Remember my previous post where I turned my Afghan Box Camera into a 4×5 slide projector? Today I have another idea around the Afghan Box Camera – that is to make use of my humble mobile phone camera to create a large format look by making use of the box camera and its lens.
This is much inspired by other fellow photographers who have designed similar stuff such as this by
Olexiy Shportun and another by Tim Hamilton. The main idea behind this is to make use of a digital camera to take a photo of the projected image made by the large format lens.
In my design, I decided to make use of a mobile phone camera rather than a DSLR or mirrorless camera. However how would I control the mobile phone camera if the phone is placed inside the box? Luckily there are various apps that will help us.
For my Android phone, I decided to go for the IP Webcam app for its versatile. It is free, can be used via Wi-Fi and easy to use. Hence by using this app, the mobile phone camera can be controlled and hence trigger off remotely.
After some testing, I realised that the phone camera cannot be too near the ground glass otherwise the phone camera will produce an image with a hot spot. The best position I found is to place the phone all the way to the back of the box camera. The ground glass image will only occupied about half of the camera phone photo framesize. This can be easily overcome via zooming in via the control interface or cropping during post processing.
The IP Webcam control interface is easy to use, I usually play with the following settings
- Zoom – to zoom on the ground glass image as mentioned above
- Exposure compensation – this settings can be adjusted from -12 to 12 steps (not sure how 1 step is equivalent to a photographic stop)
- Effects – like any phone digital camera filter , you can set it to Black & white, sepia , negative. My favorite is black & white simply to minic the usually monochrome photo we take with black & white photographic paper.
- White balance – for shooting in color, Daylight settings seems to boost up the colors saturation quite a bit.
Some Sample Photos
In conclusion, this method of hybrid shooting has potential to be explored further. My best use of such way of shooting was in an educational workshop during this pandemic time where safe distancing is encouraged so to be able to show what is happening on the ground glass remotely is particular useful.