Dreamy Photos. Dime Store Lenses. | Joseph Francis | Skillshare

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Dreamy Photos. Dime Store Lenses.

teacher avatar Joseph Francis, Check out my classes!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Dreamy Photos. Dime Store Lenses

    • 2. Playing With a Smart Phone Camera

    • 3. Playing With a DSLR

    • 4. Some Optional Extra Looks

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About This Class


Today we are going to take photos using $3 lenses you might find at a drugstore or an office supply store. We'll briefly consider 'freelensing,' and DSLR pinhole camera lenses, and we'll look at some extremely cheap diffusion filters -- made of plastic wrap. Optionally we'll also take a look at some fun Photohop and Lightroom plugins for further treating the images.

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Joseph Francis

Check out my classes!


I started in New York at what is now called RGA Digital Studios, but was then called R/Greenberg Associates. I've worked at many of the top motion graphics and title design companies including yU+Co and Imaginary Forces, and with top creative directors including Kyle Cooper (Prologue).

Visit my LinkedIn profile here.

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1. Dreamy Photos. Dime Store Lenses: in this class. We're gonna take a bunch of cheap plastic dime store lenses and we're gonna combine them with a DSLR and an iPhone and see what kinds of images we can produce if you're curious and roll and find out what it's all about. 2. Playing With a Smart Phone Camera: The first thing I thought I'd try to do is play with an iPhone. I I collected a bunch of lenses, but I found here in there some of them are from, um, office supply stores, where they cost $2 or $3. So remember little surplus lenses? I found it little electron, ICS and other kinds of surplus stores that picked up for a few cents each. Some of them look like they're old antique Lanza's, but they're actually not their reproductions, and they're just sort of cheap lenses as well. And there's one of these guys here is actually a, um, from a projector, and we're gonna look at, uh, the effects that they have because they're all a little bit different and you never know which one's gonna look cool. Which one's not? Sometimes they're The effect is just too much. Sometimes it's not enough. I set up a mannequin with that I have and ah, hot light that I have just that are shining on. It looks over exposed here, but in the subsequent photos, it's not, um, just to give it something fairly consistent to be photographing for the purpose of this explanation. Um, I'm gonna save this one. This is a hold A pinhole lens, actually. And let's just talk about the, um uh, iPhone. So here's the projector and, you know, it looks a little bit like you're looking through. Ah, a people. What I'm kind of hoping for is a subtle effect that looks maybe, like an antique lens, almost the sort of things like there are these various antique lenses pets, fall lens that has been sort of recreated recently that you can buy that has a certain look to it. And there are people who find old lenses and attach them to modern cameras. So I was a little bit inspired by that. Um, this is just, ah, simple magnifying glass. And I'm sort of showing the effect of the lens on one side on the left and the lends itself . I just holed up in front of my camera just to take a snapshot so you can see what Which one I'm using over on the right. And again, you know, you get this sort of chromatic aberration, slight color fringing and things like that. Slight distortions. And, um, they're all a little bit some of some of them were more market than others. This one's quite extreme. It's more of a paperweight, that n largest type if you set it down on the on the table. And for some purposes, this could be kind of an extra dreamy distortion that could be quite interesting, Sort of like, you know, they sell these lenses that, you know, swivel on little pivots that you can buy that are creating quite extreme distortions. And so this is a little bit like that. Here's another one. I kind of like this one, Um, maybe a little bit too soft overall. But it's, ah instead of a pocket magnifying glass. And those were some of the effects that I got with, um, my iPhone. And now let's move on and take a look at some of the effects I got with my DSLR because actually, even using the same lenses, you get different looks. So you have to check out different lenses, and it would be good if you can check out different cameras as well. If you really want to stumble across a lens that you really like the effect off 3. Playing With a DSLR: Now we're moving on to using a DSLR. So here's just to recap a collection of cheap lenses that we're using for this course. And you can get him at office supply stores and places like that for a couple of bucks. What we're gonna be doing primarily is removing the lens from a DSLR and holding a cheap like magnifying glass a few inches away from it and looking through the viewfinder and seeing what we see. So, um, you know, if you're concerned about dust and you don't want to do this, this might not be the best thing for you to dio. But, you know, you can blow out the cameras and they need They get dust periodically anyway and have to be cleaned out. In my experience, I don't know what your experiences, but hopefully you're not getting too much dust. But that's Ah, that's that, Um, we're gonna be looking also at a couple of other things. One is, ah whole go pinhole lens, which you can get for $25 on Amazon, and it's got a little laser drilled piece of brass that makes a tiny pinhole that forms a pinhole camera out of your out of your BS L o r your SLR, and we're gonna be looking for very briefly at freelancing. I didn't have very good luck with it, but some people produce some interesting photos on the Internet. You could try it. Maybe it's question of using a different lens, but basically just involves partially removing your lens and moving in a little bit to one side or the other, angling in a little bit and seeing what effect you get. The lighting set up we're gonna be looking at here is a mannequin and ah, hot light shining on the mannequin. Um, it's not mandatory. Obviously, you can photograph anything you like, and one other thing we're gonna be looking at is a technique involving wrapping plastic around the lens, the lens on the camera and there's plastic around the lens, and the idea is to partially obscure the view of the camera, but leave part of it un obscured. And as you play with the aperture on your camera, you get different effects. You see the plastic more or less clearly, so let's see what we have. I'm just gonna go through these photos, these air the resulting photos. I didn't keep careful notes about exactly which one was using which lens, but we just kind of go through them quickly. This was my brief freelancing experience. This is with lens on. This is about as interesting as I could get with lens off. Nothing too special. But you can see over here. Um, you know, I was using a 50 at F six point, 325th of a second. I s 0 200 And here you lose that information because the lens is not attached to the camera anymore, so it knows what I s so it is. And it knows what the exposure length is. But that's all. The camera knows that point. Um, let's see. I'm gonna filter based on five stars because I picked out some photos. Some of them are repeat, so that should reduce the number of photos were looking at, uh, I like this kind of look. It has a kind of a dreamy haze. You can you know, the mannequin is in some halfway decent focus. But at the same time, there's this hail ation around the highlights and things. That's interesting. Same thing here. Same thing here. And also these are very dependent on the way that they're, you know, you can kind of play with, obviously the exposure things like that clarity. So you can you can you can affect the look quite a bit after the fact, Um, there's ah, close up and you can see sort of chromatic aberration happening on these, Um, where it's, like blue down here. And it's kind of yellowish up here. Really? See that chromatic aberration and somewhat of a double image here. Some of these are kind of form a nice basis on which you can lay or other effects. Like other filter effects. Um, like things that Topaz might make, like Topaz Impression Or, um, maybe alien skin. And I'm gonna take a brief look at that in the next video. This is some of the different lenses, and you can't really predict what they're going to do. Um, I've moved on now to the pin. I can tell from the fact that there's no from how close I am to the figure and also the fact that there's no information in the over here as faras aperture that I'm onto the pinhole lens so This is what the pinhole camera was doing. It's on a tripod. It really helps to do this on a tripod because if you're holding a lens in one hand and a camera and the other and you're trying to make uninterested image out of that with both hands in motion, um, that can be difficult. So if you if you commit to putting a lens of the camera on a tripod than the you know, all that's left is the lens is a little bit easier. Now we're onto the plastic. Okay, so here is the plastic and you can see it's the 50 again, but it's it F 11. So at F 11 you get a sensation of the plastic. You know, if you know that it's plastic, you can kind of tell. What is this now? Here were at F 1.4. The plastic just melts away. It's just a kind of a sense of haze there. Ah, here it is a 5.6. The plastic is still pretty indistinct. You would never know that that's what exactly is going on. 5.6 again. Same deal. It's almost looked like a like a like a bit of Asselin on the lands or something like that , but But in this case, it's removable. And doesn't you know, put anything on your lands or on a filter? Um, here, Yard F 16. It's pretty distinct. You can see the plastic pretty clear of 16 and, you know, it's just kind of you could do the sort of different compositions. I think I think I like the you know, the with wider aperture is better cause it's a little bit more interesting when it's indistinct. Um, so that's kind of ah, sampling of what effects I was getting, um, my favorite ones where some of these ones from the beginning, like this one. And if you apply a filter to this, let's see edit in photo shop. If you apply filter to this, you can get some pretty nice looking stuff. I'm gonna take a more in depth look at this in the next video, but here's a sneak preview filter. Oh, I don't know Topaz. Let's try. Let's try ah, texture effects. So I'm not gonna go into much detail here because I do that more in the next video, but you can see that it can be quite interesting. Thanks 4. Some Optional Extra Looks: I'm in light room looking at some of the photos that I shot and I picked one, and I'm just gonna try to run it through a few plug ins. I know you may not have thes plug ins. Maybe you want to get him. Maybe you already do have them. But I thought it would be kind of fun to just sort of take a quick tour of some things that apply a new look to these photos without really doing that much. I'm just going to use default settings. So if I say right, click on this guy at it in Photoshopped and I'm gonna start there and I'm just gonna open up mostly probably mostly toe pass plug ins, we'll see. We'll see what happens. Let's see. Let's make this a little bigger. Okay, Now, let's see. Filter, Topaz, Topaz texture effects. That's kind of an interesting one is kind of unusual, its new fairly new. And here are just some featured effects. They come in different categories. Ethereal, gritty, grunge, vintage featured. So fifties print. Eighties. Hayes. I really don't like these ones that have the fake light coming down because it looks fake to me. But, um, these textural ones are kind of interesting, like that one that was not too bad. Of course, we're starting with a photo that's already kind of ethereal. You know, it's got that funny blur treatment from the lens stuff, and I also goosed the clarity on this one a little bit, Which is why some of the darks for a little darker and there's a kind of a darker edge on this side of her face. The mannequin's face. Um, this one's kind of creepy. Interesting, and I like this one. Muddy Rivers Retro Street throw a little bit similar. Let's see ethereal Purple Mist. We're already probably looking at some of these in the featured greedy Lofa in a gritty grunge that's a nice one. Distressed grunge gritty blowout on a much are, like the blowout authority slightly over. Exposed as it is, I guess, um, so these are all kind of similar. You can download your own images and add them to the program. It's kind of cool. Um, it's got a border effect that's gonna need, like the way kind of drips and sort of runs in tow. That was pretty cool, but I like a lot of them, actually. Um, I'm not gonna actually do it, though, because I want to say filter Topaz. How about impression impressions? Kind of cool. Looks like paintings or drawings. Also, a topaz Plug in. Let's see. Featured charcoal one divinci sketch one. And, of course, if you click on these dials, you can, you know, change things. You don't have to accept the default, But I'm not going to spend a lot of time digging into the different variations of each thing. Turner Sunset. All right, let me just click this one. I'll show you what I mean. Brush size, Bigger, smaller, Um, stroke with stroke length and spill. And how much it conforms to the original underlying photo or spills past it. Turner Sunset back. Impressionistic painting. They got dancers. Georgia O Keefe Oil painting by Jim LaSala. Painterly one, Saraya Afternoon, Surat afternoon. Not sure how to say his name. Turner storms. Okay, so that's that one about filter. Alien skin exposure was your ex. I don't know if my microphone is picking up my cat who just came into the room. But if you hear that, that's what it is. You don't hear it sorry I mentioned it. It's getting toward dinner time for him. So, um, summer Blockbuster. He's a really kind of more color treatments. Some of them have textures. Technicolor process faded and scratched. Technicolor process for vibrant Technicolor was known for, um, saturated colors back to chrome. He's Some of them have frames, coat, a color, extreme coat, a color moderate. And of course, all of these have different settings involving textures and backgrounds and things like that that you can accept or modify. Let's see color films vintage. Well, our tonality looking for Oh, I see. I'm in the color section. I was looking for black and white, black and white. It's kind of interesting. So member lo color processes like the say Anna type sorts of things or vintage things. And, you know, they come with different backgrounds and different textures. Different grain levels. Um, let's see. That might be some of the better choices. Filter alien skin filter, Ford Nick Collection. Um, Redfield. It's kind of too abstract. The Nick collection is kind of interesting that's available for free, by the way. Now, if you didn't already know that Ah, the whole Nick collection and along effects pro, too. So there's this classic camera section. All of these, of course, have different sections that can be modified as well. But there are these default kind of values in classic camera category. Ah, black and white. He's their high res photos, so it takes a little while for it to do what it's doing. It's kind of nice, and a lot of them are in this one or sort of designed to emulate. Um, you know, wet plate, Klodian processes and things like that black and white, wet plate, motion settled Boca Toy Camera, vintage camera. We've already kind of did the toy camera thing when we when we did the original photos because, you know, this sort of adds chromatic aberration and weird blur effects and things like that. But the photo already so there was born that way. So it's kind of layering that sort of thing on itself twice a little bit wet plate. That's nice. And of course, you know they're here. Like I said, there are these textures here. Dirt and scratches, photo plates, the film type. You can see the different set of color fall off. It could be applied to the films. Well, I think I'm gonna wrap it up and feed the cats. Hope you enjoy this and I'll see you next time.