Monday, December 10, 2012

Life at 400x

This latest photographic project has been possible due to my stint student teaching 7th and 8th grade science, specifically my unit on cell biology.  I have access to an AverVision document viewer with a microscope adapter where I can photograph what the microscope sees.  The resolution on these is too low for print, but I’ve already started looking into other methods of micro-photography.

Cork Cells

cork 400x

Dog bowl water containing dog mouth cells and bacterial cells

dog water 400x

Onion cells and nuclei with iodine stain


Potato cells and plastids with iodine stain

potato at 400x 2

Red Pepper cells and nuclei

red pepper at 400 2

Yogurt live cultures (bacterial cells)

yogurt bacteria 400x

I have 2 weeks of access to the microscope, any suggestions for what to examine next?


Thursday, August 16, 2012


You might be surprised that in addition to an obsession with analogue photography, I also like the various photo apps available for my Droid Incredible.  Many look at digital as being in opposition to film, but they are both artforms in their own right and as a photographer, I enjoy hopping the fence back and forth between both worlds.


I think Instagram is to digital photography what the Holga is to film.  The camera in a phone itself is fairly low quality (mine is only 8 megapixels) with few manual controls.  It’s essentially a toy camera.  Instagram adds in the fun of sharing photos via social networking.  Much like a Polaroid, there is also the enjoyment of instant gratification.


If you have a smart phone, I recommend trying a few of the apps.  Here’s an article I wrote for MCP Actions about fun photo apps for Droid.  I have also used cell phone photos to make Cyanotypes, read about that here.


Feel free to follow me on Instagram @KellySamuelson
If you don’t have the app, you can also view some of my photos at


PS: The lo-fi filter is my favorite.  The frame simulates a filed film carrier.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thrifting, Gifting and Ebay. The story of my camera collection

I get questions about how many cameras I own… which are followed by questions about how I afford purchasing of 40 or so cameras.  I’m here to tell you the story behind all my cameras and how I got them.  This has the potential to be a long post, so I’ve inserted a post break after the first few photos, so… Be sure to click READ MORE
I started shooting film when I was about 14 years old.  Snapshots of friends, which morphed into portraits of friends.  I fell in love with black and white CN film.  I continued to love photography in college.  I had a couple higher-end point and shoot cameras over the years. 
Eventually, digital became a thing and for my 20th birthday, my mom dropped $300 on my first digital camera (a 3 megapixel Kodak, still point and shoot.  Digital was still pretty new and my mom still has this camera at her house when I want it back).
Toward the end of my senior year of college, I took a film photography class that used traditional black and white film and SLRs.  I borrowed a Pentax 35mm SLR from a friend for the class and fell in love with developing my own film.  By the end of the class, I had spent about $100 or so on eBay obtaining my first film SLR – A Canon AE-1 Program with a couple lenses.
Flash forward a few years, and I now have everything ranging from $1 thrift store finds to this, my Canon 50D.  Picked it up at Best Buy for only $1200… and that was before I bought lenses for it.  I love it and always look at it as a true indicator of my dedication to photography.  When you spend that much on a camera body, it’s gettin' serious.
After I graduated with my BA, I still went back to the local CC, College of the Siskiyous to take film photography classes and play in the darkroom.  I can't remember where I first heard about the Holga and all it's Lo-Fi goodness, but I was intrigued and had to have one.  Once I had purchased my first Holga, I fell in love.  I got it from Freestyle Photo for $30.  I’ve since painted it pink, taken it apart, modified it and a bunch of other scary things, but I loved the toy camera and all it’s toy-camera-ness.
I also loved using 120 film.  Nothing like an enormous negative to play with in the darkroom.  I needed a vintage TLR in my life and grabbed this Yashica on eBay for $30.  If you haven’t noticed by now… I keep getting EXTREMELY lucky with the prices of my eBay and thrift store finds.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Printing Photos on Fabric

I recently printed a panoramic photo on fabric using
One yard of Linen Cotton Canvas ($27) was enough to print the design 3 times at 52 inches wide.

I was worried about how much detail the photo would retain printed on fabric, but it came out beautifully.

Unlike canvas prints, the designs on Spoonflower are dyed into the threads of the fabric, so the print retains all its texture.

See my design setup here:  You can sell prints through the website as well (though I don't).

Happy Printing!

PS. Spoonflower isn't paying me anything to write this, I just wanted to share. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lomography Fisheye

I recently acquired a Lomography Fisheye One.  I loaded this with 400 speed film, which seemed to be about perfect for daytime outdoor photos.  However, I recommend using a faster film if shooting indoors (even with the built in flash).


The focusing distance on this thing is 4cm, so it’s kind of amazing for self shots – you can even cram a couple friends in there with you due to the wide angle view.


I also love that the lens is visible in all the frames.  Rectangles, squares, now circles.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Spring in Analogue–Part 2

Part 2 of Spring’s photos in 35mm.  If it helps beat the summer heat, soak these in and take yourself back to some slightly cooler weather.



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spring in Analogue–Part 1

I love spring.  Everything is in bloom, it’s a beautiful time to take pictures.

One of my recent photo goals has been to shoot more frames on film and less on digital.  These next 2 weeks, enjoy some of the flowers of May – on 35mm.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kodak Elite-Chrome–Cross Processed

I want to try to post more film reviews and information about what I’m shooting and loving.

I recently ran across an expired roll of Kodak Elite-Chrome 100 Slide Film.  I cross-processed it and shot a roll at the local Nursery (Native Grounds in Mt Shasta, CA – beautiful).  I really love the way the color of the sky came out.  This was the perfect film for May flowers!







Happy Shooting


Thursday, June 21, 2012

How to Use Your Obsolete 620 Film Cameras

I have managed to collect a couple vintage film cameras that take 620 film.  620 film is similarly sized to 120 film, but the reels for it are slightly smaller.  While you can modify 120 film to fit in these cameras, the easiest way to use them is with a 35mm film mod (similar to the mod that allows you to shoot 35mm in a Holga).
I used this mod to make my Kodak Browning Hawkeye and my Ansco Flex II usable again.  Here’s a full tutorial of 35mm in my Ansco Flex II.
1. Tape over the hole used to view which frame you are on (this is for 620 film with paper backing).
Use packing peanuts to center the roll of 35mm film and tape it into place.
Tape the other end of your film to the take-up spool.  If your camera doesn’t have a 620 take-up spool, you can obtain one on eBay.
Shoot film.  Each camera is different, so you will have to experiment with the number of turns between each frame.
When the film is done, you’ll need a darkroom or light tight changing bag to unload the film in total darkness.  Wind the film back into the canister and develop.
Just like shooting film in a Holga, the image will bleed onto the sprocket holes of the film.
Because of the orientation of my Ansco Flex II and Brownie Hawkeye, the shots will be vertical on the film.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

DIY Red Scale Film

Not too long ago, I wrote an article about Rollei Redbird film.

Today, I offer 2 options for getting your own Redscale film cheap.  Option 1 - Follow the DIY instructions below or Option 2 - I'm going to list and sell my handmade RedHeaded 35mm film on Etsy for $6 a roll.  To reserve your film, post a comment below.

Special reserved film sale - Post your comment below and I will give you a 10% off code for when the film is listed on Etsy.

Fun Fact: You can control how red or gold the photos come out by changing the ISO setting on your camera.  Overexposing (setting to ISO 50) makes the photos come out more golden than red.
ISO 400
ISO 100
ISO 50
ISO 12 (Note, this film shoots photos backwards.  You have to flip them when you scan your film or print it)
I love red scale film.  However, there is nothing I love more than cheap expired film.  How to blend my two loves?  Use cheap expired film to make my own red scale film!
How To:
- Roll of color film
- Empty film roll with some of the film still left at the end
- Scotch tape
- Darkroom or light changing bag
Cut the end of your film so you have a straight edge.  Flip it upside down so the films are being taped together upside down.  Attach the ends with scotch tape.
Put the whole setup in your darkroom of light changing bag and use the spool to roll all the film into the other film canister.  When you’ve rolled it all the way, remove from bag and cut the film leaving a little of the end left.
Cut a new notched end into your film so you can load it.  Now’s the time to check your work.  When you load the film, it should be backwards like so:
Set your ISO and shoot!
When you unload the film, you can either give the lab instructions or use the same method to return it to it’s original film canister before dropping it off at the lab.
Here are some more photos from my first roll of film.
- Kelly