Analog Photography Conundrum

I enjoy taking instant photos. I have two cameras just for the occasion, a Fujifilm Instax and a Lomo’Instant. It’s very satisfying to point and shoot, and immediately have a real photograph. Instant cameras are perfect for reference photos during the creative process, and they’re fun!

All of the pluses aside, I’ve tried several times to share them digitally. Which means that I have to take a photograph of the photographs. Larger scale analog photos I’ve scanned are no problem. I put them in my digital scanner, and immediately have all the benefits of having a digital copy. I can email them, text them, and share them online. Mini instant photos, however, don’t scan well. Detail and definition is lost and the digital copies are washed out and appear over-exposed. An alternative is photographing them with my digital camera or phone. Which yields mixed results. If the light is just perfect, and I hold my mouth just so, I can get a decent image. I’ll sometimes get reflections, or I’ll have to hold them vertically and include my hand in the shot.

After trying several times to photograph recently, I became frustrated. Why couldn’t this be as easy as photographing my art while it sits on the easel? That’s when I thought of a tiny easel and a photo booth. I already had a tiny world in a box I’d created for an old project (I used it for an attempt at a stop-motion), which was doing nothing but collecting dust. All I needed was a tiny easel. Sure, I’m sure I could have found something at a hobby store to fit the bill, but where’s the fun in that? I grabbed some cardboard, a pencil, ruler, and a razor knife and got to work.

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Using my pencil and ruler, I came up with a very basic design for an easel, cut from one piece of cardboard.

I carefully removed the excess cardboard to free the third leg of the easel. Then I glued on additional strips of cardboard to all three legs, and the front of the easel where tiny works of art would sit. I clipped my reinforcements in place, and waited while the glue dried.

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I chose Mars Black to paint my easel. It’s become an arch nemesis for my paintings (I use too much and turn everything too dark, so I’ve banned myself from using it). I did some light sanding to remove the fuzzy edges, and added an additional coat of Mars Black.

While I’m sure there’s a better way to digitally photograph my analog photos, I enjoyed this little side project. And I’m thrilled to have utilized my tiny set for the purpose of creating an interesting solution. Even if it turns out that it’s not optimal, I think I’ll enjoy taking photos in a tiny vignette. My final photo shoot is at the bottom!

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