Invite “Bob” Into Your Life (And Into Your Camera!)


Like a lot of you, I’ve been carrying my cardboard cutout of Bob in my camera bag for the last few months looking for locations and backdrops that would reveal Bob at his best. And, like a lot of you, I have become frustrated at times with Bob’s fickle nature as he’s swept away by wind, waves, or friendly dogs. So when Lomography and Have You Seen Bob joined to sponsor a Have You Seen Bob photo contest, I knew that I wanted to shoot Bob again but I also knew that I wanted it to be different than before.

Bob is a short cardboard cutout that you can get from the Have You Seen Bob website and the idea is that photographers from all over the world would get a Bob figurine and photograph it in all different settings and post their photos on the website. Cool idea! Several hundred photographers from around the world agree and have posted their work. Along with the challenges of shooting Bob listed in the introduction is the challenge of depth of field—how to keep both Bob and the background reasonably sharp. One answer is masks. Here’s how:

First step was to scan my Bob and then use Photoshop’s Magic Wand or Lasso tools to select just the silhouette and eliminate the white background and saved the resultant file.

Next, I created several new files measuring 2 1/2 × 2 1/2 inches at 360 DPI and copied and pasted the Bob file into them in different sizes, colors, locations, etc. I have a plug-in for Photoshop that has a bunch of frames and borders (or you can find borders on the web or make you own) and I decided to use some of them to add a little more interest.

I copied and pasted all of my mask files into a new 8 1/2 × 11 inch file and printed it on HP Premium Transparency Film, then cut out each mask and taped them inside my Diana MPO and Holga cameras. Remember to install the mask UPSIDE DOWN in the camera if you want it to be right side up in the final image.

Try it and be sure to enter your best images in the Have You Seen Bob photo contest.

written by kdstevens on 2011-09-29 #gear #tutorials #art #tipster #bob-bob-masks-have-you-seen-bob-contest-ohp-film-mask-holga-masks


  1. renenob
    renenob ·

    I tried this too, using positive and negative masks.

  2. gm_mcleod
    gm_mcleod ·

    Very cool. I've wanted to do this but haven't had the time yet. I like the coloured one and the one with bobs head, and two other bobs.

  3. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·

    Screw you. (just jealous cuz you're going to win)

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