June 10, 2008

Through the Viewfinder, an Explanation

Music | Amazing by Jem

So when this technique was introduced to me by RatSpike I knew I all ready had the main tool to make this technique work for me as well. All I had to do was spend a little time creating the other elements to fit to my existing equipment. It was intriguing enough for me to want to pursue it. Little did I know there would come so many questions...

Through the Viewfinder is based on cameras similar to this one. Kodak made various versions starting in the 1940's. At the time, they used 620 format film, long out of existence. Hence, these cameras are a dime a dozen at this time, but moving up in price on ebay!

The simple idea of Through the Viewfinder is merely to use another camera and photograph the scene in the viewfinder of the Kodak. Simple...

Because the viewfinder itself is not of optical quality, all of the flaws are captured in an instant. No photoshop needed, other than normal basic adjustments like contrast, toning, etc... anything you would do to a print in the darkroom.

Now questions started to arise as I started to shoot with this device and seeing the results. Why am I so accepting to this method than say the Lens Babies or merely using photoshop? Initially, I never really did like the Lens Babies. The look that it gave looked too much like a photoshop action. Also, the idea of buying something off the shelf to create a look never was an intentional option for me. The idea that these Kodak cameras are being recycled (Very Portland...), and the idea that each one over the years have collected dust in basements, cellars, stored in boxes or displayed on shelves over as much as 60 years have earned my respect. And now they can be used again to create photos that most people cannot create even with the magic of photoshop.

Other questions are still arising as I use this archaic device, printing the files that I create from the combination. I am having battles in my head over the ethics of what I am doing. Besides having some fun creating these images, I'll let the turmoil rage on. Maybe more in the future...

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