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How to change the light seals in an old film camera

An example of a light leak

Old film cameras can last a long time with very little maintenance. One of the few things that fail, however, are the foam light seals. Thankfully, they’re easy to replace. 

A few months ago I picked up a Canonet 28 from the early-1970s. Mechanically, it worked perfectly, but it had a really bad light leak. As cool as the effect was in some shots, it was incredibly unpredictable and so I decided to repair it. It’s the camera in all the demo photos in this article. 

A few warnings

Old, decaying light seal foam is pretty gnarly stuff. It crumbles and the pieces that break free stick to everything. When you’re removing it, be very careful not to let it fall into the inner workings of your camera. It will just make a mess of whatever roll of film you shoot next. (I was somewhat fortunate that the seals in my Canonet were so rotten that there was very little left to remove.)

A film camera having its light seals replaced.

Also, while replacing the light seals is a relatively easy job, you should always be careful when working on old cameras. Take your time, don’t rush anything, and you should be fine. 

What you need to repair light seals

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

To replace your light seals, you need some new ones. They’re made of an opaque foam or felt that you can either buy in strips or, for common camera models, in pre-cut kits. I picked up this bumper pack from Milly’s Cameras in the UK, while Ebay seems to be the place to buy pre-cut kits. Go with whatever option will work best for you.

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

You also need a way to stick the new light seals into the camera. We’d recommend buying light seals that come with self-adhesive tape pre-attached, but you can also use Pliobond—it might just be a bit messier. 

To remove the old light seals you need a few bits:

  • A soft scraper. I used a wooden kebab skewer because I couldn’t find my iFixit repair kit.
  • Cotton buds.
  • Cloth or paper towels. 
  • A solvent, such as isopropyl alcohol. (I used methylated spirits as they’re easier to buy in Ireland.)

If you’re using a pre-cut kit, that should do. However, if you’re cutting your own you’ll also need:

  • An X-acto knife or similar.
  • A pair of scissors. 
  • A chopping surface.
  • A metal ruler. 
  • A pencil. 

Step 1: Remove the old seals

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

Remove the old light seals and any remaining adhesive residue. Start by scraping as much away as you can with your soft scraping tool, carefully tipping it out onto your work surface as you go. 

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

Once you’ve removed as much of the old seal as possible, use a cotton bud to carefully apply your solvent. 

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

Use a combination of your cloth, scraping tool, and cotton buds to get rid of all the residue that remains. 

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

It can take a little while, but you will eventually end up with a clean surface. 

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

Also, make sure not to miss any of the seals in the camera. They’re often on both the film door and surrounding the film chamber. 

Step 2: Insert the new seals

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

Unless you’re using a pre-cut kit, measure and cut the replacement strips. Make sure to use the foam or felt that most closely matches the original seals. 

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

Dry fit your light seals to make sure they’re the right size. It’s easier to leave them a little long and then trim off the edges at the end. 

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

If you’re using an adhesive, apply it now. Otherwise, carefully peel the backing paper from the foam and press them into the right spot on your camera. (Your soft scraper will be really useful for any awkward corners.)

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

Again, don’t miss any of the original light seal spots. 

Step 3: Wait

How to change the light seals in an old film camera

As tempting as it is to load a roll of film right away, don’t. Leave the adhesive set for at least a few hours. 

Then, close the film door and make sure everything fits okay. If you’ve miss-cut a light seal, you may need to trim it back or redo it. 

Finally, load a cheap roll of film to test your work. If all has gone well, the light seal problem should be gone.

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How to Shoot Kodak’s Incredible Aerochrome Film

How to Shoot Kodak's Incredible Aerochrome Film

I recently interviewed Australian film photographer Rob Walwyn on his incredible images documenting the aftermath of the bushfires that devastated Australia’s east coast in late 2019 and early 2020. Walwyn’s project, “Karrikins,” led to his first solo exhibition at the 2021 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. 

What makes Walwyn’s images of these dramatic scenes even more striking is his use of Kodak’s discontinued false-color infrared film Aerochrome. Kodak Aerochrome is a false-color infrared film originally designed for aerial photography, with forestry, cartography, industrial, and military applications. 

In Walwyn’s images, the green regrowth in bushfire-ravaged New South Wales shows up in hues of bright pink and red, mimicking the flames that leaped up the blackened trees just weeks before. 

But how exactly does one shoot Kodak Aerochrome? I have a few rolls in cold storage that I’ve been a little scared to shoot just yet. I asked Walwyn’s for some tips on how to shoot this rare, discontinued film, which is unlikely to ever be manufactured again. Below is the advice he gave me. 

Freeze Your Film

Keep the film in your freezer for any length of long-term storage. Color infrared film degrades much more quickly than black and white or regular color films, so keep it frozen to extend its effective life. 

Research Your Camera 

Research the camera you plan on using before you use to load it with Aerochrome. This will allow you to confirm if there are any issues with that specific camera while using infrared films. Some cameras use infrared sensors to advance the film, and this can completely fog your precious roll. 

If you want to play it safe, use a fully mechanical camera with no electronics for film advancement. This includes cameras such as the Canon AE-1, Olympus OM series, Leica M4, and Nikon FM3a.

I asked Walwyn about his use of Aerochrome in his Fujifilm TX-2 (almost identical to the Hasselblad Xpan). I knew the TX-2 has DX coding, so I asked Walwyn if there were any issues with it fogging the film. 

There was no film fogging issues with the TX-2, thankfully. You can see the effect that the IR film advance sensor has on the film; there is a big magenta streak, but it’s confined to the sprocket holes area and doesn’t encroach on the image area. 

I read that Fujifilm specifically improved the IR film advance sensor in the second version of the Xpan / TX cameras to be less intense specifically for IR films, but that is likely more of a problem when using Kodak HIE (the most sensitive of all the IR films). 

I read on the internet about DX codes being read by LEDs, which might fog IR film, but have not seen any actual credible evidence of this or examples of how this looks. However, I have seen exactly how infrared film advance sensors ruin the film.

Take Your Film Out the Night Before

Take your color infrared film out of the freezer the night before you plan to shoot it and allow it to gradually warm up to room temperature over several hours before opening the sealed canister. Otherwise, you can get spotting or ferrotyping on the film.

Pre-Visualize Your Images

Try to pre-visualize your shots and how they might look on this film before you shoot. Aerochrome doesn’t only turn pink and red from green trees; anything that reflects infrared light shows up in similar colors on this film. 

I was most surprised by how certain textiles turned bright red on this film. Black clothes often turn vivid crimson.

How to Meter

I was curious to know about metering with this film, so I asked Walwyn if he used a light meter or if he relied on the built-in metering of the cameras he used. 

The method I have used to success is to set my Pentax 67II’s TTL meter to ISO 400 and meter through the filter while attached to the lens. Using the camera’s spot meter mode on the brightest green leaves in a scene, I set to 0 exposure, that is, neutral gray. 

I have also applied a similar approach using a handheld Sekonic L758 spot meter where I either meter through the filter (with ISO set to 400) or increase the exposure by ⅔ of a stop for an Orange B+W 040 filter (e.g. ISO 250) if I am not going to spot-meter through the filter. I have obtained similarly nice results by just setting the Pentax’s TTL meter to ISO 400 and using a weighted average meter reading.

It’s not any more difficult than shooting a slide film such as Fujifilm Velvia. You need to understand how limited the dynamic range is, and what types of contrasty scenes you should avoid.

Don’t Make Any Focusing Adjustments

Many photographers know about the infrared focusing mark on lenses and often think that they need to use this when shooting Aerochrome. However, Walwyn advises not to make any focusing adjustments when shooting color infrared films. 

A common misconception is that all infrared films require you to adjust the position of focus due to the difference in wavelength and therefore focus of infrared versus visible light. 

This is not the case with Aerochrome, as those infrared focusing marks that some lenses have on them (a little red dot or line on the depth of field scale) are designed only for images made up by a majority of infrared wavelengths — for example, if you are using a black and white infrared film such as Kodak High-Speed Infrared (HIE) film with an R72 (720nm) filter. 

Given Aerochrome records both visible and infrared wavelengths, with the majority of the image formed by visible wavelengths, you shouldn’t make any focusing adjustments and should just focus as you would normally for any normal film.

Don’t Rush It 

Don’t stress or rush too much with finishing your roll of infrared color film. Ideally, you would shoot and process the film promptly, but keeping it in the camera for a couple of extra days or weeks is not going to destroy the film if you keep your camera out of direct sun or heat.

Talk to Your Lab 

Make sure you speak with your lab before handing the film over to them. Confirm they can process color infrared film without issues, as some development machines use infrared sensors within the machine to detect chemistry levels that will ruin your film. 

Rob had all his film for this series processed at Rewind Photo Lab in Sydney.

Karrikins Project 

You can find out more about the Karrikins project on Rob Walwyn’s website and by following him on Instagram

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Film Studios are Struggling to Find Crews in Exploding European Market

Film crew shortages in Europe

Film crew shortages in Europe

As Hollywood made the most out of production companies in central Europe during the pandemic, the industry in the region has now been left with large staff shortages and is struggling to keep up with the demand.

Reuters reports that Hollywood picked central Europe for filming during the pandemic because the region kept its cameras rolling while most of the production was halted in the United States. Now, the area is one of the world’s largest hubs with around $1 billion a year generated from the United States-based movie and television businesses. The attraction of the region also lies in its lower labor costs, more generous tax incentives, and access to picturesque locations like countrysides and castles.

The demand is so high that production companies struggle to find enough qualified staff to keep up with the needs of large clients like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple. Hungary’s state-of-the-art Korda Studio, which is one of the world’s biggest sound stages, has reduced its output and focused on fewer shots and movies to maintain quality. It has also had to come up with imaginative ways to achieve more with less.

“Set directors and designers have to be smarter about shooting angles,” says Korda’s Chief Executive Gyorgy Rajnai. “Now we build a house with three sides instead of four. We save on resources, time, and people.”

Other companies have had to turn to hire less experienced staff to fill the demand and at times have to turn down new work altogether due to lack of resources.

Jonathan Olsberg, executive chairman of London-based film industry consultancy Olsberg SPI, says that “this is a fundamental global problem and we will be experiencing these shortages for years to come.”

The film-industry giants also “suck up a lot of the local talent” which further increases the competition between production companies who are looking to hire with some resorting to poaching one another.

Although this is not an ideal situation for the companies, it has created an appealing environment for those who are looking to enter the film industry or those who want to climb the career ladder faster.

“If people keep their eyes open and want to work in the film industry, now is a pretty good time,” says Vojta Ruzicka who was worked for nearly 20 years as a logistics specialist and productions in Prague for big titles like Mission Impossible 4 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

For photographers in the region who may still be experiencing a downturn in demand for their work, now is an excellent time to consider moving over to movie production where many photography skills easily translate.


Image credits: Header image licensed via Depositphotos.

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The Kodak Reelz Digitizer Converts 8mm Film Strips into MP4 Files

Kodak Reelz Film Digitizer

Kodak Reelz Film Digitizer

C+A Global, a brand licensee of Eastman Kodak, has announced the Kodak Reelz Film Digitizer, a new 8mm and Super 8 film digital converter that turns old film strips into modern MP4 files.

Just like was the case with the giant inflatable backyard projector screen that was launched by C&A Marketing earlier this fall, this film digitizer isn’t actually made by Eastman Kodak. Instead, it’s one of many licensed products that are completely unaffiliated with the storied film brand other than in name.

The Kodak brand is a lot more segmented than most average consumers likely know. The Eastman Kodak company, which is still based in Rochester, New York, still produces film, film chemistry, and some software processing on its own, but has another entirely separate revenue stream: licensing its brand name, which still commands considerable clout. Through licensing, the company has dramatically expanded the reach of its name into everything from mobile phones and flashlights to inkjet printers, digital cameras, instant print cameras, and camera accessories.

C+A Global is one such buyer of that license and has used it to market this film digitizer (along with several other Kodak-branded products), which is a lot more on-brand as a product than a backyard inflatable screen. The Kodak Reelz is equipped with a few different capabilities that the company says “enhance” the user experience.

Kodak Reelz Film Digitizer front

The device has a five-inch viewing screen with an LCD interface controlled by nine buttons on the top of the converter. The device allows for recording, converting, and playing back of live films as well as several other scanning and editing options. The buttons allow for users to align the frame, zoom, and edit sharpness and tint among other features.

The Kodak Reelz is designed to be super-easy to use. It accepts three, five, and seven-inch films into its universal supply reel and provides on-screen prompts that allow users to send or save footage. It accepts a USB cable to transfer scans to a computer, laptop, or even a television where footage can be viewed instantly.

The scanner is fully automated and uses an 8.08-megapixel sensor that the company says captures images with “exceptional” clarity, contrast, detail, and color accuracy and outputs a 1080p Full HD digital video file. As a note, and perhaps obviously, there will not be any sound included with the recordings.

Kodak Reelz Film Digitizer back

C+A Global touts the Kodak Reelz as ultra-compact as well at 12.4 by 8.4-inches, making it easy to store and travel with.

The Kodak Reelz Film digitizer is available from Amazon for $400.

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Are Kodak’s Price Hikes Going to Ruin Film Photography?

Are Kodak’s Price Hikes Going to Ruin Film Photography?

Kodak caused a bit of a stir last month when it announced that there would be some dramatic increases in the price of its film stocks in the near future. What impact will these changes have on the photographic film industry more broadly?

Fstoppers James Madison has been discussing this issue recently and photographer Chris Chu has put together a short video explaining his thoughts. Film photography has long been a niche endeavor with the low cost of camera bodies offset by the costs of buying, developing, and scanning film. Kodak’s price hikes potentially open the door to other manufacturers to establish a greater presence in the market, undercutting the golden giant and bringing out new products.

Perhaps Kodak’s move could be regarded as a readjustment, bringing what will soon be perceived as normality to an industry that certainly retains its magic but also has a notable environmental impact. Given the volumes of plastic and noxious chemicals used in the process, some will argue that such an adjustment is actually welcome, denting its popularity.

Of course, film isn’t the only product that’s increasing in price so you could equally argue that these price rises are far from unexpected.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Remembering George Eastman, founder of Kodak, inventor of roll film ~ Photography News

Remembering George Eastman, founder of Kodak, inventor of roll film ~ Photography News

July 12, 2018 /Photography News/ Born 164 years ago, on July 12, 1854,  George Eastman was an American inventor and philanthropist. He founded the Eastman Kodak Company and invented roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream. Roll film was also the basis for the invention of motion picture film in 1888 by the world’s first filmmaker Louis Le Prince, and a few years later by his followers Léon Bouly, Thomas Edison, the Lumière Brothers and Georges Méliès.
George Eastman. Part of Bain News Service collection.
George Eastman. Part of Bain News Service collection.

In 1884, Eastman patented the first film in roll form to prove practicable; in 1888 he perfected the Kodak camera, the first camera designed specifically for roll film. In 1892, he established the Eastman Kodak Company, in Rochester, New York, one of the first firms to mass-produce standardized photography equipment. This company also manufactured the flexible transparent film, devised by Eastman in 1889, which proved vital to the subsequent development of the motion picture industry.

Page 1 of George Eastman's patent no. 388,850, for his film camera and roll film. 4 September 1888
Page 1 of George Eastman’s patent no. 388,850, for his film camera and roll film. 4 September 1888

During his lifetime, he donated $100 million, mostly to the University of Rochester and to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (under the alias “Mr. Smith”). The Rochester Institute of Technology has a building dedicated to Mr. Eastman, in recognition of his support and substantial donations.

In his final two years, Eastman was in intense pain, caused by a degenerative disorder affecting his spine. He had trouble standing and his walking became a slow shuffle. Today it might be diagnosed as lumbar spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal caused by calcification in the vertebrae. Eastman grew depressed, as he had seen his mother spend the last two years of her life in a wheelchair from the same condition. On March 14, 1932, Eastman died by suicide with a single gunshot to the heart, leaving a note which read, “My work is done. Why wait?” His funeral was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Rochester; he was buried on the grounds of the company he founded at Kodak Park in Rochester, New York.

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dark_lord’s latest blog : fingerprints on film

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Fingerprints on Film

29 Oct 2021 7:02PM  
Views : 322
Unique : 198

As a title that’s not as slick as the Duran Duran song (you’ll be hearing that all day now!) but it does describe one of the pitfalls of the analogue medium.

In the early 1990s I had a transparency that I took in to a high street processing lab in order to get a print made. It was a branch of Max Spielmann (that particular branch has long since gone). The assistant was very clumsy and when picking up the transparency picked it up without paying attention with finger and thumb right across the image area. Horror! I guess in hindsight I should have at least complained and walked out of the shop.

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That’s when I decided not to use high street processing outlets. I’m not saying all their branches or indeed all high street outlets had the same laissez-faire approach, but situations like that certainly make you ask all sorts of questions about customer service and quality control.

My transparency film was mostly the process paid sort, that which wasn’t was sent off in the post to trusted labs (found in those days in the advertisements at the back of the photographic magazines). Peak Imaging was one such place, and I also used a local branch of Colab (since taken over by One Vision Imaging and the local site abandoned, a casualty of the march of digital). Of course, there’s always the risk of damage in transit but there’s no need to get paranoid. Given the amount of photo material I sent and recived through the mail I can remember only one occasion when something went missing, though it was retrieved with no adverse effects.

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Fortunately I can’t see any damage to the image yet and it hasn’t revealed itself in the scan. Acid from skin will in time eat away at photographic emulsions. That said, it’s quite amazing how some film and prints survive poor storage.

These days if I want a print from a negative or transparency I create a high quality digital file and upload that unless I print it myself. Time constraints and large sizes as well as special surfaces like acrylic mean home printing is out, otherwise home printing it is. Either way, creating a digital file means I can get the image just as I want it, for example colour balance, colour correction, contrast, shadow detail and so on.

Oh, and removal of fingerprints.

All text and images © Keith Rowley 2021

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The Grain Gurls: supporting female film photographers

The Grain Gurls: supporting female film photographers

November 12, 2021

One of the highlights of the Analogue Spotlight section at the recent Photography Show was a lively talk by Tonicha Gordon and Nikki Layton, aka The Grain Gurls. We caught up with Tonicha to find out why so many photographers under 30 continue to be drawn to film…

The Grain Gurls: supporting female film photographers 1

What exactly is The Grain Gurls and how and why did you and Nikki get into film photography?
Grain Gurls is a free-to-join, not-for-profit collective for female film photographers. I started off shooting digital when I studied photography in college. From there I experimented with Polaroid and Lomography and then decided to give full-on film photography a go. I’ve never looked back

The Grain Gurls: supporting female film photographers 2

For me, film photography is a lot more personal, in the sense of getting more involved with the camera. With digital, you can take 10 frames within 10 seconds and pick the best one, but with film, you have to put your heart and soul into it and work with or against the camera – the element of surprise is appealing too, as you won’t see the results until the film is developed.

The Grain Gurls: supporting female film photographers 3

Kodak Gold

Some of colours and textures you get with film are just phenomenal, too.

We are both into street photography, but I have been getting heavily into shooting landscapes with film, too. I live in the Lake District, so there is more than enough scenery. Nikki has also been doing a lot of portraiture.

The Grain Gurls: supporting female film photographers 4

Why set up Grain Gurls now?
It was a lockdown project. We were both bored, and we’d discussed setting up a platform to support women film photographers on Instagram. We just thought, right, let’s do it; even if nothing comes of it, we’ve got something that we can do as a fun side project.

With lockdown you have all the time in the world.

Do you make many more from the site?
It’s more of a general resource for the film community. We do sell merchandise, but any money we make we put back into the site. We generated enough money from sticker sales to set up a website, for example.

What specifically are you doing to get more young women involved with film photography?
As well as building the community, we want to do photo walks with the aim of bringing female film photographers together and helping them to make friends or ‘film buddies.’ I also plan to do a blog on safer street photography, as for many women, wandering around a city centre on their own with a film camera can be intimidating.

The Grain Gurls: supporting female film photographers 5
What film gear are you currently using?
I use an Olympus OM2n with a f/1.8 50mm lens, then a point and shoot Olympus mju. I recently bought a Bronica ETRS 120. Shooting film has opened my photographic ‘eye’ a lot more and reignited a passion for photography.

With today’s digital cameras so advanced, do you sometimes find shooting manually with film cameras can be frustrating?
No not really. You can get AF film cameras, but I prefer the manual side of photography – it’s how I learned. With film you do have to put a lot of thought into it – the speed of the film, how old it is, how it’s been stored, etc. Shooting film can be more of a challenge, but it’s fun.

The Grain Gurls: supporting female film photographers 6But phones are now so advanced…
Yes but with smartphone technology now so advanced, it’s like anyone can do photography. I think a lot of younger people are looking for something different, which is why they are turning to film photography, Polaroids etc. The guy I bought my Bronica from was a retired pro photographer and he was delighted that a new generation was getting into film.

Film can be expensive, too. What do you do to keep costs down?
Both Nikki and I scan at home so we only pay for film development. Some retailers, such as Analogue Wonderland, now have a point system, so the more you buy, the more you get off – this is useful if bulk buying. Film subscription services are also good value for money. You can also find cheap film on eBay or Facebook Marketplace, but you have to be quick.

Do you worry this film photography boom will prove to be a hipster fad and peter out in a few years?
I don’t think so. There are always bandwagon jumpers, but our experience has shown there is definitely a bigger community out there which has a passion for film photography. Film will stick around, so long as it doesn’t get too expensive. And even if some great films are discontinued, there are lots of independent labs bringing out interesting new emulsions.

You’re big mates with West Yorkshire Cameras. Do you get the sense film retailers are benefitting from this revival?
Definitely. When I first visited West Yorkshire Cameras a few years ago, they just had tiny little shop, now they’ve got a cult following on Instagram and a much bigger store. A lot of people approach them for interviews, not to mention repairs – they are very handy when people find old cameras and need specialist help. So everyone in the community is benefiting from the film revival.


Further reading
Analogue Wonderland opens female-led film lab

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A Modern Approach to Film Photography With Flash

A Modern Approach to Film Photography With Flash

Of course, flash photography existed long before the transition to digital. However, most modern film photography is shot in natural light, whether out of an aesthetic desire or because working with flash and film is a bit of a lost art. Nonetheless, just like digital, flash can open up a lot of creative possibilities, and this excellent video tutorial will show you a modern approach to doing so. 

Coming to you from Willem Verbeeck, this awesome video tutorial will show you a useful, modern approach to shooting film photography with flash. While you can certainly learn to meter flash like was done in the old days, most of us do not own a dedicated light meter, and this approach might feel a bit foreign compared to our modern workflows. And given the price and delayed results of film, it is not really productive to guess and adjust like you can with digital. Verbeeck’s hybrid approach solves all these problems: by shooting with digital first, you can figure out the exact settings you need to get the results you want, then grab your film camera and apply those settings, allowing you to be confident that you’re getting the results you want and not wasting time and money. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Verbeeck.

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Macro Timelapse Film Showcases Insects and Carnivorous Plants

Macro Timelapse Film Showcases Insects and Carnivorous Plants

French artist Thomas Blanchard has produced a creative macro film that features the natural world of both the lifecycle of delicate butterflies and gorgeous detail of carnivorous plants in action.

Originally from Lyon, Blanchard is a self-taught video artist who explores a variety of themes and mixes arts and has had his work exhibited around the world. Blanchard’s work has expanded into sports and music videos and slow-motion, but macro work, particularly timelapses, is where he says he gains the most pleasure.

His latest project, titled “-N- Uprising ‘The Green Reapers,’” is an experimental macro film that mixes 8K insect clips and carnivorous plant timelapses in one. It took him four months of patience to complete the film, but projects that take a lot of time are where Blanchard thrives, he tells PetaPixel.

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Macro Timelapse Film Showcases Insects and Carnivorous Plants 8

Macro Timelapse Film Showcases Insects and Carnivorous Plants 9

Having already explored the cycles of nature by creating macro projects of insects and plants, Blanchard wanted to add something unique, but also realistic and immersive, to his next project and opted for carnivorous plants.

“Little Shop of Horrors” — a late 1980s movie that featured a man-eating plant — was an inspiration for Blanchard, as was “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” The added music and sound design by Alex Dehimi added an extra layer of reality with noises that accompany the movements of insects.

When Blanchard planned his project, he started with the lengthiest part of the process: the timelapses of the plants, which he says are more difficult than similar clips that feature flowers. He says that the difficulty is because it takes at least a week to see the evolution of growing carnivorous plants. For these shots, Blanchard set his camera to take a photo every seven minutes for three months.

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The next part involved filming the butterflies emerging from a chrysalis, which is one the transitional stages in the butterfly life cycle before they become adults. This was the most difficult stage of the project because he had to wait a whole night for the butterfly to emerge. But once it happens, he says it is a very fast process that is easy to miss.

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Blanchard filmed the insects with a RED Helium 8K camera with a Canon 100mm f/2.8L and a Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro lens, while the carnivorous plant timelapses were shot with a Canon EOS 5DS R.

When considering a future project, Blanchard has his eyes set on a star timelapse. Although there are plenty of beautiful timelapses of stars that have already been made, Blanchard hopes to find a creative angle that will allow him to make his film “a little different” from what is already out there.

More of Blanchard’s work can be found on his website and Vimeo.


Image credits: All images by Thomas Blanchard and used with permission.

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