Sunday, June 16, 2013

How To Make Incredible Pictures - Popular Mechanics (Sep, 1955)

Popular Mechanics magazine, issue Sep, 1955, has an article with some funny tricks for their readers to make incredible pictures. This stuff was a bit harder before photoshop.
LAUGH-PROVOKING trick pictures are fun to make and more fun to show. Contrary to popular belief, such pictures can be produced by the amateur photographer, even though he has only limited equipment. Trick shots involve two steps: cutouts and pasteups. The equipment required for them, in addition to a camera and enlarger, is a sharp knife, a sheet of clear glass large enough to hold an 8 x 10 glossy print, and a piece of heavy cardboard of the same size.
The basic print on which the cut is later pasted is made first. See step 1 on the opposite page, and photo B above. This should be a sharp print with good middle tones. Use a ruler on this print to determine the exact size of the cutout needed. Next place the cutout negative, step 2, and photo A, in the enlarger and adjust the size of the cutout image to suit. The print should be made on single-weight glossy paper. Using an old magazine as a cutting board, cut carefully along the outline of the subject, step 3. Slant the knife away from the subject so that blade undercuts the edge.
The basic print is now placed on the cardboard, the cutout is arranged in place, and the sheet of glass is clamped over the combination, as in step 4. The last step, 5, is to photograph the composite picture. Two lights (house lamps of 150 watts will do) in reflectors are used, one on each side of the camera. The composite is propped up against a solid support, and a check should be made to see that the glass is not reflecting the light. The camera height is adjusted until the lens is 2 or 3 in. above the center of the picture, and then tilted slightly downward until the picture is centered on the ground glass. With a lens opening of f:8, use an exposure of 1/25 sec. if the camera is 2 ft. from the subject; 1/10 sec. at 3 ft.; or 1/5 sec. at 4 ft. On cameras having no focus control, use an inexpensive portrait lens. * * *
(Popular Mechanics - Sep, 1955, via Modern Mechanix)

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