getting a trim.
  • Photograph collections of things. An especially effective way to deal with clutter from collecting too many things. Choose which you really want to keep and photograph the collection before you disperse the rest. 
  • Play scavenger hunt with friends or family. Photograph something specific in your home or town and challenge others to find the item or place you photographed.
  • Turn a photo into a jigsaw puzzle instead of the more traditional greeting card sent for events, holidays and such occasions.
  • Become a photojournalist and collect all your photos to tell a story.
  • Use your photos for digital scrapbooking and keeping an art journal.
  • Choose something interesting or unique and take a photo of a day, create a series. See if you can take a photo a day for a full month, even a full year.
  • Take photos in black and white and see how different people, places and things look in shades of grey.
  • Photograph collections of things by colour. Display items of all sorts, but all of them are red, for instance.
  • Photograph the same place at sunset and again at sunrise, make sure you have the camera positioned in the same spot for both photographs.
  • Practice portrait photography using dolls, stuffed animals and other inanimate toys with faces. Pose them and sort them in patterns and try different light and shadows too.
  • Photograph reflections in windows, water and anything else creative. Mirrors don’t really count, too easy.
  • Try night photography. Make the most of available light or explore the flash features (avoid washed out photos from flash).
  • Take selfie photos. Explore new ways to take quick self portraits.
  • Photograph people with different facial expressions. Start a collection.
  • Create a household inventory. Useful for insurance but a good way to go through what you have and sort it out.
  • Take a photo of old photos and other things which will fade with time. A digital photo can keep them fresh, preserved.
  • Photograph your luggage when you travel. If anything goes missing you can show just what you had when you started out.
  • Play with macro and close up photos. Insects are a good challenge, interesting and not hard to find out in the garden. Flowers and plants are popular for up close pictures too.
  • Photograph anything you would like to sell and post the photo to online forums where people are buying.
  • Try street photography. If you’re too shy find a good place to people watch and pretend you’re checking your camera while you take the photos.
  • Try food photography. Learn how to display fruit, vegetables and home baked goodies for taking great images.
  • Take photos by candlelight. Make them romantic or spooky.
  • Try urban exploration, taking a photo of something forgotten or derelict in your area.
  • Play with focus. Focus on items near and then try the same photo with the focus on something in the background.
  • Try catching a water drop and the ripples they create in the standing water.
  • Go abstract, looking for interesting shapes, textures and colours to turn into unique images.
  • Take a drive and get into landscape and nature photography. Or, find a great spot where you can take a photo of the cityscape for your town/ city.

Photocopy Art

From an original post on Suite101 by Jo Murphy. The post and Jo Murphy’s bio link are gone since Suite101 revamped the site.

Copy Art Pioneered in Canada
Centre Copie-Art Opened in Montreal in 1982 by Jacques Charbonneau

Although it was an international art movement, Canada is recognised for its major contribution to the art form called Copy Art.

According to the Encyclopaedia of Twentieth Century Photography, Copy Art or Xerography was pioneered in Canada, where it is still popular today. Copy Art, uses the photocopier to create artworks by reproducing and multiplying images. The artists play with the process of transformation of graphic images. They experiment with the metamorphosis brought about by the alchemy of light at the heart of the reproduction technology.

Origins of Copy ArtThe electrography process was developed in the USA and Germany in 1938. But this technology became freely available by the year 1960. Copy Art began to appear as an art form by about 1970, and the first exhibition of this kind of art called “Rochester” was held in 1979. Other exhibitions of this type were held in Canada in the same year.

After making its first appearance in France in 1975, copy art became more accepted. By 1983, an exhibition called “Electra” was held in the Musee d’Art de la Ville de Paris. The gallery devoted considerable space to the art form.

Copy Artist Pati HillArtist Pati Hill exhibited in the “Electra” exhibition, working with shadows, grains, and contrasts of black and white as well as textures and micro textures. To create this work, Hill created imagery from feathers, flowers fabrics and plants, says de Meridieu. In a chapter about innovative pioneers in the book called Digital and Video Art, de Mèredieu goes on to talk about Hill as a contemporary experimentalist and her work as extravagant. An example of Hill’s technique, she explains, was to photograph every possible (visible, invisible, obvious and unexpected) of the Palace of Versailles.

Centre Copie-Art of Canada

Copy Art continues to thrive in Canada today. The founder of the Canadian movement was Jacques Charbonneau. After discovering the technique, when he was on holiday, he returned to Canada where he opened Centre Copie-Art in Montreal in 1982.

Body Art and Other Offshoots of Xerography

Practitioners of body art, such as Amal Abdenour and Phillipe Boissonnet, reproduced different parts of the body using photo copiers. They were exploiting variations of colour and the effects of contrast and solarisation. Much of this work was achieved by using overlays of transparencies.

Because it so versatile, there have been many different developments and innovations that have evolved from Copy Art. According to de Mèredieu, magazines and fanzines sprang up around artist centres such as art schools and colleges. A centre recognised as famous for encouraging this type of art form was Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon.

de Mèredieu points to the importance of this movement, when she mentions that Klaus Urbons founded a museum of photocopying in Mulheim an der Ruhr in Germany. Here there are displayed old machines, documentation and artist’s work. Another example of the value of the body of work, the style and the method, is the opening in 1990 of a major international museum of electrography in Cuenca in Spain.

Street Photography: Fashion Photography of the Ordinary

I see a lot of street photography when I look at photographs and sites that interest me. But, I never really felt they were interesting photos until today when I found the photos from Vivian Maier, vintage street photography.

Looking at those ordinary people from the 1950s was fascinating. I started with one photo and then clicked for another and another and another. Soon I had spent 20 minutes looking at street photography. I was surprised. Then I realized, street photography is like creating a snapshot of our lives, a time capsule that can be opened any day.

Without knowing the people I could see the character and the role they played in life. Seeing their background was more important than it seemed at first. The background shows other people, fashion, buildings, products for sale, and so on. Without seeing a date on the photograph you could guess when the photo was taken and where (in a general way).

I have new appreciation for modern street photography and street photographers now. We don’t have time machines so we have to record our own history as we live it.

 

Street photography gives us a look at ourselves, in our current time and (with vintage photos) our past.

ASCII Art is a Useful Skill for a Writer

ASCII art dragon

We are told to bring something extra, unique, something people will remember to each query we sent for our freelance writing ideas. Most writers are limited in what they can show in text. I’m not. I’ve made ASCII art for more than 10 years (on and off). Just today I thought about how I could create something and send it along with a query letter. Not as something in the envelope but in the actual letter, on the same paper my query is typed into. This even works for email queries, though not as nicely as something I can actually print out.

What do you think?