Got inspired. Played a bit with Photoshop and this is what I came up with.
Barcelona was a bit empty around Christmas, but not as desolate the images may suggest. I find it an interesting theme to shoot urban landscapes with (almost) no people in it.
“Sometimes, when one is moving silently through such an utterly desolate landscape, an overwhelming hallucination can make one feel that oneself, as an individual human being, is slowly being unraveled.“
Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Some time ago I came across this thread in a forum and I recognized the style of photos. I always liked them but I assumed that most of them used $300 ND filters which I didn’t have intention to buy. But seeing good results from a cheap piece of welding glass got me interested. I got a smaller piece of glass first, but it was very prone to light leaks.
I then purchased a much larger one ( able to fit over my 10-22 wide angle) for $6 at the local hardware store and use a reverse fitted lens hood to attach it to my lens with rubber bands. I still get occasional light leaks, especially shooting in bright sunlight so at one point I will buy a cheap filter and glue it to one.
When shooting I use a tripod and a remote shutter release. Two issues to look out for when shooting with a piece of welding glass attached to your lens:
1) Manual Focus. Focus before you attach the piece of glass because it is so dark that once attached you will have a hard time focusing. After focusing I set it to manual focus so it stays in position
2) Manual White Balance. I only recently figured that one out. My welding glass gives me a very greenish tint ( the reason a real ND filter costs a couple of hundred dollars more). But if I set the white balance manually it removes most of the greenish cast and then shooting RAW gives me post processing control to to really take care of the issue.
As you see though in the end my images end up as black and white images because somehow the photos work better in that way for me.
These were the first two photos I took with the welding glass. They were exposed at about 30 seconds at F11. I got up to 2 minutes with F22 but having a camera on a slippery rock with a piece of welding glass attached with rubber bands makes me want to shoot a bit faster. Most images are shot at 45 secs in RAW at f11.
This was the second time I went out with the welding glass. I hadn’t figured out the manual white balance yet so the greenish tint was removed in Photoshop. In the first image you can see the light leak that forms the big circle. I have taped up the edges of the glass but I don’t know if it has really helped. These days I put my lens cleaning cloth on top of the lens and glass when shooting hoping to minimize the light coming through.
My third time experimenting. When shooting with such a high f stop I need to remember to clean my sensor and lens as you can see some of the dirt on my lenses.
And finally my latest experiments. Stationary objects with flowing water around them really makes this technique shine.
I came across a project where these two guys took photo’s of each other at the same time and same location and wanted to do something similar with my wife. A holiday to Spain was the perfect opportunity for this. The photo’s were taken in Sevilla, Grenada, Malaga, Cordoba and Italica.
The following photo’s also include those taken with film. You can see it is a Canon EOS SLR with some locally available color film (Hema 200).
And the last two were both taken with film. On my golden half toy camera and the Canon SLR.
I saw Ndroo’s (great Singaporean photography blogger) awesome double exposure photo’s some time back and I wanted to do something similar. I followed his instructions which are found here. But when I was putting up negatives to my laptop screen I was wondering if it wouldn’t be easier to just shoot images on my laptop screen.
I would be able to find more unique picture and have more control. I set up my tripod and went to work. I scoured the internet and found suitable images. I didn’t want images with a lot of detail of small pieces. Very clear two color images with a strong edge. I followed the instructions and shot 1 stop under, but looking at my pictures now I will shoot my next roll at the correct exposure just to make sure the white are non-transparent.
I did have trouble pulling the film back out of the roll. I tried various methods including licking another piece of negative and sliding that in which didn’t work but I did get to taste film chemicals for the first time. I tried cutting small hooks in another film roll which also didn’t work.My last and worst idea was tying a piece of string to the end of film so I could pull it out later, I don’t have to tell you that failed miserably. In the end I had the people at my filmlab pull out the film leader and luckily they didn’t ask why there was a piece of string tied to my film.
I used my Canon EOS 500 SLR and Kodak Tungsten Film. I chose to use my Canon film SLR, because it always positions the film in the same way so they images will always overlap perfectly. The Kodak Tungsten was expired and cross-processed which explains the blueish color shift.
I think this is a really fun and creative project. I hope this inspires you to go out and shoot some, like it inspired me.