Paper Pinhole Camera Photos

After sitting in a drawer for a year, I finally built the paper-pinhole camera I bought at The MoMA Design Store in Omotesando.

 The camera is made from thick cardstock and comes with double sided tape instead of glue. The instructions were in Japanese but the diagrams were enough to go on.

 It’s pretty basic. The exposure “setting” written on the back of the camera is 2-3 seconds with ISO100 on a day suitable for the sunny 16 rule. But who has time for that? I threw in a roll of Fuji 1600 to deal with the cloudy days and to make the camera easier to shoot hand-held. I like the idea of tripods, I don’t like the weight. Plus you can toss a camera in your bag for the day, but a tripod requires planning.

I got my first roll of film back. It actually worked better than I expected. That bar was quite low actually. I thought the film would all be blank or light leak city. Here are the images unedited, except for the addition of lots of dust from my scanner. I only realised now how much it needs a cleaning.

When building the camera, I didn’t put in the frame part on the film. I don’t get a crisp, classic 35 mm frame. Instead I get a longer image with a lot of vignetting. Advancing the film is an art. It’s not a simple turn the knob twice as the instructions say. I ended up wasting a lot of film.

I didn’t really get any amazing images this go-round. I pretty much just took photos when I remembered the camera was in my bag. The camera works and I like it well enough that I might actually plan for a day of tripod carrying. I can see some potential for better photos with a more thoughtful approach to subject matter.

App Review of StitchSketch LE. Designing Your Own Patterns Is Easier than Ever!

For today’s edition of Yarn Addiction Thursday, I’m reviewing With StitchSketch LE. You can create your own knit, cross-stitch, beadwork designs, or pixel art on your iPad or iPhone with ease.

In the past, if you wanted to design a knitting pattern, you  needed graph paper or to draw out your pattern. Each block got its own color, just like pixel art. If you were doing it freehand, no worries. A photo was a lot tougher.  It was tough to copy a photo onto graph paper, so you could use a light table or transparancy. Not convenient but doable.

So all is good, until you knit out your design and find that the gauge of your yarn makes a unit block of the design more rectangular than square. Your end result ends up looking stretched if the stitch is more upright rectangular and squashed if the stitch was wider.

How to make sure your design doesn’t go wonky? One solution was to find knitting graph paper with different gauge. I didn’t even know that existed until recently. Or you could use an Excel spreadsheet to make your graph paper by adjusting the column and row sizes according to gauge. So all that work and you still need to get your image on the paper. Yikes.

StitchSketch LE makes things  a lot easier. Use your iPad or your iPhone to create wherever you are.

20141113-132835-48515356.jpg1. You select your medium (stitching, knitting, beading, pixel art) which will have symbols or colors depending on your choice.
2. Input the size of the work and the gauge of the yarn
3. Create your image. Draw in the app or import.

 


4. Save the work
You can save work in the app gallery, your camera roll or generate a PDF. Outside the app gallery, saving as a PDF gets you the maximum amount of information. Saving to your camera roll gets you a chart but no row counts or color info.
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5. Generate a PDF.
Check your settings carefully. You might save without the graph lines which makes it very difficult to use. But don’t close this PDF. You need to click the icon on the top right to move the generated PDF into another app to save it or send it. By doing this you get a file row counts and a list of colors in RGB and hexadecimal (for coding). If you buy the full app, you get color references for the brands they use.

I drew the image below in the app. I posted some versions using different media available in StitchSketchLE. I wonder if one could do pixel art for Minecraft in this app?

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Some examples of stitch symbols

For knitters who design with stitches more than color
There is also a selection for knitting symbols. I don’t do a lot of knitting with stitch symbols so I’m not familiar with the meanings and the effects. I played with the symbols to show some of them. I’m pretty sure this would not actually make anything.

Some tips
1. This is basically pixel art so the finer your gauge, the more refined your design will look.
2. Test knit a swatch and count your rows and stitches then enter: this way you can be sure your design doesn’t suffer from stretch or squashiness

Conclusion: 5 Stars
I really like the app on my iPad. It removes the grunt work (finding paper, creating a graph, transferring the image to paper) from making a design and allows you to focus on making your vision a reality. I downloaded the free version but haven’t upgraded to the full version. Currently, the LE version fills all my needs very well. I find $6.99 a bit spendy for the full version, but the tracing paper mode does entice me. If I did complicated color work or made kits for people, I would definitely get the full version so I could get a color list of manufacturers’ flosses or beads.

StitchSketch LE by Keiji Ikuta is a free app for the basic and $6.99 for full app.

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