Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Through the Viewfinder

I've been itching to get behind the camera lately and create some really moving photos. I get so bored of snapping shots of my slugs and other creations sometimes because there is no creativity in the actual photography, just in the object itself. Recently I've been inspired by the vintage movement, I love the look of old timey photos and more so the old timey look translated onto a modern subject. Sure, all of that can be done with the wonders of Photoshop, and I like to toy around with that a bit but it's just not photography to me, in the true sense of the medium. Then I remembered a technique a photography friend told me about called Through the Viewfinder.
It sounds like a complex project, but it was relatively simple and easy to get set up. You basically take a picture with a digital camera of the image you see when looking into the glass bubble viewfinder of an old school 620 film camera such as the Kodak Duaflex or in my case a Argus Seventy Five. The only DIY project involved is the box you'll have to build to block out light and glare on the base camera's viewfinder and keep your main camera at the proper distance so you can focus. Most tutorials said you should use a DSLR with a macro lens, but I managed just fine with my 55mm lens and I've even seen pictures on flicker of people using their little digital point and shoots, so don't be discouraged! You will, however, need a 620 film camera with a viewfinder on the top, as it is the most important part of the equation. You can find them online at ebay and sometimes at etsy as well.
Way back in college I picked up my Argus camera for 25 cents at a garage sale and haven't used it until now! After some very quick research on the web via google, I set out to build a light blocking box with some customized adaptions for my Rebel xti and a hour or so later was snapping shots through the viewfinder!