Monday, July 10, 2006

Toy Cameras Are a Bummer?

A bit today on some of the "downsides" to using toy cameras. Number one would have to be lightleaks. Remember when I talked about how great they are? Yay and all that? Well, oftentimes they just completely ruin your photos, and you can't do much to control them other than to try to tape the hell out of your camera and hope for the best. Then you get it all taped up, and don't realize the roll is loose on the spool when you pull it out of the camera. Then, sometimes, your camera just falls apart.

This was from a loose roll in a Diana camera. The first 3 rolls I ran through all came through loose, which screws up the end of roll (the part that is on the outside part of the roll and doesn't get protected by the spool ends if loose). I think this is a seal, a sea turtle and some starfish.

The back fell off my Holga here. Definitely a whoops! and laugh moment, but still ruined some shots. Cabrillo on the left, Cosplay on the right. ??? in the middle?

Not sure what exactly happened here. This film was in my Snappy, which is a Diana clone. The camera with all the tape on the barrel shown in an earlier post. The leaks are pretty cool and interesting, but what the hell? No idea.

Lowlight situations sometimes don't agree with toy cameras. They don't have any kind of internal metering device, and don't have enough settings that an exertnal would really make a difference. The Holga is the only toy I know of with a flash model. All others, you need an external flash. I have a few, but haven't put them to use. Just haven't felt like messing with the bulbs and the bulky flash units. So you typically have to be VERY aware of your lighting situations. I got a lot of this in California:

Shady areas outside can provide dangerously low lighting situations. All the shots I took after the sun peaked behind the convention center came out very gray or completely unusable. Even the shade of the palms was too dark in a few shots.

I still scan a lot of shots that seem impossible. A scanner can often grab things from film that you couldn't get from printing on paper. You can endlessly tweak different areas of a scan to bring out an image. Sometimes it works great:

Other times not so great. I worked on this forever, and I still don't really like it:

And her face was even in the sun! The image was almost invisible on the film. It was so vague that the scanner left scan lines across the image. Was worth a try, though. Many toy cameras have a bulb setting for lowlight situations, which leaves the shutter open as long as you hold down the release. Maybe I'll talk some more about that another day. I'm going to have to read my posts to see what I keep saying I'll talk about later!

These are just a few of the problems associated with toy cameras. First and formost, they are, for the most part, cheap. Basically a box with some kind of cheap lens and a shutter release to expose the film. That's it! It's worth the hassle, though, when you get those shots that just do it for you. Make you feel all wiggly and happy inside...

Enough! Time for food!

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