David's Blog

Tag: DIY

3D Printing A Lens

With constant spam from Kickstarter and Indegogo about affordable (around $2,000) desktop 3D printers I took to twitter to vent my confusion in 128 characters:

“While I’m glad the future is now, what dos anyone need with a home 3D printer?” 

I got nothing. One could say this is due to my minor twitter following and my minuscule dent in the constant cesspit of twitter self gloats and 24h annoyance. However I would rather see it as proving my point: there really is no need for one. And then I came across this tumblr, where someone has actually printed his own 3D lens. A photograph of what it takes is below, and while nothing special I am deeply amazed by what you can now do in your own living room.

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The future really is now! And if you excuse me I am off to buy a 3D printer, you can get on for only $2,000 I here…  

 

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Turn Your Iphone Camera into a Macro Lens

As regular readers will know I love a bit of DIY photography and filmmaking. I stumbled access this tutorial on Artfidio.com  and without an Iphone or laser to try it out on thought I would share it her to see if anyone can use it and get their desired shot

 

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OK guys, happy snapping! 

Photo Stitching

My girlfriend has taken up stitching with her (great) Grandmother’s old sewing machine. I have been doing some stitching myself, but not with needles and thread but photographs and an editing software.

Friends who do not own DSLRs and Photoshop moan to me that they have not been able to do any of my blogs so far, so this is a simple technique that can be done with ANY type of camera (or camera app) and any type of photo editing software (for a free alternative to photoshop look at Gimp, if you have a mac Pixelmator is well worth it’s £10).

Panorama’s are all in at the moment thanks to some brilliant apps on smart phones but I have a few problems:

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1. the image quality is not great

2. the image is too trimmed (which means you are stuck doing landscape shots)

3. They never look as good as you hope

By digitally stitching together pictures you can have full control over the image. When taking pictures there are several things to remember:

1. make sure your images can be overlapped, it is useless if there is a gap.

2. make sure there is a ‘point’ to an image being so large, if you want to show say a ladybird on a leaf, is stitching loads of images around the lady bird going to make the eyes focus on that little red and black specimen?

3. Have you got everything you need? Remember the image will have to be cropped, so shoot a bit of sky or ground if you need

4. Make sure you take the pics pretty darn quick so the image looks like it was all in one shot and make sure the camera exposure is consistent.

5. Have fun 🙂

Now when you put the photographs side by side in your application they’re going to look like what they are, a jumble of shots side by side. So now you have to take those pictures and overlap them where they correspond and start rubbing out the edges and duplicates. This is the most time consuming part, the heading photo was quick as it was five different tripod shots (18mm lens, 600d) while the shot at the end of this post took a little longer as I needed to crop, resize and duplicate some of the images to get all the tree trunk and surrounding canopy (that shot was taken a Nikon D300 with 17-200mm lens.) But why be so linear? Big spaces are what the panoramic image was made for but with stitching you can go in any direction. This bug below was first shown on my Lens Duplication Reversion Blog but as as equally at home here. Why? Because it is actually many many many images all crammed into one, as the image next to it shows:

bug and shots

Also why do you even have to hide it’s a collection? Why not show it for what it is? A higgledy piggledy messy collage? Isn’t that right Jellings? (that’s James Jellings on the top right…he’s a friend from the uni days). I am going to do more posts on this soon as I think there’s a lot more to say on the subject but for now comment with anything you have to say and flick through my flickr set.

garlic forest

Double Lens Reversing (or DIY Macro)

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For the last few weeks I have been playing around with Double Lens Reversing shots, a simple process where you add a reversed lens over an attached one to create a DIY Macro photograph. The process is a revelation to me and I have been embarrassing my girlfriend by every moment possible crouching down near anything, holding a two lenses together and rocking backwards and forwards slowly to try and find the focus (this is actually how you focus, you also have to get very very close to the subject), looking something like this:

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You can do an array of different shots from the picturesque, like the daffodil  heading this blog to the grotesque little critter that flew onto my book below.

Fly

For these shots I used a sigma 70-300mm Zoom lens attached and the standard canon kit lens the 18-55 reversed on top. Although for different results any can be used, you could even hold a non-standard lens in front, some of my best shots where taken with my trusty helios 44 2.0.

There are some issues. It will always be a small vignetted image and it would be hard to get a full creature (unless tiny) in one frame. These problems can be got around though with the help of post-production. Adobe, Gimp, Pixelmator heck even MS Paint, whatever tool you use can crop the image getting rid of the black vignette around. By collaging/digitally stitching pictures together you can create whole beings in all their macro magnificence. The shot below was done on Photoshop and is six different images, it is by no means a perfect image but you can see the potential within.

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A more pressing issue is the lack of light, I put the ISO to the max (for me 6,400) and the shutter speed right down to its fastest, this is to minimise any shake wich WILL occur. This I’m afraid can not be sorted out in post and the only help I can give is to advise you to take the shoots outside in full daylight or bring as much light onto the subject as possible, that fly shot was taken with a reading lamp, room light and flash, it was also shot on RAW to give me slight control in post.

One final issue that Im sure you’re already shouting at the screen about is the shakiness of holding two lenses together. Well my dears I have come up with a solution,  gasp at the wondrous contraption below:

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All you need is one empty Willaim Lawson’s vintage whisky case (and some friends to help you drink it would be beneficial, I suppose any whisky case of your choosing will do as they do not sponsor me…yet) your two lenses and a bit of foam to cushion the lenses in. This can be rested on your knee making a perfectly still(ish) shot. This will also work for moving images- more of wich will apear in a blog hopefully of the very near future.

If you have any queries,  suggestions or shots you would like to share please do get in touch. If you liked this post also say as it will motivate me to do more!  Here is my Flickr Set for all my try-outs, take a look and follow me, it would be brilliant to see others take these ideas and improve on them!