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Disposable Film Festival – filmmaking workshop TODAY!

The Disposable Film Festival was created in 2007 to celebrate the artistic potential of disposable video: short films made on non-professional devices such as one-time use video cameras, cell phones, point and shoot cameras, webcams, computer screen capture software, and other readily available video capture devices. With people everywhere gaining access to these devices, we felt the time was right to draw attention to the creative potential of this new mode of filmmaking. Far beyond its initial roles for video blogging and documentation, the DFF offers a forum to display how disposable media can be used for creative purposes. The DFF hosts screenings, competitions, and other events to showcase the best work within the disposable genre.

Disposable Filmmaking Workshop

Community Director at, Blake Whitman watches a lot of videos, and so he knows a thing or two about what makes a good film. In this workshop, he’ll go over everything from basic shooting techniques, editing styles, and instruct how to stitch photos together to create an animation (known around the interwebs as photomotion). Class starts at noon and breakfast is provided. Free!
Sunday, March 7th, 12 noon at Artist Television Access [map]

Aiptek Pencam SD — Digital Holga, or a better Digital Harinezumi?


I took this picture with a Aiptek Pencam SD, a camera I liken to the Digital Harinezumi. The Pencam SD is roughly the same size, and does 1280×960 max resolution (still), and 6-8 frames per second at 640×480. Like the Digital Harinezumi, the Pencam SD has 64MB of built-in memory and an SD card slot. Instead of an expensive CR2 battery, the Pencam SD uses AAA batteries – I have a stack of rechargeable AAAs at home.

Unlike the DH, the Aiptek is less than $20.

Is this a “Digital Holga”?  Probably not, while it can vignette, it can take impressively sharp pictures in the right light.
Is the viewfinder a best guesstimate of the image area? Definitely.
Is it fun to shoot with? Extremely – I prefer not being able to see the photo until after I get home.

Being able to record sound with the Digital Harinezumi 2 would be interesting, but I really like the effects people have created by adding soundtracks to silent video created with the original Digital Harinezumi.


Another Pencam SD shot at Urban Ore in Berkeley, CA.



Toy camera effects with digital SLRs

I love lo-fi photography.

Shooting lo-fi removes any obsession with capturing the “perfect” image. With lo-fi photography, I focus more on composition, creativity and experimentation than when I shoot with a “real” camera. Vignetting, soft edge focus, light aberrations, limited exposure latitude, color casts, even light leaks – the imperfections add a level of personality to the photo.

I have a collection of my lo-fi photography up at

One of my favorite lo-fi cameras is the SiPix Stylecam Blink. It only shoots 640×480, but has a wonderful dream-like plastic camera effect. And, it was only $10 on eBay!

I would like to get a little more resolution than is possible with most lo-fi digicams. Enter Randy Smith at Holgamods. He’s made tweaks to Holga cameras for years, adding black flocking to the insides, adding a bulb setting and remote shutter release threads. Dude from has done some wonderful night-time photography with his.

Randy has taken a Holga lens, mounted it on a Canon lens cap, and made a digital Holga hybrid. What a wonderful idea! Some of the samples on the net have the same plastic camera quality, but with none of the complication and expense of shooting on 120 film.

Some photo examples with the digital Holga lens are online here. has another alternative – a tilt-shift lens made for several modern camera mounts. Version 1 uses a rubber assembly to hold in aperture rings. Version 2 has a sharper lens and uses magnetic locks to hold the aperture rings in place. The 3G model allows for pinpoint focusing and tilt lock. Both the Holga lens add-on and Lensbabies give modern digital DSLR shooters a means for creative, frivolous shooting. Very cool.

If you want do get that same toy camera effect digitally, see my previous post about the Holganizer. In addition, there are Holga actions for Photoshop that let you automate the effects process. But, it’s a lot of fun to shoot with a plastic camera!