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    Close-up Photos with the Lomography Belair

    This is my first attempt at using the Lomography Belair at the limit of it's 90mm lens. I am 1.5m from the flowers in the window. I used a tape measure to accurately place the lens at the correct distance from the flowers. I framed the photo, then slightly tilted the camera up to adjust for parallax (Photo lens is lower than the viewfinder).

    The film was Tri-X 400 and processed in Agfa Rodinol. I am down to my last few bottles of Agfa Rodinol, and am trying out the 1:50 dilution to stretch it out. I usually use a 1:25 dilution.



    Camera Mod - Ansco Pix Panorama Flipped Lens camera

    I first became aware of the practice of flipping lens on simple single lensed cameras when I saw samples of a flipped lens Brownie Hawkeye at Flickr.com. The images showed exaggerated blurring and vignetting on the edges. These looked similar to Holga and Diana camera images and I was intrigued.

    I recently saw samples of a flipped lens Ansco Pix Panorama and was inspired to give it a try. When I went looking for my Pix Panorama, I found I had 2. I knew that this was a perfect way of comparing a stock camera to one with a flipped lens.

    These images are clickable for higher res images.

    Would you like to try this yourself? I made a how-to video showing how to flip the lens on the Ansco Pix Panorama and posted it on my youtube channel.



    Lomography Film Scanner or DIY Film Scanner - How to Convert a Negative Image to Positive

    The Lomography Film Scanner is out, but they haven't released their LomoScanner Apps for Android or iPhone yet. If you are trying out some version of a DIY Film Scanner, you also need a to process your negative images to positive. So how do you change and convert the digital images of the negatives to positives?

    One solution is to use the IOS iPhone app Photoshop Express. I have been using this app to convert the images from the DIY 120 film scanner I built. Adobe also makes an Android app with the same name, but I haven't been able to verify if it has the same feature set as the iPhone app. If you know, please drop me a line.

    If you have Photoforge2 on your iPhone, I understand that this will also invert negatives.

    Here's how to do the negative conversion to positive on an iPhone.

    1. Download the Adobe Photoshop Express app. (Free!)

    2. Launch the Photoshop Express app

    3. You can either take a photo of your negative with the Lomography Smartphone Film scanner, or select an image of a negative.

    4. When the image is open, select the crop tool and rotate or straighten the image before cropping. Next crop the image down to the edges.

    5. After the image is cropped, go to the effects menu and select "Effects".

    6. Select "Invert" from the special effects menus. (Top left corner of the effects grid)

    7. After the image is inverted, it will be off in color and saturation.

    8. To color correct the image, select Hue/Saturation from the correction menu.

    9. Adjust the Hue/Saturation. For my negative, I needed to adjust the Hue to the mid -60s  and the Saturation to about 10. Your mileage will vary, depending on the negative and film used. You may also need to adjust the exposure in the same menu list as Hue/Saturation to lighten or darken the image.

    10. Done!


    New Video: The Lomography Smartphone 35mm Film Scanner

    I have posted a new video: "Out of the Box - Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner" on my YouTube channel.

    This is the new film scanner from Lomography that uses a smartphone to digitize 35mm film negatives. Lomography hasn't yet released their software app that goes with the scanner, but they promise it will be soon.

    In the meantime, Adobe's Photoshop Express on the iPhone works fine to invert the negative images. I know there is Photoshop Express on Android, but I don't know if it has the same feature set including Invert. 




    The iPhone 120 Film Scanner, Difficult Negatives and Digital Retouching

    I am a traditional photographic printer, meaning that I like to make prints in the darkroom. Unfortunately, it isn't always practical or quick to produce work this way.

    Testing the iPhone scanner setup, I see that many negatives that would normally be deemed difficult to print in the darkroom because they are too thin (underexposed) or too dense from overexposure, can be easily and quickly retouched in Photoshop. (At least on the desktop. See my notes below about the iPad experience)


    An underexposed 120 film negative shot during an overcast day in Beijing, China


    The original negative scan inverted. 


    Retouched image.

    All the image are clickable to larger sizes.


    The digital retouching was done on a 3rd Gen iPad using various programs, but somewhere along the way, the image lost some resolution. Probably in Sketchbook as the app resized the image to it's maximum or default. Sketchbook was used to spot the image, a process remarkably similar to spotting a silver gelatin photographic print. In the future, for work which will be output to digital prints, they will be retouched on a desktop computer and a full version of Photoshop CS6, in order to more easily spot, retouch, and refine the images while holding onto the maximum resolution. I hope the experience will become better on the iPad as new apps and tools are added that make retouching easier. For now, it is an exercise in patience.

     (iPad apps used: Photoshop Express, Sketchbook Pro (for spotting), Photoshop Touch)