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Tracy Island, eat your heart out!

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Did anyone make Tracy Island as a kid? I did... well, kind of. I watched my Dad make it. When asking if I could do something to help, he would reply; "Staying out of the way is the most important way you can help, Son." Charming! All Dads are big kids I guess.

The ever extravagant David LaChapelle has taken the Tracy Island idea to his usual glamorous heights. Utilising a vast array of recycled materials such as egg cartons and beer cans, LaChapelle has created some extremely detailed models of industrial factories and petrol stations; turning the ugly into the beautiful. 

 

Currently on show at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York.


Eerie Exposures... I Just Don't Believe!

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I love all things horror but I love the fiction of it all. We've all seen these sorts of photos. Crude, grainy images that contain a human-like smudge. The following photos have been intensely studied by photography experts, but have still yet to be disproved as genuine paranormal images. Luckily, I am here to explain! 

Here is a man in a car. Behind him there appears to be a strange looking person with triangles for eyes. If you start to look at all the little shapes in the shadows you will see all sorts of eerie looking things. If I were the man behind the wheel, I'd be more concerned about the ghostly banana stuck to the side of the car!

Here is a man pretending to be a cowboy. Behind him is not the ghost of his cowboy ancestor but actually someone caught in the middle of answering natures call. Give him some privacy man!

That is clearly just a photo of a person. The strangest thing for me in the photo is the staircase - it looks magical!

This lady was obviously very tired one winter's day and decided to have a nap at church. She was so tired in fact, that she did not even notice the snowman on the bench behind her.

The person that took this photo claims that they could not see the 9ft ghostly figure when the shutter was pressed. It was very lucky then that they managed to frame the picture perfectly allowing a space  in case a ghostly specter did fancy popping into the shot! Also, the figure couldn't look more like the killer from the film Scream if it tried!

This photo was taken by a sailor to capture the floating heads he saw in the sea. Maybe instead of running to grab his camera, he should of ran to grab a couple of life jackets! Anyway, I think the spookiest thing in this photo is the mysterious, giant, white arrows!  

Here's a photo of a ghostly figure that seems to be holding a camera. Maybe the ghost's photos are more convincing than this prankster's! 

Here is a child out past their bedtime. All be it it's a scary looking child, but a child non the less. I'd send them to bed without supper for causing such a stir in the ghost hunter world.

This is less of a supernatural encounter and more of a super eager photobomb. Someone has jumped into shot and in the excitement lost they're head in a blur of slow action shutters.  

Think you can do better? We want to see your best spooky photos this Halloween. Click here to upload your photos and be in with a chance of winning a BLOOD RED Phlib 4x4.


Good luck. Stay scary! Carl.

 

p.s.


The Magic of Coloured Film

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Do you ever wish that grass was red, dogs were blue and milk was green? Well maybe not the last one, but sometimes it's great to see things how they are not. A great way of experiencing this is with the magic of coloured film. Colours are magically changed from what you see when taking the photo. Obviously this could be achieved with a photo editing program like Photoshop but where's the fun in that. With film the results are much more exciting and unexpected. The following photos were taken using Lomochrome Purple film. Greens are transformed into unearthly purples and blues given a green glow. 

This next batch are taken with Kodak Aerochrome Infrared Film. It's an extremely rare film but you'll be a happy bunny if you can get your hands on a roll. The results are majestic! Greens are sent into a blase of red and orange while blues are blackened with a pulse of green. It's like a mutant autumn.

The last batch are more subtle but just make me feel so happy! They were shot with Lomography Lobster Redscale film and turn everything into the end of an amazing summer's day. I love it.

Although I love these photos, I certainly wouldn't consider using coloured films all the time... it's just too much! But used in moderation they can really dramatise your photo albums.

 

Taken any photos with coloured films? Show us what you've got on our Facebook page.

 

Peace out and have fun, Carl.


Phlib: the next generation

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I am delighted to announce that Harry has just become a Father. Little Coco is a bundle of joy and features heavily on the office Phlib frames. Congratulations Harry!

 


Bigger is better!

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News just in... the 5x5 Hipstamatic frame is available! You'll have to be quick though because we only have a limited run. Don't miss out on your chance to be in the very select 5x5 crew!

 

Each frame holds 25 photos which is the largest Phlib frame to date. We had a little play around though and created the 10x10! 100 hundred of your favourite Hipstamatic photos, filling most of your wall! All you need is 4 of the 5x5s. It's our most affordable photowall to date!

 

Grab yours here! 

 
                               

 


Kazanjian Stitch

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Check out these fantastic images by Jim kazanjian! Jim stitches random architecture together to create structures that are totally dystopian yet completely beautiful.

 

 

 

Wow! Peace out, Carlos. 

 
                               

 


Photogenic Alchemy

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Has anyone ever wanted to get into developing their own photos but have been put off by expensive chemicals? I know I have. If you like the unpredictability of film photography, then you'll love this solution! Photographer Matthew Cetta has been doing some very fascinating experimenting with using various household chemicals to develop photo film. The project is called Photogenic Alchemy and could be viewed as a crossover between art and science.  

“A photograph, in its most elemental form, is nothing more than a chemical reaction, Photogenic Alchemy is an attempt to alter that chemical reaction using my own set of catalysts as an exercise in controlled chaos.” says Matthew.

Here are the results of some of these day to day chemicals.

Coca-cola

Vinegar

Absinth

Olive brine

Ambien

Hydrogen peroxide & nail polish remover

Ammonia

Febreeze

Champagne

Cough syrup

Colour safe bleach

 

I know that many of you have been experimenting with DIY film photography. You've made your pinhole cameras, now's your chance to have fun developing with no expensive chemicals.

 

Let me know how you get on! Peace out, Carl.

 

                               

 


Beer can cameras!

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The photo above looks like some kind of strange littering but in fact it's recycling at it's best. This is a camera made by Matt Bigwood out of an old beer can. Matt has been a photographer for nearly 20 years and has recently been crafting his art with home made pinhole cameras. This particular project was a lengthy and unpredictable one but has had some amazing results!  
  
The exposure time for these photos were, wait for it... SIX MONTHS! I don't know if I could be that patient!
 
The images are very intriguing, but there were risks in leaving the cameras up for so long. Matt set-up 5 cameras at the start of the project and came out with 3 at the end of the 6 months. One went missing (perhaps it was mistaken for rubbish!) and another was damaged fairly early on. I would be extremely annoying if all 5 of the cameras were disposed of after 5 months of waiting!
  
If pinhole photography interests you, then check out our blog; How to build a pinhole camera.

Peace out, Carl.

                               

 


DIY camera from Lomagraphy

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Do you like building models? And do you like photography? (...of course you do!) If these two things tickle your fancy then the good people at Lomography have just the thing for you; The Konstruktor camera.   


The Konstruktor is a build-your-own camera kit. Not only is this great for DIY enthusiasts, but also for people that would like to learn more about how photography works and what it is exactly, the camera is doing. 


It has been so many years since I've owned a piece of kit like this. The most satisfying part is always breaking off the pieces! 


As you can see from the video below, there are quite a lot of very fiddly components in the camera and a little patients is probably necessary! Lomography has some very detailed and helpfuls resources on not just building the camera, but operating it too. Check it out here.  

 

I personally found making a pinhole camera a little too fiddly so I think I'd struggle with this! This DIY 35mm camera comes in at a very reasonable £29.99. Buy yours here. Worth checking out for something to do during the rain!

Peace out, Carl

                               

 


Cool or creepy?

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It sounds like something out of 1950's science fiction, but HD video camera glasses are now available to the masses! 

Sounds like a fantastic innovation - but you only have to look at the guy below to see that there is some room for misuse! Luckily they don't look inconspicuous. There is very blatantly a camera in the bridge of the nose which would thwart any sneaky spy attempts.   

 
There's a mini SD slot that will take up to 16GB of recording! The battery however is limited to just 50 minutes. 

 
Could certainly add something different to your home videos.



Buy the HD You Vision Video Glasses at the Photojojo Store!
So... do I think these are cool or creepy? Well, both actually. I do think the idea is very quirky and embarraces the 1950s retro futurism that I love. But I also think if the technology allows these spec to become a lot more discrete, then in the wrong hands, this product could actually be quite worrying!

Peace out, sleep well, Carl. 

                               

 


How to Unload Your Pinhole Camera Film.

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So you've built your camera, filled you film with (hopefully) wonderful photos and now you want to get them developed. Here's how to safely remove your film without light leaks or damage. Doing it this way also means you can use the camera body again and again! 

The first thing you need to do is remove the plastic clicker. If you try to wind the film back with the clicker in place, you risk tearing the film. Peel away some of the tape around the clicker, remove it and then tape back down to ensure it's lightproof again. Be careful not to tape the film down or you won't be able to rewind it!

Now simply rewind the film back into the original canister. I found the easiest way was to use both hands - one on each film. Gently turn both canisters anticlockwise until the film is back to it's original position. You may want to create another ring pull winder to make it easier. I didn't bother though - too eager to see my photos!

  

Once your film is nicely wound back into the canister, your photos are safe - hurray! Peel back the tape connecting the canister to the matchbox. Do this gently if reusing the camera. Now cut the film from the empty canister and you're all set to get them developed. 

When developing your photos it's best to tell the lab that the film came from a pinhole camera and that the frames may be a little irregular. Probably best to just ask for developing and scanning; you can then choose how your photos are cropped instead of the lab cutting photos in half because of their irregular spacing.

 

So that's how you unload your pinhole camera! I hope lots of you give this a try because it's a lot of fun. The results can be messy and completely unexpected, but that's all part of the fun! If you want to re-use your camera, simply attach the clicker to the new film, remove the tray, tape the film back to the remainder of the old film, re-insert the tray and tape shut. Now your ready to go again. This time you'll probably have a lot more knowledge about what does and doesn't work and as a result, your photos will be better this time! If your photos were disappointing the first time around, I recommend giving it another shot.


To see the photos from my first roll click here. Don't forget to show us what you come up with on our Facebook page. Peace out and happy clicking!

- Carl


                               

 


I Made a Pinhole Camera! Here's How to Make Yours!

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A pinhole camera is a small camera with no lens, just a small aperture. Effectively it's a lightproof box with a tiny tiny hole. The light that passes through the hole projects an image onto the film inside. Here's my attempt - it's not pretty but it works! I learnt this technique from matchboxpinhole.com. Here's a list of everything you'll need to make your own.

  • Ruler
  • Plastic binder
  • Aluminium can
  • New roll of 35mm film (and the box)
  • An old roll of 35mm film (with 1cm film left on the roll)
  • Match box
  • Small sewing needle or pin
  • Scissors
  • Black tape
  • Sellotape
  • Craft nice
  • Black marker pen


First thing’s first, we’re gonna build the camera body. This is what the matchbox is for. Take out the match tray and mark out a 24mm square, smack bang in the centre. This will give you square format pictures. If, however, you want rectangular photos, you need to use a 36mm x 24mm rectangle instead.

 

Now you need to cut the shape out. The cut edges will be the edges of the photos, so if you cut is rough, the frames of your photos will be rough! You might prefer this!

You don’t want any extra light getting into the camera so internal reflections in the camera need to be reduced. This is where the marker pen comes in handy! Colour the inside of the tray and ideally the matchbox sleeve too.

 

Mark and cut out a 6mm square in the centre of the matchbox sleeve. This cut needs to be very neat because rough fibres could obscure the image.

 

Now you need to make the pin hole. First thing you need to do is drink your drink! I went for a nice ale to help warm up this wintery month. Cut out a 15mm square, then using the needle, gently press and twist into the metal to create a tiny hole. Don’t be too rough, the aim is to produce a very small hole - about 0.2mm - with a nice clean edge. I pushed the pin too far through and the hole was a bit to big so had to try again. Go slowly and get it right. 

  
Once you’ve made the hole, colour the back to reduce internal reflections.
 

Place the aluminium onto the match box so that the hole is in the middle, and then secure all sides with the black tape.

  
Like all cameras, we need a shutter to control the light that is exposed to the film. We’re gonna use the box from the film for this. You need to cut out two pieces. The first is a 32mm square and the second is a 25mm x 40mm rectangle. Once that’s done, cut a 6mm square into the centre of the square.
 

Then, colour the rectangle with the pen to help prevent light leaks. I coloured both sides just to be safe.  

Place the square over the pinhole, tape down three sides making sure to leave the top free for the shutter. Now slide the rectangle into the gap, making sure it covers the pinhole completely. This is the shutter - exciting!

   
Instead of guessing how far along you need to wind the film after each photo, we're gonna incorporate a little clicker to tell us when to stop winding. For this you need to take the spiral ring binder and trim off one of the loops. 

Place this loop on the new film canister making sure the point enters the sprocket holes of the film. Now tape into place. To test it out, pull the film out slightly, the plastic should slip in and out of each hole smoothly producing a slight click as it goes.

 

Cut the edge of the film off square ready to load the camera. Pull out some film and feed through the camera, remembering to make sure the emulsion is facing the pinhole. The emulsion is the non-shiny side of the film.

 

You need to make sure there is some left over film protruding from the old film canister. Tape this very neatly and square to the new film roll. This needs to be aligned well so it can feed seamlessly into the canister. Make sure the empty canister is the opposite way up to the full one.

 

Now slide the tray back into the box. Make sure the film is at the back of the camera and the square/rectangle you cut into the tray is directly on the film.

 

Wind the film back into the fresh roll nice and tight. Hopefully you should be able to pull it tight enough that you have no film exposed. Now tape both films in place. Pay careful attention to the points where the film enters the canisters - you don't want to tape any of the film so it can't move. Be especially careful when taping the clicker. Try placing a small strip of card over the clicker where the film canister meets the matchbox. This means the film can move freely under the card.

Also take care where taping the canisters not to impede the film roll - you want to keep this free to wind film on! Make sure every area that could let light in is tape up, this will reduce the amount of light leaks in your photos.

 

To make it nice and easy to wind on, we're going to add a winder. For this we're just going to use the ring pull from the can. Simple. Just bend the bottom so that it fits into the small cylinder of the empty film canister. Then tape it in place. Be careful when taping that you don't obstruct the winding mechanism on the canister. You need to ensure that the film can still wind freely.

To stop the film winding back after you've wound it forward, you'll need to add some tension. For this were just gonna use a bit of tissue. Stuff the tissue into the hole at the other end of the empty canister, then use a piece of tape over the tissue to secure it. Remember you want resistance, but you still need the film to wind on! 

 

That's pretty much your camera done! Because some of the exposure times can be quite long, I'm taping mine to a small piece if card and attaching it to a mini tripod. Simply resting the camera on a steady surface will work just fine though.

 

So there it is - It's not pretty but it's a lot of fun! Time to get out and take some photos. To take a photo, simply remove the piece of shutter card that's covering the pinhole. Make sure you remember to replace the piece of card when finished to stop the exposure. Your camera's f number is roughly f8. Use these timings as a loose guide for ISO 100 or 200 film:

Outside (sunny): 1 - 2 seconds.

Outside (cloudy): 5 seconds

Indoors (regular room lighting): 5 - 10 minutes 

'How do I know how long to wind the film after each photo?' I hear you ask. Well if you've opted for the square hole in the tray (24mm), then 6 clicks should be enough. If you went for the 36 x 24mm rectangle then go for 8 clicks. It's easy to forget to wind the camera on if your used to digital photography, but that can have some pretty interesting effects! Read our blog about double exposures here.

I bet you're wondering what masterpieces I created with this little pile of tape and card... check them out here!

When the film won't wind any further, you've reach the end. How sad - yet exciting! To rewind the film you need to undo some tape and remove the clicker. Light proof it again with the tape and rewind the film back into it's canister. For a more detailed guide on safely removing the film, click here. This way you'll be able to use the camera again by adding a fresh roll of film!

Enjoy! Do let us see what you come up with on our Facebook page. Peace out and happy snapping, Carl.

                               

 


Flying stuff...

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I love these photos! They were taken by Belgium-based photographer Manon Wethly - many of the series with just an iPhone.

The concept is simple; throw some liquid into the air and take a picture! The results are far from simple. The shapes are so intricate and exciting! They are an absolute pleasure to look at.






Why not try this yourself!? Let me know what you come up with!

Peace out, Carlos.

                               

 


The All New Hipstamatic Photo Explosion...

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Our Hipstamatic frames have always been the coolest way to display your Hipstamatic & Instagram photos. We then introduced the 9 piece Hipstamatic explosion where your favourite Hipstamatic photo was split across your entire Phlib frame. Well now we've gone one step further! Introducing... the 36 piece Hipstamatic photo explosion! This is your favourite Hipstamatic photo, split across 4 (FOUR!) Phlib frames.

Check out our 4 frame Hipstamatic mega bundle here. Get 4 Phlib Hipstamatic frames with a whopping £60 saving! With the Hipstamatic mega bundle you get the option of 36 single photos or the 36 piece photo explosion!

Be part of the revolution. Photos belong on your wall... not your phone!


                               

 


Cardboard Cities

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Were you one of those children growing up that look at a cardboard box and saw anything but a cardboard box? I know I was but never did my visions match those of advertising photographer Andy Rudak. Focusing his attention on a more personal project Andy has teamed up with the supreme set-builder Luke Aan de Wiel to create the magical images below. These cityscapes are built entirely out of cardboard! As great as the planes, trains and automobiles I produced as a child were, they didn't quite have the attention to detail that Andy has. 

"I knew I wanted the shots to portray a scene of serenity" Andy says, "I had decided I wanted these scenarios to be void of any obvious human presence so I used an animal for each shot as the main focal point. From this I was drawn to the idea of the taxidermy animals. I felt they were crucial to achieving the feeling of serenity I was after."




I want to live here! Check out more of Andy's work here.

Peace out, Carl.

                               

 


Phlib loves the Lomography Spinner!

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Have you ever heard of the Spinner 360 by Lomography? It's awesome! It lets you take 360 panoramas in a second. There's no need for a tripod so you can take your panoramas to some pretty exciting places. Check out the video below to see how it works. 

Harry has been experimenting with the Spinner and as well as having a load of fun, he found that the photos are very compatible with a number of Phlib frames!  The frame combinations used in this blog are:

  • 3 Phlib 2x2s
  • Phlib 1x4 + 2 Singles
  • 4 Phlib 3x3s
  • Phlib 3x3


What a great way to experiment with photography and also displaying photography! Love these.

Peace out, Carl.


                               

 


Kellner's Eiffel Tower

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German photographer Thomas Kellner has a pretty interesting approach to photography. He breaks architecture down over a series of photos and then rebuilds them by collaging the images. He has applied this to some of the worlds most iconic buildings. Below is his project on the Eiffel Tower. Each image was assembled from a single roll of film. The resulting images are something that resemble the Centre Pompidou more than the iconic 19th century girder construction.




On my trip to Paris, the Eiffel Tower didn't really excite me. It certainly impressed me, but I do wish it was built like this! 

Peace out, Carl.


                               

 


Unseen Hong Kong

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Hong Kong's wealth has reached an all-time highest in 2011 while now there are around 100,000 people living at inadequate housing such as sub-divided units, rooms, cubicles, bed spaces  cocklofts, roof-top huts in Hong Kong. By using the voice of the photos, the exhibition unveils the dark side of the metropolitan and shows the toughness of the underprivileged in urban slums. According to official statistics, over 320,000 people are on the waiting list of public rental housing and the number is increasing due to the insufficient allocated units every year, decrease of newly built flats every year and increasing number of working poor and needy.

In an attempt to draw attention to the issue, human rights organization Society for Community Organization commissioned a series of photos depicting the extremely cramped conditions of the poorer parts of Hong Kong.






                               

 


James and other Apes...

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Here's another great project by photographer James Mollison. Struck by the facial similarities between apes and humans, James went out to Cameroon to photograph a series of portraits of wild primates. In James' words; "Humans are clearly different to animals, but the great apes inhabit that grey area between man and animal." 

 

Katie here looks quite a lot like my Dad!


Kitwiti.


LaVielle


Lisala.

Click here to check out the rest of the ape series. 

Peace out, Carl.


                               

 


Deconstructing the Houses

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Michael Jantzen's "Deconstructing the Houses" is a series of photo collages which visually deconstruct parts of the real world that we normally think of as stable. Sections of the photos are simply rotated out of their normal positions relative to the whole image in order to create the illusion of fragmentation, and then reconstructed into a new hybrid image. 

 



 

I studied architecture at university and if any of my buildings had actually been build, it would only have been a matter of time until they crumbled into something very similar!
 
Check out more of his work here.
Peace out, Carl.