Tag: photography

Long before there were digital cameras, even before there were one-hour photomats, families captured their road trips on stylish twin-lens reflex cameras like the old Yashika Mat and the popular Kodak Reflex, the type of cameras that were held at waist level and produced snapshots in a classic, square-frame format.

Such cameras can still be found in working condition at just about any junk shop and can add a terrific vintage twist to a good, old-fashioned road trip. Problem is, most of them take film formats that can be difficult to find and expensive to process.

But now you can get your hands on a nifty retro-style TLR that takes regular 35mm film like you can find just about anywhere. The Blackbird Fly, by designer Superheadz, takes photos in three formats — typical 35mm, full-frame or square — and can be had with a face plate in black, white, teal, orange, yellow or red. It goes for a little over $100. ... Continued

Despite the scathing reviews on Neatorama, I rather enjoyed photographer Kevin Bauman's project titled 100 Abandoned Houses, in which he shot a hundred forgotten and decrepit houses viewed from the street.

If you're stuck at home like I am, holed up by the icy weather that's sweeping a good portion of the country, why not spend some time browsing through Google's archive of photos from Life magazine?

And if I might offer a suggestion, try searching for "New York World's Fair," which will reveal hundreds of captivatingly nostalgic images chronicling the architecture, rides, pavilions and events from both of the state's expos, held in 1939 and 1964.

Highlights include:

Enjoy, and stay warm!

Whenever I discover a good junk shop, my final act, after exploring every other dusty crevice for oddball antiques and rare tiki finds, is to locate the inevitable box full of other people's old photographs. I'll then spend an hour or two rustling through fragile, curled bits of paper, picking out the most unusual and enigmatic shots from the lives of people I've never met.

Until now, I've simply added all my photographic finds to a collection accumulating in my closet. Starting today, however, that collection will reside at Junk Shop Photos, a new photographic blog featuring all the unusual snapshots I've liberated from dust-covered obscurity.

Check them out, rate them and, by all means, add you own captions!

Apparently, the Far East is absolutely littered with amusement parks that just didn't fare so well. Left to the elements, their Ferris wheels, coasters and midways have quickly succumbed to the elements, creating magnificently surreal worlds of their own. Dark Roasted Blend, in a third installment to their series on abandoned amusement parks, takes a look at abandoned parks in South Korea, China, Laos and Japan through the photography of the urban explorers lucky enough to visit them. Be sure not to miss the first two parts, as well, linked below.

For reasons I can't sufficiently justify, I've taken a picture of every motel room I've stayed in for a little more than the past four years. I haven't the slightest idea what I plan to do with all of them, but once you start an obsessive hobby, it's hard to stop.

Regardless, none of the rooms I've photographed compare to the stylish and colorful midcentury lodgings pictured in Flickr user Roadsidepictures' collection of motel-room postcards.

Few vehicles capture the classic midcentury spirit like the Italian Vespa, a time-honored mode of transport that has maintained its stylish and practical design even into the 21st century.

If my circumstances permitted, I'd get my hands on a classic model myself and use it as my primary source of transportation. Unfortunately, the sprawling layout of Texas just doesn't accommodate the use of such a practical vehicle.

Still, that won't stop me from enjoying Huro Kitty's collection of vintage Vespa imagery as recently featured on D+R.

And if you like those, you'll also like the photographs of the exhibits and collections from the Piaggio Museum, the official museum of the Vespa's manufacturer located in Pontedera, Italy.

Today I've added a new word to my slowly growing Japanese vocabulary. Joining phrases for "one beer, please," "thank you" and "delicious," is haikyo, the word for urban exploration.

I was introduced to this term by the Web site Tokyo Times (via Dinosaurs and Robots), which has recently posted the third part in its series on Nitchitsu, an abandoned mining town three hours west of Tokyo and a site that now sits near the top of my list for urban ruins I most want to visit.

According to Tokyo Times, Nitchitsu housed around 3,000 people at its peak in 1965, but everyone has since moved out, leaving behind an astounding array of personal effects. The former doctor's office is especially intriguing with its piles of surgical intruments and shelves of preserved specimens, including what appears to be an honest-to-god brain in a jar.

This week, Google officially announced its new Life magazine photo archive, a freely accessible database offering imagery owned by Life and dating back to the 1750s.

So far, they've digitized about 20% of the imagery, some of which has never been published online. When complete, the collection will hold about 10 million images.

You can access the collection directly on a special landing page, or you can include the phrase source:life in a regular Google image search. ... Continued

For those lacking the patience necessary to snap legitimate UFO photos, The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry shows just how easy it is to skip all that boring vigilance and simply fake the damn things.

Astronomer Tom Callen offers advice on how to set up a proper green screen, how to match the lighting to your background shots and how to take atmospheric conditions into account when compositing your pictures in Photoshop.

And if you're too lazy to make your own UFO models, Callen also recommends a place called Lunar Models where you can just buy some.

In my own research, I've also come across a terrific site called Uforth that catalogs and classifies the most common UFO shapes and configurations, with plenty of photographs you can use as examples in creating your own images.

So, sit down, mash up some pics and show us what you can do. Share your hoax shots in comments below.

(At the time of this post, I'm having trouble accessing Lunar Models' Web site, so don't be surprised if you can't connect.)