Shutterings and Mutterings

Multiframe picture of tree in blossom by Beowulf Mayfield

Spring beauty with jagged edges

Trees covered in blossom are a glorious sight and a welcome indication that winter is finally over. The combination of glorious colour and the sense of relief at the arrival of spring makes blossom a natural target for camera lenses and smartphones and the results cause an explosion of pink and white all over the internet. All the more reason to use a slightly different photographic style to stand out from the crowd.

The image above was taken on Peckham Rye in South East London using a Holga 35mm plastic camera loaded with 200asa Agfa Vista colour film from a batch bought at Poundland for £1 a roll. Some users of film might throw their hands up in horror at my low-budget choice but I don't feel very comfortable taking risks with expensive film and I like having the mental freedom to fool around, so I look for the cheapest film I can find.

The shooting process was simple - I placed myself on the sunlit side of the tree, too close to be able to get the subject in a single frame and shot about ten individual frames, taking care to ensure I caught the entire tree but not so neatly that you wouldn't be able see the joins.

The challenging bit came after the film had been processed - I keep the cost down by asking for developing only and take care of all the scanning myself. Once I had scans of the individual frames ready, I created a large blank Photoshop file with a white background and pasted each frame onto a separate layer. This meant I was able to line up each frame to produce an overall picture of the tree with jagged outside edges - a bit like a very rough digital jigsaw.

The end result is a picture of a tree covered in spring blossom with a difference...

Further reading: To learn more about using plastic cameras, try Lo-fi Photo Fun!: Creative Projects for Polaroid, Plastic & Pinhole Cameras. For creative photography in general, try 50 Photo Projects - Ideas to Kickstart Your Photography. To learn more about using Adobe Photoshop, try Photoshop CC 2015: Visual Quickstart Guide (Visual QuickStart Guides)

Any questions? If you'd like to know more about this style of photography, Contact me.

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