Mimicking a toy camera’s look and feel

Posted: November 28, 2009 in photography, xavier

Last photoshop class Karl introduced us to toy cameras. He brought 2 cameras in, one of which was made by lomography. The ethos behind toy cameras is that there are no rules, just take photos without worrying what all the functions are on the modern day cameras. Toy cameras take film, usually square film, are plastic, cheap looking, have a single unknow fixed aperture and a button. The whole point is simplicity. Here are ten rules taken from the Lomography website:

  1. Take your camera everywhere you go.
  2. Use it any time – day and night.
  3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.
  4. Try the shot from the hip.
  5. Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible.
  6. Don’t think. (William Firebrace)
  7. Be fast.
  8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film.
  9. Afterwards either.
  10. Don’t worry about any rules.

The photos taken by toy cameras have a number of common attributes. High contrast, sharp in the middle and blurred round the edges, vignetting. The characteristics displayed by cheap cameras are often unwanted, but these inperfections always lead to a unique, individualistic style.

In class we took a photo and used photoshop to erode the image so it looked like it was taken by a toy camera. Here’s my first attempt:

Before photoshop

After photoshop

Not too bad an effort. I tried again with a photo I took in Rome’s Navona Piazza.

Before photoshop

After photoshop

  1. Foosball is the perfect subject for this type of photography. It’s half photo half video that results.

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