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The more do, the more you see

Some thougts about experimenting with photography.

These past two years, I’ve gone from just taking analogue photo’s to experimenting with all kinds of photographic tricks and techniques. This was helped by the fact that I started a blog on tinkering with things in general and photography in particular (http://demaakbarewereld.wordpress.com/, for those of you who read Dutch). I mainly write for fun, and I don’t have a lot of followers, but still I wanted to write at least a few blogposts every month, so I had to keep looking for new projects, things to try.

I thought that I would eventually run out of things. Matchbox pinhole – check. Trying out old camera’s – check. Hacking a disposable camera – check. There’s got to be a limit to stuff you can do, right? But I have found that the more different things you try, the more new possibilities open up.

The matchbox pinhole worked, so that gave me the confidence to try a solargraph. That worked as well, so I tried an anthotype. That’s still in progress (for lack uf sun), but it gave me the idea of combining a pinhole with an anthotype. No idea if it’ll work, but it’s a nice experiment.

The hacked disposable worked, and gave me the idea to try and do something with combining a regular camera (a hack borrowed from gndrfck’s Smena Siam). That worked as well, so now I’m brooding on a next step.

You see what I mean? One thing leads to another, and every experiment leads to a new one.

I have a whole list of stuff I still want to try out, from finishing that anthotype to making a slit scan camera. While I research these projects, I run into other fun experiments, that get added to my to-do-list. But I wouldn’t mind my list getting even longer.

So here’s my question to you: what other things should I try? I do my own processing, so I don’t mind weird formats or anywhing. I don’t have a lot of tools or money to buy expensive chemicals (so no silver gelatin or cyanotype or anything), but I do have a thrift store full of trash cams nearby. So anything that can be done with basic, everyday tools like screwdrivers, glue, tape, a small drill, household items. Or no tools at all: it doesn’t have to be hardcore camera hacking, I’m just as interested in cool tricks like microclicks or splitzers.

So tell me, what’s your killer tip on photographic experimentation?

written by stratski

3 comments

  1. carsten-schmitt

    carsten-schmitt

    Hm... of course expensive is a matter of perspective, but there are some pretty affordable materials for cyanotypes. There is even some ready-made "solar paper", e.g. from Astromedia which is really cheap.
    Another easy (but cheap) experiment would be to try Caffenol development. The effects as such are not that "freaky" but getting some perfectly developed negs out of a soup of instant coffee is cool. Try caffenol.blogspot.com for best effects.

    Maybe I can think of a few more things...

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. stratski

    stratski

    @carsten-schmitt: Hm, you're right cafenol should definitely be on my list. I've tried it a few times and failed spectacularly. I should keep trying.
    And I'll keep those kits in the back of my mind, for birthdays and holidays ;)
    Thanks for your tips!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. carsten-schmitt

    carsten-schmitt

    In that case you should check out that blog. You have to search for the information a bit but the content is great. I did my very first development ever with caffenol and found it to be a fairly easy and reliable process using the advice on that site and the sites that it links to

    over 1 year ago · report as spam