Who Needs a Space Shuttle? Amazing Pictures of Earth Captured by One Man, a Balloon, and His Compact Camera
Robert Harrison loves space.
And, like anyone with a DIY-bent and a passion, he wanted to do what he could to participate in space exploration: so he made a space craft, and then took pictures of the Earth with it.
The materials? Some styrofoam, duct tape, a Canon CyberShot, a big ole helium balloon, and GPS/radio transmitter combo so he could find it once the balloon burst and it returned to earth.
In 1979, the Czechoslovakian magazine ABC mladých techniků a přírodovědců [An ABC of Young Technicians and Natural Scientists] published a cut-out paper camera known as the Dirkon - from dirk- the Czech word for pinhole, with -kon, from the Japanese photo masters Nikon.
How, you say? It starts like most good projects - with cardboard and duct tape. "I wanted to try something that required the minimum amount of disassembly of expensive components (i.e. no warranty voiding!), as well as being cheap and relatively easy to assemble...I already had the lenses and phone, so the project cost me less than US$10."
But then WHY, you'll say. A couple of reasons stand out. One, the effect is pretty cool. It allows for the depth of field of 35mm lenses, as well as some crazy colors and lens distortion, and sometimes some Holga-like vingettes.
Also, I think the likelihood of being able to do this on the cheap is
Even if you're not a devoted Nikon disciple, they're offering some great free how-to videos that appeal to anyone interested in digital photography.
My three faves are these by Joe McNally, who's the kinda guy from whom you just wanna learn.