No English? No Problem!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

FilmOut, out and about

So after my previous try with the FilmOut, (reviewed in a previous blog post here) I thought the pictures were nice enough to give it one more try but that I had to be careful of light leaks. I loaded the camera with Kodak Gold 400 (never forget what film you are using again!) and set out with noble intentions.

Here are the better shots, the rest are also uploaded on my Lomohome

(I'm amazed at how much natural light there is in the Ritz)

So since this is a review, what are my thoughts on the camera?

- It's very small and so easy to carry around
- You will always know what kind of film you are using
- It's a crappy point and shoot, so don't expect good lenses, focus or flash capabilities. In fact, I had problems with the positioning because I would think I was holding it straight but some of the pictures turned out slightly crooked. This is a problem I never had with my other (larger) point and shoots.

But the main lesson that was reinforced with this camera is a simple one that anyone following photography should remember:

Always follow the light

I'm not sure where I read this or which photographer said this, but always in basic photography, if you are mindful of where the light is, you cannot go wrong. 

I applied this a lot when I was using the FilmOut and always made sure there was natural light coming from somewhere. (Indoor lighting does not work as well, the pictures will still turn out dark on film) Even in the indoor shots, as long as there was a natural light source somewhere, the picture still developed nicely. (although I'm still surprised at the amount of natural light that shone into the Ritz-Carlton) 

It doesn't mean that anyone with a DSLR and a couple of huge-ass lenses can become a great photographer. Much still depends on the skill and eye of the person behind the camera. Learn some of the basic concepts of photography, like the rule-of-thirds and composition, experiment a lot, learn from your mistakes and even with a $10 crappy camera, you can still take good pictures. :) 

Other stuff:
I found another blogger online who bought the same camera! You can see his photos here.
This is a good page on taking photos with digital point and shoots at Petapixel.
Another photographer who shoots from the hip is Daido Moriyama. Here is a video showing how he works.

Inspired to try one? The Lomography website has tons of photos taken by film point-and-shoot cameras. This is what I got from one search.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Craft: Notepad holder

I have a secret guilty pleasure: I like notebooks. I especially love those with blank empty pages because they feel full of potential to become full of well-drawn sketches and interesting ideas, whether or not I actually manage to fill them up!

From a love of notebooks, one day, I discovered the art of bookbinding and realized another thing: Instead of buying notebooks and collecting them, I could make them for myself! What a brilliant thing! 

So every now and then, I experiment and try my luck with scrap paper and cheap notepads. Sometimes I have total disasters that I have to throw, sometimes I land up with something that just maybe is usable and sometimes, I have a success!

This one I made is closer to a success. I thought of doing a notepad holder because I have a bunch of A6 notepads which are easier to carry around than my larger journal, and I also thought they would look nicer in a holder that I could re-use every time the paper ran out. I have a bunch of paper and thin card and I had a Typo envelope that I liked the look of, so why not? 

I finished this in one afternoon (with one loooong break in between for lunch and shopping) and I'm quite happy with the result. It looks nice and because I used more cardboard, it's stiff enough to hold the notepad without bending. Also with the elastic band, I can take out the notepad and change it with a new one when the paper runs out.

And so, the instructions!

Crafting a Notepad Holder

You will need: 
Paper for the cover (I used a Typo envelope)
Paper for the inside cover (mine is a striped pattern, from a book I got from Daiso)
Thin cardboard (I used free flyers)
An elastic band (you can buy a packet from Daiso)
Stapler or needle and thread

1. Measure the flyers and cut them to fit your notepad. ( I was lucky because the flyers I chose were just half a inch larger than my notepad, so no cutting here for me ) Then stick them together so that they are as hard as a paperback's cover. ( I used two, but if you have good quality cardboard, you could probably just use one.) Since I used two pieces of different sizes, I also cut the four corners off so I could fold the edges down. I felt this would give the edges extra strength.

2. Cut the envelope and choose one side to be the front cover. Then put it down facing downwards and lay the cardboard on top. Fold down the edges and glue them down. The cardboard will add strength to the holder.

3. Take the coloured paper for your inside cover. Measure it so that it fits and paste it down. If the front cover is longer like mine is, fold the edges inward like in the 2nd picture.

4. To attach the notepad, I stretched a piece of elastic across the notepad so that I knew how long a piece I needed. I then cut it off and because I'm a lazy boredslacker, I stapled the elastic to the cover. More hardworking types can use needle and thread to sew it on. 

The finished notepad holder, from the outside and the inside with the notepad inside. For a personal touch, I took some excess paper that I had cut off for the inside cover and pasted it on the outside. 

Looks great in pictures, but mind you, I did not show you:
- The mess of paper and stationery strewn around me on the floor
- My intense concentration when cutting and measuring and praying that I didn't do something wrongly
- Me having to stop every 10 minutes to position the materials nicely so that I could take a shot for the blog
- My irritated grunts when I found out I had stapled the elastic band wrongly and had to take out the staples
- More grunting when I was done and had to clean up the mess
- The holder doesn't close snugly so to close it, I had to loop an elastic band around it

Still, I do think it looks good. Can't wait to fill this with well-drawn pictures and interesting ideas. ( fingers crossed )