Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shooting TTV: When Old Meets New

Shooting "Real" TTV: You may be wondering what to do with your old film cameras that may or may not be in working condition. An interesting way to combine old and new technology is to shoot through the viewfinder, or TTV. One of the most common cameras being used for this technique is the Kodak Duaflex, but any camera with a large waist level type viewfinder will do.
The Duaflex has a convex viewfinder which creates a nice edge effect.In addition to the Duaflex, you will need a digital SLR with a macro lens. A lens with an extension tube or a close up filter would also work. In order to keep most of the light out and avoid glare on the viewfinder, you will also need material to build a shade which you will shoot the viewfinder through. I used cardboard and duct tape that I spray painted black. To determine the height of the box, focus the SLR and lens you are using on the viewfinder so that it fills as much of the shot as possible and measure the distance between the SLR camera and the top of the Duaflex (or other viewfinder model).

My finished product looked like this:
The images have a vintage feel with the immediacy that comes with using digital technology. This technique is also nice for creating texture and a different look without using Photoshop.

Shooting "Fake" TTV: You can also create this effect in Photoshop if you take one shot TTV on a white background to use as a "filter", or download a pre-made TTV filter.Once you have the TTV image, pick any image you would like to transform. Open both images in Photoshop. Select "all" in your TTV image and copy your selection. Now click on your regular image and paste the TTV image into this image (I resized my image to more closely match the TTV image). You will not be able to see through the pasted TTV shot until you select the layer with the TTV image and switch the drop down menu from normal to multiply. Now you can choose to manipulate the opacity until the desired effect is produced. I also selected my background layer and adjusted the brightness a little higher since the TTV layer darkened the original layer.
Either way you do it, this process produces a fun effect that is rapidly growing in popularity!

~Christina Hodgen