Tuesday, June 09, 2009

TtV, More or Less

Ferris Wheel, Navy Pier, Chicago
December 5, 2008

I've just discovered an interesting type of photography known as Through the Viewfinder (TtV). In a blend of low and high tech, an old twin lens reflex (TLR) camera is combined with a modern digital single lens reflex (SLR). The old camera, typically a Kodak Duaflex, is focused on a subject, then a dSLR is used to capture the image on the viewfinder. The scratches, dust, and other imperfections of the old camera's optics lend an antique feel to the photo.

I'm going to try to get a Duaflex on eBay. In the meantime, I've learned how to get the TtV effect in Photoshop. Several people have posted photos of old TLR viewfinders on Flickr. These can be downloaded and layered on other photos to get the TtV effect. It appears this postprocessing technique is anathema to the true aficinados of TtV photography, but I say nowadays, why not take full advantage of the digital tools available?

For my pseudoTtV picture, I used a picture I took last winter of the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier in Chicago. I cropped it down to a square, adjusted the saturation and hue a bit, then added noise (grain) in Photoshop Elements. I am indebted to Amy Higgins, who contributed an Argoflex viewfinder to Flickr. The Flickr Noise and Dust Through the Viewfinder Pool has a bunch more similar photos. After downloading the Argoflex image, I added it as a layer to the Ferris wheel photo and Voila!--a "fake" TtV.


Rambling Woods said...

That is interesting..I will have to try that....
Michelle From Rambling Woods

Dan said...

That's really cool. I'll be interested to see how the digital version compares with the image using the actual TLR.


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