Thursday, March 17, 2011

The "Fuzz"

In preparation for shooting some infrared (IR) film, I am replacing the seals on my Canon AE-1. The camera is probably 30 years old. What has been a typical experience for me is to open up the back of an old 35mm and find the old fuzzy seal sticking to the opposite side of where it should be; this one is no different. Something about infrared film, for those who don't know, is that it has been made to be sensitive to IR light and, therefore, is extremely sensitive to "normal" light; you don't want that pouring in on an $8.00 roll of film. Infrared light, as you may know, is invisible to the human eye. Do you see the beam of light that controls your TV or other device that you control with a similar remote? I would venture to say no. But, the small LED at the front of that control is, in fact, a light. It will also appear in photos if the film or, in the case of digital cameras, sensor is sensitive to IR. Okay, my storytelling requires that I wander off on these exceptionally long tangents. Back to where I was going with this...and back to my task! So, I shopped around online for a kit to reseal an old camera with no luck. I asked my photography instructor about such an item and he was unsure of where to acquire said kit. We kicked around ideas (I'm not sure which one of us came up with the one I'm applying) and came up with what so far seems almost ingenious. Film canisters are sealed off from light using a velvet-like fabric (maybe it is velvet.) Well, come to find out, this isn't an original idea but I was unaware of this trick. I can't vouch for my instructor. I think sometimes he just enjoys watching the smoke roll from my ears as the gears within my head turn. Regardless, I hope to soon have a light-tight camera and some cool IR photos!

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