How to Make DIY Red Scale Film

The “Red Scale” effect has actually been with us for quite a while. You see, your average 35mm color negative film has a semi-transparent layer on the back. – designed to keep stray light from getting onto the sensitive emulsion on the front. At some point, a few bright photographers got the idea to load the film “backwards” and actually shoot through this protective layer. The result is close to shooting through a reddish-orange filter. But unlike a filter, the effect is a bit unpredictable and varies in strength depending on the subject and light source.

Three Flavours of Macaroon: Redscale

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Quick Tip: Easy Filter Removal

I recently saw a post about using zip ties as a makeshift wrench for removing filters from lenses and from each other (for those of you who stack them). Even the author recognized the dangers of the method when he pointed out that if not done properly the filter(s) in question could accidentally fly across the room like Japanese throwing stars (my analogy, not his). Obviously, any method that puts your lenses, filters, or pets in harm’s way if not done precisely right should have you asking, “Isn’t there a better way?”

Easy Filter Removal [Read more...]

The Making Of The Bokeh Goblins In The Gramatik Music Video “Solidified”

A few weeks back we featured a crazy video where bokeh golblins took over New York. Our Bokeh Masters Kit has been around, but nothing to that extent – I loved how much detail the bokeh goblins had and how their eyes moved so I asked the director Bradonio if he could explain how it was done. Following is his account.

The following is a quick description of the “bokeh silhouettes” in the Gramatik music video “Solidified”, if you don’t recall the video, here is a quick reminder.

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Don’t Let The Next Venus Transit Over The Sun Catch You Unprepared

Venus’s transit over the sun occurs when planet Venus positions itself between the Sun and the Earth, kinda like the solar eclipse we had a few weeks back.

The timing of this astrological phenomena is kinda weird, a couple of transits 8-years-apart occurs every 105 (or 121) years. So the next transit of Venus across the Sun won’t take place until 2117. This is plenty of notice – about a centery worth – but if you get to the last minute and still find yourself unprepared here is a neat fast trick from Jeff Finkelstein to get you back on your feet.

Here is the image of the Venus Transit, with my DIY $2.00 rig

Venus Transit of the Sun

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Bokeh Aliens Take Over The City

I am not really sure what’s going on in this video by Gramatik, but it seems that their bokeh experiment went out of control. 

Director Brad Hasse & cinematographer Andrew David Watson teamed up with artist Gramatik and built a story about an old guy seeing goblins in cityscape light. Those goblins eventually take over the city.

Here is the nice part, Gramatik releases his music for free, which makes this project even cooler.

I could not figure out which city this tale is taking place. If you know, please share.

If you wanna know how it was made, check our Everything You Wanted To Know About The Magical Shaped Bokeh page. [Read more...]

How Lee Filters Are Made

I always thought that the process of ND filter making is a pretty mechanical thing. That you would place a sheet of glass on one end of the machine, press a button and then a constant stream of ND filters would fall onto a conveyer belt.

It turns out it is not so, that the process of filter making, at least at Lee filters is almost entirely manual.

In the movie blow, Mike Browne take the grand tour at Lee Filter’s factory going through the different stations from making the resin, through various inspections, coating it with dye and shipping it off. I was really surprised to see how much manual labor goes into the process.

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How To Build The Easiest Motorized Slider

Here is one memorable quote, “It is a slider, not a roller after all“. This comes from Dan Colvin, a film maker and a unicyclist that was set to build a slider that would be easy to build, even if you are not a certified maker. To meet this end, Dan removed any complicated mechanisms from his slider, eliminating wheels, pipes, metal work and leaving only a felt covered 2 by 4 and a stretch of plywood as the basic elements of the slider.

How To Build The Easiest Motorized Slider

The slider is powered by a K’nex motor that pulls the felt covered 2 by 4. I must say that I was kind of skeptic about how smooth the action would be. I was surprised. It is very smooth. See for yourself in the footage below followed by a build guide. While the footage shows a small smart phone for cam, I think it would work for larger cameras too.

Following is some demo footage, followed by an instructional video

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Fun Ideas For Shaped Bokeh

Fun Ideas For Shaped Bokeh

I know that it is a bit after Valentines now, but you got to hand it to the guys over at Samsung.

The team over there, created a super fun video showing various techniques of using a shaped bokeh filter. (Heck, they even included a free template for the Samsung NX system).

Talking about taking shaped bokeh to the next level. The folks at Samsung do every possible bokeh trick in the book including out of focus exposure of sparkles, LEDs, marvels, water highlights, driving cars and everything and anything that has a dot highlight. A great vid to get some bokeh ideas from. [Read more...]

DIY: Circle of Confusion Shape Modifier

We are always happy to get a nice bokeh build tutorial in the blog, even if it means we have to throw away the name of our best product and find it a new one, maybe the circle of confusion masters kit

Circle of Confusion Shape Modifier – At least that’s what I call it. I call it that because “circle of confusionrefers to the actual defocused spot, while “bokehrefers to the aesthetic quality of the blurring caused by the larger-than-a-point circles of confusion. If you disagree with my reasoning, just ignore the title (darn, need to think of a new product name, UT). Anyway, since you are reading this, you have probably seen this article. I really liked the idea and made one just like it. It worked very well, but to make one for every shape I might want seemed a bit impractical due to the amount of space such a collection would require. So I set out to solve that “problem.” And here is what I came up with…

DIY: Circle of Confusion Shape Modifier [Read more...]