Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

My first photo books available for pre-pre-order

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

I have been working on producing a book of my photography for several years now. Organizing and curating your own work is a tough task of critical self-examination, second guessing, and pattern recognition. In the end I actually have three collections of photos centered on three themes. The titles are:

  1. Motion and Distortion
  2. Reflection and Distraction
  3. Isolation and Repetition
Each hard cover book is 32 pages and is divided into 2 chapters. I have written an intro poem for each chapter. The books each contain 29 of what I consider to be my best photos over the last 15 years of experiments, accidents, and triumphs. If you are a reader of this blog then you can appreciate the assortment of cameras I use in my work, from pinhole to handmade to antique. Needless to say, I am proud of the work and I hope you are interested in ordering a set for yourself.

Which brings me to the part where I tell you how to order the books. The books are ready to be published. Right now they are printed digitally, which is less than economical. If I can connect with a publisher I can get the price down, but right now the set of 3 books will cost $165. If you are interested in ordering a book please contact me. Let me know if you would like to order the first pre-edition of the book or are interested in being notified when the first real run of books is available. I really appreciate your support. For a few more photos of the books, click here.

Tips for Buying a Camera on Ebay

Friday, June 25th, 2010

I spend more time than I would care to admit watching cameras on Ebay. I have a feeling that my knowledge of cameras has come as much from Ebay, as it has from anywhere else. Why? Because when you are considering making a purchase, you do research. Research builds knowledge, and before you know it you are an expert on obscure cameras that haven’t been in production for decades. I thought I would share some of the things that I look for in a camera on ebay, before I make a purchase.

First of all I want to give a shout out an Ebay seller named certo6. His ebay camera auctions can be found here. I am not sure if it is his full time job or not, but he is committed to selling great cameras. He buys old cameras, repairs and restores them beautifully, and then lovingly describes their characteristics thoroughly in his Ebay listing. He has earned a great reputation for having wonderfully restored cameras and as a result his cameras receive a premium final bid. I have only purchased one camera from him, but he is the only seller that I follow religiously despite rarely making a bid.

If you can’t buy a camera from certo6, you are going to drop down a notch into the deep sea of the unknown. There are so many camera auctions going on that it can be overwhelming. Here are some tips that will help you get the camera you want.

1. Hold your horses! First, don’t expect to get the camera instantly. I think this is the biggest mistake people make. People get excited when they find something cool. They make a bid before doing any research. Next thing you know someone outbids you and it becomes a battle to win the auction rather than about getting the right camera.

2. Watch similar items. This is where patience is a virtue. Before you bid on a camera you should try to get an idea for what it is worth. If you have the time to watch similar items, and track what their final selling price is then this information will give you a general idea what you can expect to pay for the camera.

3. Learn about the camera If you are bidding on antique cameras or rare camera, information is your friend. Do a Google search for the exact model and look online for as much info as you can find. There is probably a Flickr group dedicated to that specific camera where there are threads talking about it. Look for common problems, and typical problems that your camera may have. If the camera you want has a tendency to have shutters that go bad you can ask the seller to address whether or not the shutter is working. This will save you from buying a camera that looks good but is actually broken.

4. Decide what you are willing to pay and stick to it. An interesting psychological thing happens with auctions. After someone makes a bid on something they have imagined themselves owning the item. This has the side effect of giving a feeling of ownership over something you don’t actually own. Now when someone bids on “your camera” it feels like a personal insult. So you counter bid and the camera ends up selling for more than it is worth. Decide the maximum you are willing to pay for the camera and when it goes above that price walk away. I mean it. Walk away. You can take consolation in knowing that some idiot just over payed for it! This helps reduce buyers remorse, too.

5. Keep your options open. Watch a variety of auctions for the camera you want. This will help you avoid getting emotionally connected to a single item. It is much easier to walk away from an auction if you are watching another similar item.

If you follow these camera auction tips eventually you will end up with a great camera at a fair price. If you have experience buying cameras on Ebay and have tips to add to my list, please leave a comment below. Finally, here are some of the camera deals on Ebay right now…

Found Photography News

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

I wanted to make a quick post saying thanks to Lost at E Minor (and Ben Keys who wrote the article) for the kind words and the traffic. Also, thanks to Hongkiat.com for mentioning my affordable tilt-shift lens tutorial.

Also worth noting is a pinhole Lego Camera Spotted on Flickr.

That’s about all going on around here. I recently purchased a dry mount press on Craigslist and am going to start framing some prints one of these days.

Photographers on Twitter

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

It seems like the number of photographers on Twitter is exploding. I have been using Twitter more and more lately and I wanted to help point you towards some lists of photographers who Twitter that I have used to get connected to Twitter Photographers. Here are some of the best lists of photographers on Twitter that I have found. Oh, and before I forget, my Twitter handle is ade3. Be sure to follow me and I will gladly reciprocate!

Photographers on Twitter from Photocritic.org
Photocritic has a great list of photographers on Twitter that is constantly being updated. If you are a photographer on Twitter you can follow @twittogs to get your name added to the list. Right now they have 406 photo twitterers and counting.

80+ Photographers On Twitter
Virtual Photography Studio has a good list of 80 photographers on Twitter that you should be following.

17 Great Photographers on Twitter
Darkwegmo.com has a list of 17 photographers on Twitter that have very high quality photos.

Flickr Photographers on Twitter
Flickr has a group called “The Twittering Photographers Society” that is dedicated just to Flickr photographers on Twitter.

Wedding Photographers on Twitter
This isn’t actually a list of photographers on Twitter but rather a list of 40 Twitter resources for wedding photographers.

20 Photographers to follow on Twitter
The Photog Formula has a list of 20 more photographer’s on Twitter.

I hope you enjoyed these links to lists of photographers who twitter. If you come accross another good list of twitter photographers let me know and I will add it to the list. And don’t forget to follow me (ade3) while you are adding photo followers.

Oh, one more thing. If you happen to be a photographer and a web designer like me, you might be interested in my list of web designers on Twitter. Cheers!

5 Essential Things You need to Do to Capture Excellent Group Photos

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Taking photographs of a large number of people can be a huge, challenging task. However, with the right tools, knowledge, and most important of all, attitude, you can make your group photo shoots a lot more fun and easier not only for you but for your subjects as well.  Apply the five essential tips listed below, and you will surely be able to capture excellent group photos.

 

1. Choose the Right Location.

If there is an opportunity for you to choose a location for the photo shoot, then select a place that is not distracting. For instance, houses and buildings are not good as backgrounds since they tend to take away the viewers’ attention from the people and into them. Instead, look for a place that is virtually free of clutter such as an open field. On the other hand, if you’re in a situation wherein you do not have control over the location of the photo shoot, such as an indoor party, then aim for a certain area within the venue that has few distractions.

 

2. Take a lot of photos. 

Before, photographers were reluctant to take a lot of photos during their shoots because of the costs associated with the films and having the images developed. As such, they do everything in order for them to capture the perfect photos. However, times have changed.

The advent of digital photography means that you can take as many pictures as you like, delete the ones that are ugly, and save the ones that are desirable without having to worry about the costs. This gives you the perfect opportunity to take as many photos as you can and choose the ones that are good at the end of day.

 

3. Apply the triangle method.

The triangle method simply means visualising and placing your subjects in triangles. To be more exact, this method requires you to make sure that the faces of your subjects are not very close with each other during the group photo shoots. Doing so will help you to utilise light in a more effective way since it will hit your subjects in a more even manner, resulting into sharper photographs.

 

4. Avoid using wide angle lenses as much as possible.

Though wide angle lenses seem more appropriate for group photos, they have the tendency to cause distortion to the images. Instead, choose other lenses such as the 70-200 mm or the 24-70 mm. Though the 70-200 mm also compresses the photos, and does it in a beautiful, complimentary way. Other primes which you can use during your group photo shoots are 135 mm and 50 mm.

 

5. Think outside the box.

If you really want to capture interesting group photos, then you need to let your creative juices flow; think outside the box. Instead of taking pictures in the same angles, why not try different ones? For instance, you can stand in an elevated ground and take the photo from above. Or instead of changing your camera’s angles, why not position your subjects in a unique, flattering way that will somehow convey a message, a thought, or an emotion. Remember, this is one aspect of taking group photos wherein you can demonstrate your skills and originality, so make good use of it.

There you have it–the five essential things you need to do to capture excellent group photos. Apply them today, and you will surely be able to capture images that you can be proud of.

Solargraphs: Extremely Long Exposures

Friday, April 17th, 2009

2_month_exposure.jpg

As I continue to explore solargraphy, I wanted to show you my latest experiment. After about two months sitting in front of my house, I finally couldn’t wait any longer to see if my extra long exposure would turn out. The photo above is a solargraph taken with a pinhole camera using photo paper as the “negative.” The streaks in the sky are the sun as it passes through the air. If you missed my first post explaining what a solargraph is, you can read it here.

If you would like to see a bigger version of this photo you can see it on Flickr by clicking here.

Develop film with Coffee and Vitamin C

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

I have been talking about doing this experiment for a long time, but have never gotten to it until this weekend. It is possible to process your own film using coffee. Hard to believe, I know, but it works. The other ingredient besides vitamin C and coffee is washing soda. It was a little hard to track down, but you might look in the laundry section of your local grocery store. Here is a YouTube video showing how it is done:

For my test I used color slide film and it worked just fine. The pictures were taken with my trusty medium format Lego camera. I wasn’t sure what I would get, but the results were black and white negatives (as opposed to color positives). Interesting. Here is a photo from the roll:

church_ghost_small.jpg

What is Solargraphy?

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Years ago in Wired magazine they showed a photograph that was a six month exposure. I remember being captivated by the thought of taking a picture for such a long period of time. Unfortunately, Wired didn’t give any info about how the photo was made. Fast forward to a few months ago when I came across another six month exposure. Fortunately this photo came with a little more explanation. It was called a solargraph.

Click here to view my solargraph experiments on Flickr.

There is amazingly little information online about solargraphy or how to make a solargraph. Trial and error being the best teacher I decided to do some experiments and teach myself how to create these images. The following is my attempt to document my experiments and hopefully give you some details that will help if you want to tackle the world of the solargraph.

So what is a solargraph? A solargraph is a photograph that was made by making an exposure long enough to track the movement of the son in the sky. Exposure time can be anywhere from a couple hours to six months.

How do you make a solargraph? A solargraph is typically made using black and white photo paper instead of traditional film. The reason for using photo paper is that it is less sensitive than film. Photo paper is 20-200 times less sensitive than film. This allows the paper to survive unthinkably long exposure times without getting over exposed.

What kind of a camera do you use? Solargraphs are typically made with a pinhole camera because the extremely small aperture (the hole that lets light in). However, I have had success making solargraphs using lens cameras. Simply load the camera with photo paper where the film usually goes. Then rig your camera so that the aperture can stay open indefinitely. Since a typical camera lets more light in than a pinhole camera your exposure time will be significantly shorter. By using a lens you can make a half-day to week long exposure. A pinhole camera is ideal for longer exposures of a week to several months.

How do you process the photo paper? Unlike a print made in a darkroom, the photo paper you use to make a solargraph is never ran through photo chemicals. This may come as a surprise to anyone with darkroom experience. Because the exposure time is so long the image actually appears on the paper without processing! If you were to run the paper through developer it would turn instantly black.

How do you preserve the image if you can’t use chemicals? After the photo has been taken you need to immediately scan the paper. Scanning itself will damage the paper because it is till light sensitive. You get one good scan before the paper starts getting dark and destroying your image. I have not come up with a reliable way to preserve the photo paper. Fixer seems to destroy the image, although not completely. If someone has a solution to this dilemma please share it.

Does a solargraph result in a black and white or color image? This is perhaps the most amazing thing about solargraphy. The image is made using black and white photo paper. The image that is created is in color! I can’t really explain how this happens, but it does. I suppose that since the paper is never ran through the the typical chemicals it is able to preserve some color.

I will try to update this page as I learn more about how to make solargraphs. If you know of resources or can correct any of my mistakes please let me know.

And the winner is…

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Amod_Rahatkar.jpg

You might remember that I had a copy of Tom Ang’s Fundamentals of Photography to give away. Thank you to everyone who left a comment and entered there name in the drawing. My son pulled the winning name out of a hat and the lucky winner is Amod Rahatkar. Congratulations Amod!

The New and Improved Found Photography Site

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

I am proud to announce the launch of the new design for FoundPhotography.com. I invite you to update your RSS feeds and take a look around my new site. Honestly, the first design was pretty much thrown together because I didn’t know what I wanted this site to be. As I have collected my thoughts and gained some focus to my work as a photographer over the last 3+ years I am finally at a place where I can structure the site around my work and Ideas. Hopefully this will be a better experience for my readers and I am excited to get back into the routine of camera dissection. 

A few notes about the redesign, I made a switch from a Movable Type powered blog to WordPress. I have been using WordPress almost exclusively as a content management system for over a year now and it has won me over so much that I can’t imagine going back to Movable Type. 

A big part of the redesign has to do with Flickr. I have always been hesitant to embrace Flickr completely because I didn’t want to compete with myself on this site. I don’t want to post every photo twice and I don’t want to confuse my visitors. The solution to my dilemma came from researching WordPress plugins that interact with Flickr. I hit the jackpot when I discovered Flickr Photo Album which is probably the best WordPress plugin I have ever used. It allows me to host all my photos on Flickr and it automatically mirrors the information here on my blog. Flickr Photo Album works with custom templates and I plan on making my WordPress Theme available for free some time in the future. 

I should warn you that I am launching this site probably a tad prematurely. Much of the finishing touches of a redesign are easier to test and fix “live,” so I apologize if anything is funky. I am still cleaning things up in my code, so I appreciate your patience and should have everything working smoothly real soon.