Martin Foot

Fun With Double Exposures

I found this photo that I took a while ago and wanted to share it. It’s a double exposure on the Lomo LC-A+ camera using their Splitzer accessory on Kodak Portra 400 film. The splitzer is a cool little accessory that allows you to selectively cover up parts of the lens. Combined with a camera with multiple exposure capability you can make some really cool images. This one is of the entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel near the Cutty Sark.

Double exposure at the Greenwich Foot Tunnel

I love this kind of image and it’s something I really want to develop in the future. It seems quite unpredictable because you’ll never be sure how they came out!

Testing a 1952 Kodak Retinette

Last year I was given a Kodak Retinette 17b by my grandfather. I remember spending a while looking through my grandparents photo album with photos from their lives from before I was born. My father had mentioned to my grandfather that I was interested in cameras, and he fetched their old camera and their photo album from its storage place. I looked at the camera then spent some time looking through the album. Old photos that show how others experienced life are always interesting but one photo stood out at me. It was taken on my grandparents’ wedding day and depicts my grandparents standing and smiling in front of the camera. What makes it special is that in my grandmother’s hand is something familiar - the same camera that was sitting right in front of me. It felt like I was holding a piece of family history.

The Retinette is 17b was produced between 1952 and 1954. The range is a less expensive version of the Retina cameras and it was aimed at enthusiasts. The 17b was the last model to have a folding lens, and mine features a Schneider-Kreuznach Remar 1:4.5 50mm lens. It’s in good condition and has the original leather container. It’s not a particularly expensive camera but it has great personal value. I loaded it with some FP4 that came in a second hand bulk loader I purchased, so I have no idea how old it is. Below you can find some photos from the test roll, self developed in Ilfosol 3.

Marching band at the Thames Festival

Art exhibition on the Thames

Tower Bridge

Dover tug from St. Katherine's Docks

Required tools

This is one of the reasons I love old film cameras. How many pieces of modern technology do you own that will still be working in 60 years?

Left Camera Project

A fun photography project that I saw recently involves leaving a disposable 35mm film camera in a public place with a sign reading along the lines of “take a photo! I’ll be back to collect the camera later.” You tie the camera to a bench or lamp post with the sign and leave, returning at the end of the day to see what’s happened.

The first reference I saw to a project like this was at The Plug (and part 2). More recently there’s been successful KickStarter projects that have helped publicise the idea. It’s quite beautiful really. The ‘photographer’ has no input into the photos at all. Each picture is entirely personal to the people who took it. It gives glimpses into the daily lives of entirely separate people. Each photo will be unique, and each camera in each place will be totally different.

I found that it’s possible to buy disposable cameras in the UK for £2 each - meaning that there’s only a minimal investment other than the time involved in placing the camera, so if it goes missing it’s not a huge monetary loss. The only real costs involved are when you go to develop the film.

All you need is a piece of cardboard, some string, scissors, a pen, and a disposable camera:

Required tools

Make your sign like so (I’ve seen some people do this by printing out a message and sticking it to the back of the camera):

An assembled sign

Pick a public place and leave the sign. Make sure to arrive early! I chose the viewpoint outside the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park, London, as it’s a very popular tourist attraction:

Camera in position

Waiting for the tourists

Unfortunately, by the time I got back to pick the camera up it had vanished. I think next time I’ll do two things more:

  • Tie the camera to the position with a length of string
  • Write a phone number on the back of the camera. Something along the lines of “If found please call XXXXXX”

Interestingly, being slightly miffed I posted to Twitter about the camera going missing, and shortly after the official Greenwich Park twitter account replied saying that somebody had tweeted a photo of it earlier in the day. I had a look at their timeline, and sure enough there it was. I scrolled back through their timeline and I could see a photo of the camera. In the photo I could see that 15 shots had been taken up until the time of the photo around 3pm. At least I know it was working. Better luck next time!