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something is awesome in the state of denmark

September 6, 2010

This short series of photobooth contest posts moves from Italy to Denmark where one of our judges, Matt Charnock, resides. In rural Denmark, Matt had some issues locating a photobooth, so he did what he always does…he built something out of nothing. I’ll let him tell you in his own words…

I was very excited about this project but after scouring the internet to find the appropriate booth i soon discovered that there was not one to be found. Undeterred by this I decided that the only logical course of action, as I am sure you will agree, was to build my own booth.

I had recently inherited an old bed from a friend, I used the bed to make a go-cart but had a load of wood left over. So I used this wood to build my booth. I like to build things from what i have laying around, not because I am some sort of “save the planet” recycler but I like the challenge of it. So, over the course of a couple of days I drilled and sawed and drilled and swore and slowly constructed the skeleton of the booth.

I wanted the booth to be as accurate as possible but after realizing that I did not have any idea how to make coin operated I decided that it would have to operate like a photobooth but in a different way. So i fixed the camera to the skeleton. (I chose to use my Canon AE1 for this. I would love to tell you I used the Canon because of the durability and quality of the camera but in truth it was the only one that fit on to the screw I was using to hold it in place). It was essential that the booth be operated from the inside so I didn’t have to get out of the booth to keep winding the film or whatever. I tied a piece of string to the winding mechanism and brought that into the inside of the booth, I also attached a cable release. I then fixed my lomo ring flash to the sheet in front of the camera and a slave flash behind the curtain at the back, trying to maximize light. I worked out the focal length between the camera and the subject and set everything up.

In order to keep in with the tradition of the booths I was imitating I set the camera on timer and after every shot I would set the next picture off, only giving me a few seconds to prepare the shot. I felt that this was as close to accurate as I could get.

I wanted to use a colour negative film so that the negatives themselves would be the passport pictures, sadly I forgot about this idea when I loaded the film and as a result had to use a touch of photoshop to get them in the strip format. But even then I tried to remain loyal to the ideology of the competition, I wrote a small program which took the images and put them in the passport template, so I had no real control over what the finished product would look like.

I realize that this booth was a cheat, I had rolls of film I could use, plus a bit of photoshop and so I know that they aren’t strictly true to the competition guidelines, but I don’t mind it was a lot lot lot of fun.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Matt permalink
    September 6, 2010 11:13 pm

    i use the word “so ” a lot

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