Kodak Camera Modification
Camera effects & techniques
Every summer I begin to pull out my 35mm cameras and give my digital ones a break. Summer time is when everyone is usually out and about. We connect with old friends, make new ones, spend time with each other, say goodbye to each other. Most importantly, we must remember each other. My photography teacher in high school always emphasized on taking pictures of friends and family more often. These are memories that we should always keep with us. As a tradition for me, I started modding cameras to see what type of effects I get myself into. The lomography community has sprung out of its origins and now sell cameras that take pictures with effects on them. Likewise, achieving these effects doesn't mean that one is limited towards one avenue. So, I began to try some things on my own.
For this Kodak Star 735, there's two aperture settings: flash and non-flash. With the flash setting, the aperture opens up wider which means it allows more light in the camera. Non-flash has a smaller aperture and has more focus to the picture. However, I wanted to let as much light into the camera as possible. The only way that this was possibly was to leave the flash. Because most of my shots for this camera were outside I didn't want the extra flash to add any more light to the subjects. If I did, it would have been kinda cool to see but for experimental purposes, I chose not to. I took some tape, tape, and more tape to cover it up so that no light comes out of it. At the front of the lens is a rubber stopper. In order to achieve the vignette effect I'd either have to mod the inside of the camera's curtain where the film stays OR just put this in front. I taped a rubber stop to the front and made sure that a hole was big enough for the lens to see through.

Typically, photos that are grainy, scratched, underdeveloped, overdeveloped, light leaked, etc. aren't done on purpose. However, before cameras became digital (especially SLRs), cameras that go through enough abuse, wear & tear, or age tend to get messed in their mechanism. When that happens, the film inside the camera can be affected by it. In order to achieve this look, I went ahead and broke off the backing of the camera. What is shown is a small cardboard piece with black masking tape. When the back door of this closes, it typically will keep the film nice and flat so that when it's winded up in the reel it doesn't flutter around. However, I took it out and made it a little bit more loose so that film can agitate on it's own. In addition, I still made sure the film was able to reel up on it's own. Or else, I'd have to take it out myself in the dark room and that can be an interesting 10 minutes..
Below the flap is basically the "guide reel" if you will, that flattens out the film just a tad bit more into the camera's reel just to be sure it aligns right. I went ahead and took out the springs from it and made it a little bit looser. Again, the idea is ti agitate the film as it's being processed.

And these were the results.
Success! The pictures came out more than I had expected to see. The light leaks on the corner of the pictures are actually little holes I had created on the backdoor of the camera. I took an x-acto knife and sliced a few edges from the camera so that some extra light might just seep onto the film. With that, the rubber stop in the front created a very orbital effect on the pictures.

There are numerous of ways of achieving these effects. It really comes down to experimentation and letting go of the usual rules of photography. Have fun. Even a mess up can be something entertaining.

 Here are a few other examples. These tears were actually created in camera and not by tearing the photos themselves.