If you find yourself getting a little bored with the run on the mill photography that is a product of using a high-tech digital SLRs, you might want to try to shake things us a bit. What about toy cameras?
These fun cameras come in many different models and types, with all sorts of special effects and tricks to go along with them. If you’re feeling adventurous you might even try building you own camera!
When most people think of toy cameras, they tend to think of cameras such as the Lomo, and Diana. While not necessarily kids play things, these cameras are made from poor quality materials, like plastic.
The cameras also feature a few engineering short falls and can often be found to have light leaks, lens misalignments and things of that nature. The results of shooting with these type of cameras can be a pretty spontaneous and serendipitous adventure. It certainly makes for an exciting time when you see your developed negatives for the first time!
All sorts of film can be used with these types of toy cameras. In keeping with the spontaneous nature of toy camera photography, many people try using films that have a special creative effect. Films such as over stock or films past their freshness date can yield some nifty results. Other tricks such as cross processing and using different chemical solutions for development also add a sense of serendipity.
Lomo also makes some pretty funky cameras models such as the “Action Sampler” that makes four exposures on a single film plane over a short period of time. The Lomography store is a great resource to check out for toy cameras, and alternative photography. You can spend hours looking through the great product catalog and checking out cool alternative photos taken with wacky cameras.
Pinhole cameras can also be quite fun to play around with, and the best thing is, you can build one yourself! Pinhole cameras rely on a very small hole bored into a piece of material instead of using a regular aperture lens. The advantage that this very small opening has is that there is virtually infinite depth of field. This means you get great sharpness to subjects just a few inches from the lens, and also to subjects very far away from the lens.
So if you’re getting tired of the run of the mill digital SLR technology, try out some toy cameras for a fun, relaxing break!