Tag Archives: photo

Making A Zine

One of my goals for last year was to self publish a zine. If you are not sure what that is then remember, zine is short for magazine. A zine should have original content made by you. This website has a number to view and explains more about what a zine is.

I have made iBooks before, but never an actual paper copy of something I have created. The first iBook I made is featured on this post. I have made a few other which you can either download for free or buy for a small amount. You can find details of those from this link.

For my first attempts I wanted to use a platform that was free. I wanted to know about the process before investing my own money. Once I had made a few iBooks I then moved on to the next phase, an actual published zine.

First I needed a project and as luck would have it, I had just been invited to take part in an exhibition. That meant I had my subject matter, well partly. I used two models for the exhibition photos and I had a model release from one of them, but the other model never returned theirs. As they were both friends I decided only to include photos of the one who felt more comfortable with the process. I had the right to use the photos, but not the heart. It did mean I had less photos to choose from, but I felt I had enough for a short zine. If you do have a model featured in your zine, make sure you get a model release and have discussed the possible uses of their images before you start the process.

Next I needed to find a cheap and reliable publisher. I have seen some exhibition accompaniments or self published books that are stunning, obviously costing a lot of money that I could not afford at the time. My other choice was printing the zine myself each time an order came in, but the cost of ink made this uneconomical in the long run. The company I chose in the end was Mixam. There are a number of other choices, but in my opinion this one had the most intuitive platform and was very competitively priced. With this website, first you decide on the type of zine or book you want, as in the paper and binding, then you add that to the cart. Next you are asked to upload your pages. That means you make the zine first, offline, using any software you like. Once saved as PDF pages you then upload them to Mixam. I much preferred that to the websites that wanted you to make the zine online using their own software. To create the zine I used Pages as I have a Macbook.

AND then a week later…tada, you have your first zine printed. Opening a box full of your own handy work is pretty cool.

You can order a copy on my stuff page.

Now it has been a year since I ordered 50 copies, I have about 10 left. I sent some to the model, gave some away, and sold the rest. I covered my printing costs, but the cost of posting them around the world took away any profit. At the moment, for me, making zines is for my heart and soul, not for my pocket. For my small following, I found 50 enough. If I need any more than that I can log back in to Mixam and reorder more.

I am at the point where I want to make another one. The best way to make any money is selling them directly at fairs or exhibition, which is on my list of goals for the future. I went to an Etsy fair recently where I bought a zine about making zines by Kristyna Baczynski. It has lots if information inside.

Anyway, the hardest part of the process might be having a concept. I have a few ideas for my next zine and am in the process of putting something together. I will try to make the next one available both digitally and in physical form. If you do make a zine, let me know. I might not be able to buy every one, but I would like to hear about it.

Loreo MK II 3D Stereo Camera

What a funky looking camera! I bought this with my winnings from the 2019 Grand National. I had a couple of quid on Tiger Roll at 14/1 before it finally settled at 4/1, lucky me. As it was free money, I decided to get myself something superfluous. Free money refers to money you didn’t expect to have and so have not budgeted for anywhere. The Grand National is a somewhat controversial topic, but I have not been in the UK to see it for 20 years so I was quite excited on the day. But at the very first fence a couple of horses fell, one obviously heavily and that made me feel very emotional with mixed feelings about the whole thing. Even so, free money!!

Recently I have been watching a TV show about World War 1. It features stereo photos that have been digitally enhanced. They are freakily effective.

Also Brian May has been on TV promoting his book about Queen which contains the same style of photos. He is a complete nerd when it comes to stereoscopic photos 🙂

That was it, I wanted a stereo camera!!! Oh crap, they are expensive 😦 Hmm, what to do??

Solution, buy an untested one with a broken flash and hope for the best. When it arrived it seemed in pretty good condition, but looking closer the mirrors do seem to have a slight layer of haze. I wondered whether I should try taking it apart and cleaning them before using it. In the end I decided against it as it might not even work. So here is the Loreo Stereo camera from 1999, but it is still available.. It has twin 28mm lenses, a single shutter speed of 1/60th and an aperture of f18 or f11 if you have one with a working flash.

You may have noticed I am a little impatient at times (all my family will laugh at that statement). Having a love of film photography has had no effect on that trait. If I am excited about a camera I tend to use it straight away, even when the weather might mean waiting would be a better choice. This camera was a prime example. I needed a clear, bright day with good film. I chose a humid, cloudy day with old film 🙂

The inside of the camera suggests 200asa film. I had some expired 400asa film. Seeing as I didn’t know if the camera would work, I didn’t see the point in using fresh film. I decided to take the camera to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park as they had a few new pieces on display by Damien Hirst. Perfect for a stereo camera.

The way the camera works means you can take it to a regular shop for developing and scanning. Here are the results I got from that test.

Of course you can’t see the 3d effect but they came out….not in great condition, but they are there. There seems to be a light leak or a reflection of some sort. But, how to effectively view them. I tried the free viewing method and it made me a bit dizzy. I used to be able to see magic photos, but I think the fact I now wear glasses might have affected my ability. So I ordered a Google Cardboard device which has yet to arrive. In the meantime I decided to learn how to make wigglegrams using the free program Gimp.

This is a video heavy post, but what can you do if you decide to ‘wiggle’. Anyway, it didn’t take long to learn, but did take a long time to convert them all. It also made me a tiny bit queazy. So be warned, below are some of the wigglegrams I created. If they make you feel a bit weird, then don’t scroll down. I found the best ones have the subject closer to the camera. This style of photography is not mean for far off landscapes.

As for the camera, I did take it apart and cleaned the mirrors, it did make a difference. I also used some black tape on the film door which reduced the light leak. There also seems to be a reflection from somewhere, a ghost image on the negative. For the second test I used some street candy film. Here are some of the results after the cleaning.

And the second test.

A Photo Book on Japan

I finished school a week ago and have been hanging around watching the world cup. I was planning on traveling around Japan, but England is doing surprisingly well, though I might have just jinxed tonight’s game. Well, yesterday was very rainy and there was flooding around Japan. So instead of going out walking and exploring I sat down at my computer and made a small photo book using iBook Author. It doesn’t have much text, mainly photos. It is already on iTunes and iBooks. You can find it here.

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