Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Collecting Cameras

So You Collect Cameras?

this lens' photo
If I had known then what I know now, I would have kept every camera I ever owned and started my own camera collection. As it is, I currently have three cameras. One is a Canon AE1 35mm purchased around 1986 or so. My first digital camera was a point and shoot I got in 2007. It is a Kodak Easy Share z885 digital camera but I gave that away. Then a friend of mine gave me an Olympus SP-600uz that a friend gave to me.  I gave this one to my son and daughter-in-law.  My daughter than gave me a Canon Power Shot sx-120 is digital point and shoot.  Soon after that I was able to buy a used Canon EOS Rebel t3i from the same friend who gave me the Olympus.  I still have all my Canon cameras.  I use them all of them but I do enjoy the digital cameras more because getting film developed is pricy for me. Having recently joined the local art center camera club, I have learned that people do collect cameras. Over the years I have collected different things but never thought about collecting cameras. In fact, I had the opportunity when I was much younger...too young to understand in fact...to own a couple really old cameras. Those were the kind I used to call accordion cameras. They were old antique cameras with bellows. They were upstairs at my grandparents' house where all of us cousins loved to play on rainy days. When I was 10 years old my grandmother died and I can remember how so much "stuff" was tossed out the window to be thrown away while other "stuff" was brought downstairs to be divided between my mom, aunts, and uncles after that. I never did know what happened to those cameras, but I do know even then I would have wanted them. I was intrigued by them even at that young age.

Over the years I have owned seven different cameras. It all started with the Polaroid Swinger when I was also about 10 years old. Then I had a Polaroid Land camera, and one of the old Kodak 110 cameras. My first camera as a married adult was the Kodak Disc Camera. I still have some of the film and negatives from both the disc and the 110. This is another big reason that I use my digital camera the most. Not only do I have that film that still needs developed, but I also have many rolls of 35mm film waiting to be developed. It is discouraging to take photos that I don't get to see until I have enough extra income to get the film developed. It is so much easier to use my computer, pick and choose only the best pictures to have printed and keep the rest on CD waiting and ready.

This lens will explore some of the different styles of vintage cameras that people can collect. I hope you enjoy it.

Photo Credit: Public Domain Photo by Junior Libby

Where and How Did Photography Begin?

Did you know that photography technically began in the 5th century B.C. with the Chinese philosopher Mozi, aka Mo Ti? In his case, he used a technique now called Camera Obscura in which he used a box with a pinhole to create an image he could then trace on paper. Aristotle used this method in 330 B.C. to watch a partial solar eclipse through the leaves of a tree. The term "camera obscura" was not used for this technique until mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler first used the term in 1604. In 1826 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce made the first permanent photographic image. He did this by using a device called a "sliding wooden box camera" which was designed by Charles and Vincent Chevalier.

Photography progressed through the years from the Daguerreotype, tin type, bellows, and other historic cameras to the instamatics, home movies, and now digital of today. Various types and styles of lenses and filters have brought drawing an image shown on paper or wall from a pin hole in a box to the advanced art and portraiture we have now. Processing methods that have used such things as the albumen from eggs to the pixels of the digital age shows an amazing path of progress over the past century plus. I wonder what our ancestors who had not even had such inventions as the telephone would think now about how easily our cell phones can snap a photo anywhere we are and send it to a computer somewhere else, or another cell phone clear around the world in just a matter of seconds.

For an interesting look at the history of the camera, click here.

Photo Credit: Public Domain Photo of Herbert G. Ponting and His Camera

 History of Photography

Timeline of Photography Technology
Very interesting list of how photography has progressed from it's beginning until now.
History of Photography Timeline
Another timeline listing of the history of photography.
History of Photography and Cameras
A good article from About.com

How Do You Want To Display Your Photos?

After The Editing Is Finished

this lens' photo
Your photos are beautiful, the editing complete. Now what? Will you offer your photos for sale in galleries or stock photography sites? Or will you try to sell in magazines? Maybe selling them yourself through your own website. How do you get to that point?

Let's start at the beginning. You've got a photo you want enlarged. First you will need to decide what size and what dimensions you want your photo enlarged to. Is it square? Rectangular? Panorama? Do you want it enlarged for a wall hanging over the fireplace or behind the sofa? Or will it be added to a grouping of photos? So once you have some ideas of what you want, you need to find out how you will get it enlarged. Will you take it somewhere locally or somewhere online? Finding just the right place to enlarge your photos can be frustrating. You want the best quality you can get for your cost, especially if you are selling the photos.

After you have decided the size and dimensions of the final photo project, the next question is whether or not to have it put on paper, canvas, or faux canvas. If you are not looking at selling the photos to hang on the wall, there are other options available as well if you want to do this yourself. You can have photos put on mouse pads, jigsaw puzzles, calendars, coffee mugs, T-shirts, and more.

You might not even be interested in selling the photo yourself. Maybe you prefer to try to sell your work to magazines, greeting card companies, or puzzle companies, etc. For this, the best way to get started would be to purchase the current annual edition of Photographer's Market which is a book that lists all the participating magazines and businesses that purchase photographs.

Whatever you hope to do with your photos, learning what is out there to help you is an important step along the way. As I write this, I am learning too.

Photo belongs to the author, all rights reserved. 

Guides To Enlarging Photos

Enlarge Your Photos Without Sacrificing Quality
A short guide about photo enlarging.
Enlarging Photos - Four Steps to a Sharp, Detailed Image
Using Photoshop to enlarge your photos.
Improve the Quality of Enlarged Images with These Photoshop Tips
More Photoshop tips for enlarging photos and retaining quality.
Considerations When Enlarging Images: DPI, Pixelazation, and Resolution
Good information to know.
How To Enlarge a Photo Without Pixelating
A step-by-step guide on eHow.
Very good detailed explanation of how to know what size your enlarged photo will be from start to finish.
Megapixel Vs Photo Enlargement
A brief explanation

Framing Your Photo

Another big decision you will make is about the framing of your photo. First off, do you even want to frame it, or do you want to display it on stretched canvas or faux canvas without a frame? Will you have the frame custom made or pre-made? Will you use a mat around the photo with a larger frame, or no mat and frame to fit the photo? Decisions, decisions. Then you go and add to this the cost involved. Who are you having this framed for? Is it a gift, or have you sold the photo and need to include a frame in the sale? Are you displaying the photo in a gallery where you need to follow prescribed regulations for framing? Hopefully, the links below will give you a better idea of how to answer your framing questions.
Picture Frame
A little background about picture frames.
Picture Frame Information
Although this article is on a framing business website, the article is very informative.
Picture Frame Buying Guide
Short article on various types of picture frames.
5 Different types of Picture Frames
Short, informative article on types of picture frames.
Ready Made vs Custom Picture Frames
Good article from Your Picture Frames.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What Is Still Life Photography?

 What Is Still Life Photography?

Still life, whether done by a painter or photographer, basically is just pictures of fruit like in this photo, isn't it? Even this online dictionary says that still life is: "a representation chiefly of inanimate objects, as a painting of a bowl of fruit." But it also says: "the category of subject matter in which inanimate objects are represented, as in painting or photography." Still life refers to basically any inanimate object or objects placed in such a way as to represent art in the eye of the painter or photographer (or those who purchase such artwork). Still life can also be inanimate objects in natural settings.

 Public Domain Photo

If you are looking for traditional still life photography, you will still find it. However, you will also find some very interesting types of still life photography emerging into the art world. Some of this new art is created to be humorous. Other types are created to make a statement. Of course there is always the still life that is created for the beauty.
Creativity is left to the imagination of the artist. What I would like to show you through this article are some of the various types of still life photography that I have found in my wanderings online.
The photo here is an example of more modern still life using shoes and shoe laces to make a statement as well as just be fun.
 Public Domain Photo

Really Cool Still Life Photography Links  

35 Superb Examples of Still Life Photography

Object Photos, Still Life Photos, and Others

45 Brilliant Still Life Photographs

30 Stunning Examples of Still Life Photography

Still Life Photography/Natureza Morta

How To Set Up A Photography Studio  

How To Build a Studio Setting In Your Own Home

How to Set Up Your Own Photography Studio

How to Set Up Your Own Photography Studio (2nd of Two)

DIY Really Cheap Homemade Studio Lighting/No Lighting Needed

Photography Studio

Creating Your Own Still Life Photo Art

How do I make my own photo studio in my own home? I am on a very limited budget for this kind of activity so learning how to do things on my own as inexpensively as possible is important to me. One of the things I have learned is that many of the things I might need can be built cheaply and I can do it myself. For more information you can check YouTube for videos on how to set up your own home studio. Maybe it's just a simple light box that you need. Making my own light box will be my next project as I learn how to improve my still life photography. But for my own purposes, first I am going to need to learn more about layout. I love looking at the various photographs I can find online just for inspiration and ideas. Object layout creativity is something I am finding myself lacking. 
 Public Domain Photo

YouTube Videos To Help You

There are many more videos available on YouTube to help you figure out how to make exactly what you are looking for to build your own still life photography studio.