Saturday, December 27, 2008


These are some shots of Osaka that I took at nightfall.

From the apartment's balcony.

The rest of the series were shot at Osaka Station. Specifically, a pedestrian bridge over the intersection, between JR Osaka, Hankyuu Umeda, and Hanshin Umeda stations, and over top of the Umeda subway station. You can also walk to each one of those stations and many more without ever coming up to the surface world. However, above ground is only place you can see skies like this:

The cars moved a bit, I think I will have fun perfecting this technique. Long exposure, and small aperture. In this case, not quite small enough.

How do they build those tall buildings? Cranes.

And lots of them.

Reaching for the sky:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Macro Studio

I have interest in macro photography.
I had looked at some of the macro studios that are available in the camera stores. The cheap ones running about 6000円. Not really what I wanted to spend on something I might only rarely use.
After a bit of stumbling around various lighting sites. I found an interesting tutorial on making one of these macro studios at Strobist: DIY Macro studio.
That article says you can make it for about $10 (or less).
I re-used some materials and made mine for free.
To make it, I used exactly what you see, and old paper box that originally had recycled A4 paper, some tracing paper and tape.

The orange was free too, it sits on some A4 sized paper.
Lit by the sun coming from the right side, the tracing paper reflects and diffuses the light, throwing a nice soft even light over the subject and almost entirely eliminating shadows.

It's a mikan!

I also found this wonderful maple leaf on the street, after the second time passing it I thought I would take a few shots as it was really quite a beautiful leaf.

Here is the same leaf shot on top of the macro studio at the same angle, without the softening effect of the paper, receiving direct light from the sun.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cardboard Camera

Inspired by a contest on the site Farktography I decided to build a camera after researching just what a 'pin hole' camera was. Basically a light tight container with a sheet of photographic film and a small hole as the lens. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to develop my own film or even access to a dark room.

I did have access to cardboard, tape and my own digital camera.

The best picture so far with the Cardboard Cam 2

Cardboard Cam 1

The first of the card board cameras was made by guess work. I made a light tight box about 12cm high using an old box. The hole in the centre is the lens and the larger square hole is for my cell phone's camera. Rather than taking photographic film and using that, I decided to use another camera to take a picture of the image appearing on the inside of back of the box.

This is the best picture from Cardboard Cam 1. It is actually a flourescent light, right above the table where I built CC1. It is rather blurry and dark. Two problems with CC1 were the lens being much too wide (roughly 4x the diameter that would have been optimal) and the 'film' the cell phone's exposure being much too fast.

After some research, I found the formula to calculate the size of the hole for the lens.


Got a bigger box and created Cardboard Cam 2.

The small hole in the centre is the lens just like the first camera. However, now it is about half a millimeter in diameter. The larger hole is for the lens of my DSLR camera. The other tabs of paper with holes are additional pinhole lens for the CC2.

A pinhole camera has an extremely small aperature, letting in very little light. Experimenting with the length of time resulted in this interesting series of pictures.
I have left the images unedited and uncropped here. The round, white areas sometimes on the corners are parts of the outside of the cardboard box.

8 second exposure.

4 seconds

2 seconds

1 second

0.5 seconds

1/10 second

By the last of the photos in this series everything is looking quite dark despite it
being about 2pm. I think with if I refined the lens a bit more and used even shorter exposure time with increased magnification it might be possible to see details such as sunspots on the sun.
1/15 second
It might be the corona of the sun or blurring caused by the edges of the hole being used for the lens.

Another interesting effect using a pinhole camera is to use two holes at the same time.

Same as above, just cropped for effect.

Same shot as the first in the post, here uncropped. The pinhole lens casts the image not just on the back of the box but on all of the inside surfaces where a straight line of light can pass through the lens and hit the inside of the box.