Read The Signs

This Thursday we spent an entire day having a workshop with ex Chelsea student Lizzie Gove who taught us the basics of sign writing, a subject she studied in depth for her dissertation and final degree project. It was great to spend a whole day doing something physical instead of staring at a macbook for hours on end as I seem to be doing a lot recently. It was quite a challenge at first to get the brush technique and the ink viscosity just right but after about an hour of painting some not so great letters we all began to get the hang of it with some people clearly having a natural talent. During the afternoon we were set a mini brief to paint an alternative word for 'gorgeous', the idea being that everyone in the class would paint a different word, the end results would be scanned and put on one sheet of A1 paper and then each student would get a copy. I chose the word killer as I particularly liked doing 'k's but my 'r's let me down somewhat. Ho Hum. Below is some of Lizzie's actual final work which I saw in last years degree show and have recovered from her flickr in the depths of the internet. It was great to talk to her over the course of the day about a subject she clearly loves, knows an awful lot about and is very good at.

Lovely stuff.

I Spy a Fisheye

D.I.Y. Fisheye Lens

So this is going to be quite a text and photo heavy post, apologies in advance.

On Saturday my friend Joakim who I work with at American Apparel was showing me his portfolio for his application to the Graphic Design Communication course I'm currently on at Chelsea. On one of his pages was a bit about how he had made his own D.I.Y. Fisheye lens out of nothing but a lens-cap, door peephole and some bluetac with what looked like some amazing results. My imagination was sparked and almost a week later I have my own D.I.Y. Fisheye lens for my Canon 550D.

Above are photos of the finished products and the parts I used to make it.

Door peephole, bought from Leylands for £4.31
Hama 58mm lens cap, bought from Amazon for £2.57

That's really all it takes. 

All you need to do is drill a hole in the centre of your lens cap that is the same size as the viewing end of your peephole. Unscrew the peephole into the separate parts and thread through the hole and screw back together. BE CAREFUL that the end part of the peephole sits nicely inside the depth of the lens cap otherwise there is a huge possibility of scratching your lens! Other than that, attach to your camera (obviously make sure the lens cap your drilling will fit your lens), set your camera up just so and you're ready to shoot some fisheye shots! 

Below are some photos I took about 2 minutes after I got home from Chelsea with Ben in our garden and house. The camera I'm using is a Canon 550D with the kit 18-55mm lens set on manual focus mode (very important) and non-flash setting. This is such a cheap and easy way of having your own fisheye lens. Let's face it the quality was never going to be brilliant but the photos do have a certain lomography-film-likeness that people are spending a lot of money getting with plastic cameras nowadays. I also took a short video whilst out in the garden which I will upload pretty shortly after adding some audio to cover up my inane chatting about fisheye lenses whilst wandering round our garden.


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