After exploring the possibilities of glitch art utilising what was available for free online, it’s only natural to want ot expand and develop a topic and see where else it can lead us. The progression here was to integrate glitched stills into an animation. The setup is relatively simple, just one light on a person sat on a stool, the light angled at 45,45. The camera was set on burst mode as we wanted to create a sequence of images that resembled a video, whilst being able to manipulate individual frames and glitch them without the need for video editing software. The frame rate or burst rate of cameras varies quite dramatically, for this test we used a Canon 40D which has a frame rate of 6fps.
By pressing the ‘drive’ button on your camera, you should be able to navigate past the self timer icon and look for burst or multi frame mode icon which looks like this. Some cameras have another even faster mode which has a ‘H’ next to the multi frame icon, but this is typically in higher end cameras. See my article here on free online glitching resources, one thing that is worth noting is the size at which the websites will let you export you glitched images. Make sure that all of your images, both glitched and non glitched, are all saved to the same dimensions as this will save you time re-sizing each one later on. Once you’ve glitched your images save them back into the original sequence of images but with a -2 on the end, right click and then select ‘sort by name’ this way they will all be in sequence when you open them in Photoshop. I used Photoshop CS2 for this experiment, I’m not sure on earlier versions of Photoshop but am pretty certain that all following versions of the creative suite have an animation feature. Have a go at following the step by step below and if anything is confusing then let me know in the comments and I will endeavor to improve the explanation
This is the first result which is the original sequence plus the glitched individual frames added using Mosh
After that it was just a case with experimenting with layers and seeing what other effects could be achieved, this is the same animation with some of the layers simply moved with the move tool.
This sequence has many parts of different layers erased using a large soft eraser brush in Photoshop
The final video has the eyes from all but the base image erased, they were selected with the rectangular marquee tool and deleted. Remember to save the Photoshop file when your basic animation is done, then you’re free to manipulate, distort and create knowing that you don’t have to complete the first steps again.
Anamorphic lenses, what are they? whats the point of building your own?
Well…the answer is because it looks cool, really cool. Anamorphic lenses allow you to achieve true widescreen on your digital SLR by squashing the image onto the camera sensor, which you then have to stretch back out again in Photoshop. Essentially everything looks cinematic in style and you can also achieve some really cool lense flair which is unique to anamorphic lenses.
They are a bit of a nightmare to work with and take alot of practice to master, an added nightmare in my case is that the lens has to be focused with an alan key, which isn’t exactly convenient. But in the pursuit of all things cool sometimes we have to do things the hard way. This is the setup that I used for my images, the Canon 5D (note: this didn’t work well so don’t rush out and buy a 5D, keep reading) I already had because its a classic and my go to travel camera. The rest of the gear from left to right is a Helios 55mm f/2 lens (£26 ebay) with Canon EOS adaptor, Schneider Kreuznach 2x Anamorphic (£73 ebay), Lens clamp from Vid-Atlantic (£36 ebay) and a 58mm to 72mm step up ring (£4 ebay) £140ish total.
The nightmare that comes from working with this lens in particular, is that you have to focus it with an alan key. Yes, an alan key. It’s a projector lens that has been adapted to fit a camera, so compromises were going to be made somewhere. Anamorphic lenses that focus in a conventional fashion are available, but are much more expensive, I wanted to keep costs to a minimum. When using two lenses bolted together like this you encounter a double focussing problem. Fortunately with the Helios lens it has the focus distances set on the side of the lens in metres as does the Schneider lens, if you’re shooting landscapes you can set both lenses to infinity and be certain that anything on the horizon is going to be sharp. I found that achieving accurate focus when shooting portraits requires smoe more accurate measurements. Setting both lenses to a focus distance of three metres and then using a laser measuring device to check that I am the correct distance from the subject. Straight out of camera the image looks like this.
As you can see the image has been squashed to fit onto the camera sensor, so we upload the image into Photoshop and stretch out the long edge by 160%
What is immediately obvious as a problem is with the 5D, which is a full frame camera, you can see the edges of the lens, which is what the black areas at the edge of the frame are.
This enters us into the realm of camera sensor size. A piece of 35mm film is the standard to which film slr’s are made of, in the digital world, this size of sensor is referred to as Full Frame, a Canon 5D is a full frame camera.The principal is if you put a 50mm lens onto a full frame camera, you will see exactly what the manufacturer intended, a standard 50mm view of the world. However, if you put a 50mm lens on camera that has a smaller sensor, the image is effectively cropped or zoomed in. This is called a crop factor, an APS-H sensor has a crop factor of 1.3 and an APS-C sensor has a crop factor of 1.6. This means that if you put a 50mm lens onto one of these cameras you need to multiply the focal length of the lens by the crop factor to get the true focal length. 50mm x 1.6 = 80mm so we get an equivalent focal length of 80mm from a 50mm lens. So to develop the project I switched to a Canon 7D which has a much smaller sensor size.
We can see with this overlay of the photograph that with a cropped sensor camera, we can effectively crop out the edge of the lens when taking the shot. This will result in an equivalent 80mm anamorphic lens, but for the added benefit of cutting out the distortion from the edge of the frame, the trade off will be worth it.
With photographers such as Dan Mountford, Florian Imgrund, Jon Duenas, Sara K Byrne and Cristoffer Reilander championing the renaissance of double exposure photography for a new generation, we’re going to explore how to successfully create a double exposure portrait. Dan Mountford and Cristoffer Reilander both create their images using digital SLR’s, cameras such as the Nikon D700 and the Canon 6D both have a double exposure mode which allows the layering of two images in camera. This technique has been explored by many artists stretching back to the 19th century. Henry Peach Robinson, Man Ray, Herbert Bayer, Jerry Uelsmann and Toulouse Lautrec all experimented with double exposure in a variety of ways. To challenge the viewer, to create a hoax or merely for comedic effect, multiple exposures have been a part of photography since it’s inception.
Henry Peach Robinson
Toulouse LoutrecFor this experiment we used the medium format camera loaded with photo paper, check the previous post here to read more on this. There’s no need to shoot medium format, it works just as well loading a small piece of photo paper into the back of a 35mm camera. Multiple exposure can take a while to get your head around, I recommend starting in this fashion as you can see the results instantly, rather than having to shoot an entire roll of 35mm film before being able to analyse your results. So, you are entering the vicinity of an area adjacent to a location. The kind of place where there might be a monster, or some kind of weird mirror. These are just examples; it could also be something much better. Prepare to enter: The Double Exposure Door.
Our first exposure – what are we looking for
Imagine if you will the shape of your negative, a black rectangle. This rectangle is your frame, anything you take a picture of will appear within this frame.
So firstly, lets take our portrait
In this example I have used two lights, one behind the model and one in the 45/45 position.
I had previously calculated that the photographic paper has an equivalent of ISO 6, both 400w lights on full power with the camera set at 1/60 @f/5.6 produces a perfectly exposed portrait. See below.
We have a perfectly exposed portrait of a person set against a white background. It’s important to now remember that the shape of our negative is no longer rectangular, and is in fact the shape of the person. Whatever we photograph next will appear within the shape of that person.
This is an example I’ve stitched together in Photoshop, it’s ok, but its a bit too clinical for my taste. I much prefer the blemishes, dust and overall character of the genuine article shot on film. There will always remain a magic when working with double exposure manually as there will always be an element of surprise when you’re presented with the image coming to life before your eyes in the developing tray. This was shot with a white piece of A3 paper as the background for both the portrait and the second exposure of the branch from a spruce tree. I trimmed the branch and then gaffer taped it to a tripod to keep it still. The first few attempts were made outside but the breeze stopped us from getting a perfect shot. The experiments revealed that the first exposure with the light pointing at the background didn’t completely white it out and as such when the second exposure was made some of the tree was visible in the ‘supposed to be white’ areas. It was only with setting the flash off for both the portrait and the second exposure that overexposed the background enough to create a clean background.