Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Digital lomography

How many of you have heard of lomography?
Seeing that this is (although scarcely populated and visited) arty-farty themed blog, there is a high possibility that you have.
To tell you the truth, i have a love-hate relationship with it. I don't talk about the usual criticisms of lomography.com you can find on-line. Yes they are after the money (as any other company), and yes they are overpricing the cameras you can find on the eastern european flea markets for pennies, but ok, it's their business model, and no one makes you buy from them (on the other hand, they are the ONLY distributors for LOMO cameras).
My main problem with them is the "lifestyle" part of their marketing. You know, the feel-nice, life-is-good, oh-look-at-the-cutesy-brightly-colored-plastic hipster bullshit. That and the fact that 99% lomographers keep shooting the same few motives over and over again.
mhhh...ok, enough of this rant, let's do something useful.
A year ago i got an korg's electribe sampler, for which korg decided to use a deprecated technology called smart-media (precursors to today's SSD and similar memory cards), and because of that, i could not find any new cards locally and reckoned that the easiest and cheapest way to obtain those is by purchasing them second hand from some photographer, as these cards were extensively used in early digital cameras. And i did find a photographer, but he only wanted to sell me his cards (32 and 64MB) if i bought them with his old camera...for 40 euros (new ones were around 50euros for a 128MB, and i could not find 64MB which is the maximum allowed capacity for the electribe).
So i bought the bloody camera, and until today it was left in some box.
I had in the back of my head that it would be kewl if i could hack it into something that might be useful to wifey and her experimental photo escapades.As it turns out, after gruesome opening and disassembly process, it is fairly easy to make the camera make glitched photos. I show you only the end result as i was intoxicated with solder fumes when it was open.

The hack is this: open your old camera, and locate the CMOS chip. It should be behind the lens. So what you should do is find the chip's pins on the other side of the PCB and carefully solder several thin wires to the top row of pins, then drill the case of the camera to pass the wires. What these wires now do is enable you to mix and mash colors which come to the optical chip, and this is rather fun. Now comes the fun part, assemble the camera, and play around with wires, you can touch them to one another, or you could make gradual changes if you solder some pots to the end of the wires, or, if you are feeling spontaneous, you can solder some light dependent resistors. What i am planning is a modular system, where you can exchange different parts, so stay tuned.

How is this digital lomography? Well, the faultiness of this old camera prevents you from having a screen for imaging, so you rely solely on heuristics for achieving the result, and this in turn leads to many happy accidents!

Until then, look at some quick pictures i made using this thing

6 comments:

Nit said...

Lomo lifestyle je i moj najveci problem sa "society-em". I stvarno, kao u nekoj losoj zaostaloj skolici, favorizuju identicne motive i pristupe. Sa druge strane, dobra fotografija je DOBRA FOTOGRAFIJA, bila ona lomo ili hi-end. Tako da se racuna samo produkt. A produkt ovih tvojih petljancija je fenomenalan.
On dovodi u pitanje i samu sustinu fotografije u digitalnom dobu. Digitalni fotoaparat sam generise sliku usled nekakvih elektro impulsa. Dakle njemu ne treba ni svetlo, sto znaci da digitalna fotografija uopste i nije FOTOgrafija!
E ja sam ozbiljno odusevljena ovim sto si uradio i volela bi da mi pomognes da napravim ovu igracku sebi ili bar da vidim uzivo to cudo sto si napravio.
Bravo. Bravissimo!

dogmeat said...

:) drago mi je da ti se dopada igracka, meni je super jer me podseca na artworke rob sheridana za nine inch nails. moram da provalim da li ovaj aparat ima "live feed", tj mogucnost da se koristi kao regularna kamera, ako moze to bi bio odlican izvor za neke zhive manipulacije.
sam aparat je jos uvek u "prototip" fazi, jer moram da sredim petljancije sa potenciometrima koji samo u ekstremnim polozajima daju zabavu, pa samim tim onemogucuju neko finije podesavanje same fotke.
a naravno da cu ti pomoci kad nabavis neko digitalno djubre, u principu je rastavljanje najkomplikovaniji deo posla, ali kad provalis kad/sta smes da chupas, nije nikakva frka. probaj limundo ili oglase, kapiram da nece mnogo izaci. e da, jos jedna zabavna stvar kod matorih digitalnih aparata je to sto oni (pravljeni do 2002., ako se ne varam) koriste neke cudne CMOS chipove koji mogu da uhvate infra-crveni spektar, pa ako stavis infra osvetljenje (jedna baterija i par IR led dioda = 50ak dindzi) mozes da pravis sulude kombinacije

Nit said...

Imam negde Kodak dc 120 1megapiksel iz 1996. godine! Problem je sto nema USB vec ide preko serial porta, mada to mozda moze da se sredi. Sad cu da ga iskopam.

to je sada kao muzejski primerak
Ko zna koje mogucnosti krije u svom glomaznom telu.
Pogledaj kako cudesno izgleda.

http://www.governmentauctions.org/uploaded_images/kodakdc10-705139.JPG

dogmeat said...

uf, problem je u tome sto vrlo lako moze da se desi da ne moze da se natera da radi pod winxp-om, pitanje je da li mogu da se nadju drajveri i whatever, aj probaj da ga nateras da radi i prebacuje fotke, ako moze, da sechemo :)

Nit said...

Uf, da...
to jeste problem. Prvo moram da nadjem kabl koji cu da uguram u komp a onda cu da probam da preko TWAIN-a prebacim fotografije u photoshop npr.
Mnogo sam se primila na ovaj tvoj pronalazak te cu dalje da istrazujem.

dogmeat said...

mislim da ti se najvise isplati da vidis neke prijatelje koji su kupili jevtinu kameru od 7-8 megapiskela da bi zamenili jevtinu kameru od pre 3-4 godine od 3 megapiksela :)