In the era of advanced smart phone filters, it's not difficult to make your images look like something more than a snapshot. But, more often than not, these images don't look textural or vintage or interesting, they just look... filtered. It's not a je ne se quoi, it's an I know exactly se quoi — it's also my favorite Instagram filter.
My Instagram feed is about 50/50 with friends and outdoorsy travel photographers. I try to get out in wilderness as much as I can, and when I can't, I try to at least keep some photographic inspiration readily at hand. And let's be honest, probably all of us have tried our hand at capturing that gorgeous vista to which we couldn't quite do justice...
If you've ever tried to use a standard tripod to create a perfect, 90° overhead shot for photography, filmmaking, or animation, you know how frustrating it can be.
Even with a boom arm, the tripod legs always end up in the image, the camera becomes topheavy and gets dangerously close to tipping over, and it's impossible to change the height of the shot beyond the zoom of the lens.
When Google Glass was first demo'd and prototyped among the public a few years ago, most of the cultural conversation was the same: it's super interesting and functional, and looks absolutely ridiculous.
But...what if they didn't? What if the same tech could be embedded into something way less....Google Glass-y?
In a world which often values the lowest price and quantity over quality, it's fascinating to see inside the belly of a gigantic manufacturing beast. Sam Byford of the Verge took a tour two weeks ago through the Fujifilm Taiwa factory in Sendai, to take an in depth look at the manufacturing process. Surprisingly the cameras produced aren't made by robots but by a number of actual people performing quite delicate work.
I've spent many vacations lugging high-end camera gear around to document my travels. But these days, my phone has replaced every piece of gear I used to carry; for their convenience and the decent quality photographs they can take, smartphone cameras are hard to beat. And a little know-how will help you get the best images possible out of that little pocket-sized gadget. I'll walk you through some of my favorite composition tips, and show you a few ways to use Adobe Photoshop Elements to give your photos an extra boost. Here's how to do it.
Most of us at ManMade have at some point had to create our own makeshift photography studio, and I imagine a lot of you have had to as well. Thanks to the team at DIYReady.com, here are some easy DIY hacks you can do at home for anything from a DIY Gary Fong Lightsphere to your very own tilt shift lens…
I've own my current DSLR for nearly five years, and for nearly five years, I've been promising myself I'd upgrade the stock strap. It's functional, sure (my camera is often placed in dangerous predicaments) the bright yellow Nikon logo atop the black webbing is pretty visually intense...
Whoa, dude. Yep, analog and digital just got married and created a baby that combines the best of both worlds. Err, um, I mean: Learn how to make your own phone dock from of a vintage camera!
My e-buddy Jason Hudson is a Toronto-based photographer, all-around interesting guy, and the best Instagram user I know. His photos are engaging, just frequent enough, and always manage to look like, well, Jason's Instagram photos. And his ninety-six thousand followers confirm - he knows what he's talking about.
Jason is offering some of his tips and best practices in his Instagrammar School series (get it?), on his blog.
Matt Richardson created a very unique camera that manages to be both technologically sophisticated, yet lo-fi enough to make pinhole cameras seem advanced. When a picture is taken with this camera you actually don't get a picture at all…the camera prints out a description of the picture instead. Confused? Stay with me for a second and I'll explain.
1-Bit Camera is a new 99¢ iPhone app that captures wonderful black and white 1-bit images. Photos taken with the app will have the same look as the original Apple OS form 1984, as well as the Gameboy Camera, a highly sought-after collectors item.
"In an age of ever-increasing megapixels and bit depth it is now painfully clear;
It is not the number of pixels that matters, but the quality of those individual pixels!"
French designer and artist Oscar Lhermite secured a compact digital camera to a cordless drill and filmed the results of the lens spinning. Since the camera is capturing about fifteen frames per second and the spinning at 1,200 f.p.s., the resulting blurred video becomes what the artist calls, "seeing the world in a circular gradient."
When I first saw the setup, I imagined the resulting images to be some kind of whirly, wacky video, but it's exactly the opposite. The difference in speed produces an evolving, ethereal kaleidoscope-like pulsing orb that changes as the light and colors are altered.
Be sure to watch through until Lhermite takes the camera outside and captures the streetlights:
If you regularly visit secondhand shops, flea markets, and thrift stores, you've run across hundreds of those little plastic Kodak cameras - the Brownie, the Starflex, or my favorite, the Ansco Cadet. While they look great on a shelf, and, once filled with weight, make great bookends, and can produce some really interesting results using the "Through-the-Viewfinder" approach with a DSLR, they're also great fodder for making into other stuff...
Believe it or not, this camera isn't an accessory for Hipster Barbie, it's a wet plate collodion camera made by Kevin Klein that's about the size of a quarter. Oh, and I should mention that it actually works!
ManMade Giveaway: Win a Sprocket Rocket and Fritz the Blitz Flash Camera Kit from Lomography ($150+ Value)
In the world of DSLRs and Instagram followers, panaromic stitching software, and Hipstamatic apps, it's easy to forget that the world of contemporary photography still seeks to be endless exposure interpretation of traditional analogue photography.
"The evolution of mankind has brought with it a whole host of technical achievements; the light bulb, the first car, the power of flight and even putting a man on the moon – but none of these can be compared to the unveiling of the Sprocket Rocket! ...Lomography is proud to present to you a sleek and retro miracle in analogue photography! We're pushing the boundaries of technical evolution with the world's first panoramic camera dedicated entirely to sprocket holes.
But wait, there's more! The Sprocket Rocket is the first analogue camera to be fitted with a reverse gear, allowing you to rewind and remix your photos! Travel back in time with our ultra-convenient dual scrolling knobs. Feel like overlaying a brand new moment on top of that beautiful shot you took last week? The Sprocket Rocket can make it happen! Dance, dart and flutter between frames to your heart's content. As if this wasn't enough, it's also fitted with a super wide-angle lens enabling you to open up your world and snap those breathtaking panoramas. Don't be fooled by its small and compact shape, the Rocket can fit more in a single frame than you ever thought was possible!"
It sounds like an Onion headline, but it's actually true!
"Visiting a national park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, award-winning photographer [David] Slater left his camera unattended for a while. It soon attracted the attention of an inquisitive female from a local group of crested black macaque monkeys, known for their intelligence and dexterity.Fascinated by her reflection in the lens, she then somehow managed to start the camera. The upshot: A splendid self-portrait."
Most amazing to me: these things are all in focus!