Clown-Nosed Courtney

Posted on 10 May 2010 by Tomas Webb

Clown-Nosed Courtney


Clown-Nosed Courtney by The Powder Hound on flickr.

[Image selected from the flickr group]




First up, I just want to say thanks on behalf of Brian and myself. Traffic has been gradually increasing, and the numbers are growing in the group pool. It lets us know that you guys appreciate the hard work we’ve been putting in!

So back to the photo above. It was taken on Kodak Gold, which I find to be quite a grainy film, but I just love the grain here. Granted the “scanning” method (which we’ll get to in a minute) probably increased the level of noticeable grain, but it still doesn’t detract (for me).

The colours are punchy, the focus nice and shallow, and the (almost) central position of the subject really emphasises the shock value of the subject. Her expression is engaging and her gaze is piercing!

Now I mentioned “scanning” method. This isn’t the normal way of doing things! I really wanted to highlight the photo on the blog based on appearances, but when I clicked through from the pool and read how it was converted to a digital form I was even more impressed! Check out The Powder Hound/Drew’s DIY scanning technique (copied from the comments on the image above):

I literally took a 12 ounce styrofoam cup and did the following:

1. Cut the bottom off around the inside edge so it will fit flush against the camera

2. Use the rim as a guide to cut 5cm slits directly opposite each other (an exacto is best for this, you want the narrowest cuts possible to keep the film straight. I used a leatherman, it was all I had around.)

3. Slide negative strip through slits

4. Turn camera on, place the cup over the lens and hold it in place, zoom in as close as your camera can focus- you probably need to put it in macro mode.

5. Turn image stabilization off, stop all the way down, aim at something white, and click the shutter. It helps if your camera shoots raw- I used it, and setting the white balance was much easier later on.

The whole operation took less than three minutes from finding a cup. I just imported the photo with Lightroom, cropped out the cup (but left some frame), sent it to Photoshop, inverted it, sent it back to Lightroom, boosted the black level until it looked like a picture, color corrected a little, and here it is.

Drew, I take my hat off to your ingenuity.

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