about More Musing

We are focusing on building a community, bringing the Mortal Muses photographers together, and making the world a bit smaller. On this page, you will find mission: MUSE, muse university and special features.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

what inspires you? - mosey

mission: MUSE - "what inspires you?"
"muse university" special edition with giveaway
 by muse mosey
a special re-post from mosey along

I am constantly inspired, both by the artistry and spirit of those surrounding me, and sometimes by a moment or a visual that catches my attention during the day.  I specifically went looking for inspiration this past weekend and was not disappointed.

In the middle of San Francisco's first torrential rainstorm of the season, I was lucky enough to take part in a workshop on Through the Viewfinder (TtV), taught by the incredibly talented Andrea of hulaseventy.  She has long been an inspiration to me, capturing exquisite images on Polaroid, digitally, and using the TtV technique.   After some time in the studio we were supposed to be doing a photo walk in the Mission neighbourhood.  Yes, even though it was raining.  With wild wind.  In a downpour.  I think I might have even seen the wicked witch of the west blow through once or twice.

brownie reflex canadian versionI haven't been able to say this about many things lately... but I
 had FUN.  The workshop included making a cardboard contraption to fit our twin lens reflex cameras, and let me tell you a roomful of grownups with tape and scissors and cardboard channels the glee of craft-time in kindergarten.  Then we spread out through the studio and hallways and stairwells, and ultimately outside, to test our abilities to look down through the lenses of two cameras - our digital camera and the vintage twin lens reflexes.  This was an exercise in patience, since the twin lens reflex reverses the image like a mirror further confusing how to aim at what you're shooting.  You also are not looking FORWARD through a viewfinder, but DOWN.

The technique requires three things - a digital camera, the cardboard contraption, and a vintage twin lens reflex.  Mine is an Argus Seventy Five, which I purchased from Etsy.  Once the cardboard contraption - a rectangular tube - was constructed to fit my Argus, it took great effort to combat my innate clutziness by holding the Argus with my left hand, contraption fitted to the top to block out light, and my digital camera in my right hand shooting down the tube.



A sampling of the images I captured that day.  More here.

It may sound complicated, but it's not as brow furrowing as it sounds.
Russ Morris, who has been influential in developing and popularizing TtV, has a tutorial on making the contraption (I love that word) and getting started.  See his tutorial here.  If you purchase your own vintage twin lens reflex, it does not have to be operational - all we're using are the viewfinder and the lenses.  Your own digital camera captures the actual image through the twin lens reflex.

Brownie Reflex Portrait

Look at Muse Tammy's photo to get the idea - although she's not using the contraption (best word ever!) this photo of her son is taken by her DSLR pointing down at the viewfinder of the twin lens reflex.  Get it?  Yay!
 
The day was inspiring, Andrea was inspiring, my fellow photographers were inspiring.  And bonus, it was just good plain FUN.   There is a Flickr group devoted to TtV, and even one on RedBubble.

_________________________

To encourage you to give it a try yourself, I'm offering a vintage Argus Seventy Five as a GIVEAWAY today.  And come back and show us your images!

cheers,
mosey

30 comments:

  1. Wonderful effects. I plan on trying this myself. I just made the contraption I just have to figure out how everything works. Very inspiring post.

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  2. i saw this workshop listed on her blog and was sad that it was on the "wrong" coast for me. i love the look of TtV photos and have never tried it-- except with an app on my iPhone which is definitely cheating, and easier than using any contraptions :)

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  3. TtV is on my list of things I want to try/learn. The images are indeed inspiring.

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  4. Great shots! I have tried making the contraption for my camera but haven't had any luck. Thanks for the link!! I am excited to get going. Lovely post...

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  5. I would love to try this technique! It seems like such a fun and different way to enjoy photography!

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  6. I can see that this could just become addictive!...every camera would produce unique images...I love your examples and will be keeping my eye open for a vintage camera:)

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  7. oh wow! I love the feel of these images. I will put this on my list of things to do over my upcoming holiday. :)

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  8. i love the look of those photos--i've wanted to try it for the longest time. (contraption is a most excellent word--so is kerfuffle)

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  9. Wow, sounds complicated, but I'm always learning about the different photograph techniques! Cool!

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  10. @Haley - it definitely sounds more complicated than it actually is!
    @urban muser - Andrea from hulaseventy is going to be offering more TtV workshops, write her and lobby for your own city! I'm sure she'll be making some more announcements soon...
    Thanks for all the love, musers!

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  11. Wow, I've never heard of this. Something new to try!

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  12. I love your shots! I tried ttv for fun about a year ago and haven't been able to put it down. Even the blah shots are better through the viewfinder.

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  13. i wanna try it. first i have to find one :)

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  14. How interesting! It does sound complicated... but the photos are worth every effort it took!

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  15. Totally inspirational Kim. I love the visual image of you all making your contraptions!

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  16. I love these, Mosey! They are beautiful, and the workshop sounds like so much fun. And I've actually been looking at TLR's on e-bay for this reason for a while.. Gosh would I love to win one.

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  17. Wow I love these photos!! I have never heard of this technique and I am SO intrigued!!

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  18. Holly { Soupatraveler }October 27, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    okay, first of all, i'm totally cracking up here...contraption! awesome! and i've always loved TtV shots when I see them. Thanks for a more detailed explanation of your experience...with the contraption!

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  19. What a cool effect. I love it. It makes the ordinary world of now seem nostalgic & mysterious.

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  20. This sounds like fun! I would love to have a camera and give it a whirl. I would even love to make the contraption!

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  21. I saw that workshop on her blog and thought it would be very fun! You were lucky to get in! I love the photos you took! Too bad it rained, but hey, it's San Francisco, the weather is always interesting.

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  22. love, love Ttvs, I've been doing them for a couple of years now. I have one camera with a more permanent contraption and one without. Thanks for the reminder to use it more :)

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  23. Wonderful article!! To be learning a new technique with other like-minded people must have been so much fun! Yes I do ttv also, I use a Frito Lay chip tube for my contraption. I covered the tube with some of my own photos of yellow roses! Love your images so much!! There is something mysterious and nostalgic about ttv images!

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  24. Thanks for the mention, Tammy Lee~

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  25. really cool. I need to get me an old camera

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  26. Can we still enter the contest? Looks like fun.

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