Monday, 30 November 2009

Processing Images from the Nishika N8000 with Photoshop

So you've taken a load of shots for your friends waving their arms around and assuming whacky 3D poses and now you want to turn 2D film into 3D magic.

Well, as luck would have it you can use Photoshop to load the files into a stack and then animate them to give a crude 3D effect.

To do this you first need to scan your images onto your computer. Then carefully retouch each photo to remove and dust or scratch marks. It's also a good idea to use Curves to use the white or black eye dropper to set a white or black point - leave a frame around each scanned image. This will usually be black and so is a good reference point. Similarly find an area of white (if possible) on the image and set this as a white point. Doing this for each image ensures that that each frame will have the same colour profile.

Save each frame and open all four. Choose File>Scripts>Load Files into Stack. Then choose Add Open Files and check the "Attempt to Auto Align..." box. You can, if you wish use the ruler tool to align each frame separately but Photoshop's auto pilot seems to work fine.

Next open Windows>Animation. Then open the top right hand dialogue box and choose Make Frames from Layers. This will bring up a sequence of the four frames, which will play continuously in a loop giving you the short animation sequence with a 3D effect (see below). To make this sequence smoother, click on frame 3 and press the new frame button. This will produce frame 5. Next select frame 2 and click the new frame button. This will give you frame 6. Make sure you select the Forever playback option (bottom left hand corner of the window).

Now Save for Web & Devices as an Animated gif and Bob's your Uncle, you own 3D (ish) file! Some applications (such as Flickr) may not then play the animated gif file, so what you need to do is the following. Upload the files to Flickr. Then you need to upload the files onto Photobucket (which is also free). Having done this, Photobucket will give you html code for that photo. Go back to Flickr and paste the html code in the comments box. Post the comment and voila! the animated image will play underneath. Use Photobucket's html code whenever you need to (for example some blog's won't play the animation.

See here for the complete review of the Nishika N800.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

3D Mayhem with the Nishika N8000

I picked up one of these cameras on ebay for 20 quid. It has 4 lenses positioned at different angles and takes 4 half frames for every half exposure. The film has to be printed using the lenticular process giving 3D prints that you can view without having to wear those ridiculous glasses. Alternatively you can scan the film and then use Photoshop to load the files into a stack and then animate them to give a crude 3D effect. We'll look at how to do this in my next post.

Nishika claimed to have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in this camera's development and used the sort of technology that was used to put Austin Powers into space. Actually I think they spent a few thousand buying up the patents from Nimslo following failed attempts in this field. Anyway, the camera is made of the finest plastic 20 pounds can buy, takes 35mm film, has a sort of retro design from the early 80s and is a hoot. I took this puppy out on a trip to Florence and Siena and the full set can be seen on my flickr page

Alternatively here are some of the better images:




On a point of interest - the 3D effect only works if you stand on one leg and wave your arms around like an idiot!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The River Lea with my Lomo LCA

The thing I love about my Lomo LCA is that it is small and easy to carry, either in my briefcase during a business trip or in my cycle shirt pocket. The photos were all taken during walks and rides along the River Lea and River Stort near my home in Broxbourne. All these landscapes were shot with my Lomo LCA which I would whip out when I saw something I liked. The film I used was Provia 100F which I cross processed.

Some time ago I bought a 10 roll pack of Provia 100F and I've still got three films left....I just can't seem to finish the pack for some reason. I must admit to being a little disappointed with Provia - when cross processed the images have a greenish tinge which I am not fond of. This can be cured in Photoshop but I much prefer cross processed Ektachrome EPP. I like the results you get from Provia when processed using the E6 process (as it should be) but I found doing this at home results in a magenta colour shift - may be I should pay a lab to develop the film for me but I am much too tight for that!

I cross process all my slide film at home these days using a C41 1 litre kit from Tetenal and a Jobo water tank to keep the temperature steady. The kits are very easy to use - I don't know why people get so nervous about colour developing at home. The key thing is to keep the temperature steady (which the water tank does) and to be precise with timings. I also find the results are on the whole much more interesting.

Anyway, the full set of landscape photos can be found by clicking on the link.

I like this shot of a canal boat travelling up the River Lea just past Hoddesdon. I wanted the photo to look like a nineteenth century painting. And I almost think I succeeded.

I think this photo shows off cross processing well - the sky is nice and contrasty behind the pylon.

You can't beat a railway bridge when it comes to Lomography!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Paris Hilton Papped in Oaxaca!!!!

OK....just a joke!! I met Paris (as I like to call her) sat patiently inside a craft shop in the Mexican city of Oaxaca. Being a closet paparazzi I couldn't help but grab my Holga and take a shot of her. The Holga was loaded with some very old Kodak Tri X I bought on ebay and for some strange reason, a few of the rolls I processed come out covered with black spots where the emulsion has degraded. Not sure why this happens as some rolls came out perfectly, but I like the effect. Anyway, I took the shot, she told me I was her new BFF and I sold the image to the Sun (if only).

Later on during the trip we visited Mitla during the Mexican Independence day celebrations. I managed to get the following shot of some children which I liked - the cross processed Ektachrome EPP gives the image a nice saturated film and I managed to catch the eye of one of the girls who looked straight at the camera.
Far sweeter than Paris!

Finally a landscape photograph of Monte Alban, the Zapotec capital city. Taken with HP5+, the image is of the observatory seen from one of the main pyramids.

Check out the full set of travel photographs by following the link.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Landscape Photographs of Frithsden Beeches

Frithsden Beeches is an area of beautiful woodland in Hertfordshire. I visited the woods some months ago - however I have not had the chance to upload the photos until now. These landscape photographs were taken with my Holga (loaded with Ilford HP5+) and my Mamiya Universal Press which was loaded with Ilford SFX 200.

All films were then processed in Rodinal at the recommended times.

Though not a real Infra Red film, SFX200 does give good results - I'm keen to explore IR photography, but at the moment there are so many things I want to try out and I have so little time that I've no idea when I'll get the chance.

The Mamiya Universal Press is also a great camera - though bulky and it does take a while to set up and shoot. The camera has no electronics so you need a separate meter and everything has to be done the old fashioned way. The lens is pin sharp and I do enjoy using the camera but somehow I still prefer my Holgas. I prefer to wander around a place looking at different things and I find that if I have tostop to set up my tripod and the camera, take a meter reading etc, etc, it tends to get in the way - with the Holga, if you see something interesting you shoot and that's it.

I like the way the light hits the puddle and the vegetation in the above shot - the image is almost like an oil painting from the nineteenth century, except it's black and white.

A nice black and white shot of a solitary oak. The day was starting to turn very grey when I took this photo. Colour would have looked drab and flat but b&w seems to work well.

I wanted to take a very simple shot here of just the grass and the sky - but did not move the Holga abit to the left to compensate for the view finder not being aligned with the lens - hence the trees to the right. Somehow though they add abit of distraction to the photo.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Champagne Region in France with my Holga

I've been neglecting this blog for too long - I'm not really a writer/blogger and anyway I spend too much time working and out and about with my cameras. Since I started this blog I have made one major, photography-life changing discovery and that is the Holga camera. I could wax lyrical about the camera and I probably will but for now, here are some samples from a recent trip.

Last August bank holiday, my wife and I sped down to Etoges in the Champagne region of France in our new convertible. Etoges is a charming little village (photographed above) with an even more delightful chateau, where we stayed. The image above was taken with Kodak Ektachrome EPP100 which was then cross processed. The shot needed abit of processing on Photoshop (mainly toning down the Highlights) before it became useable, but I like the rich colours of the above shot.
This landscape photograph was taken on the last day of the trip when the weather started to turn a little nasty. I think it catches the vivid grey sky nicely against the brown earth and the solitary tree adds abit of interest.
The charming chateau at Etoges shown with the church spire in the background. Shot on Kodak Portra 400NC. I chose the shot because of the way the clouds seem to reach out to the corners of the picture.
Finally the fabulous chateau at Montmort St Lucy. What a place and what a village. Especially recommended is the Cheval Blanc, a typical French restaurant/bar in the village. I had one of the best dinners ever there.

The full gallery of travel photos from Champagne can be found clicking the link