Photography Hack | Instamorph Camera Grip

A while back the rubber for the CF card door fell off of one of my D3 cameras. Replacements were either hard to find, bundled with other rubbers I didn’t need right now, or expensive. Instamorph seemed like a good solution worth trying.

Here is what the intact rubber looks like on the other, lower mileage, D3.
D3 CF door rubber intact

Here is the D3 with the rubber missing from the CF card door.
D3 CF door rubber missing

Instamorph to the rescue!
Instamorph

Simple enough ;-)
Instamorph instructions

Ready to go.
Instamorph_camera_grip-5

I start off with one tablespoon.
instamorph hot water

Of course, the obligatory macro shot of it melting. It goes clear.
instamorph melting macro

While I wait the two minutes I am supposed to I clean the area to receive the product with my good ol’ buddy, Isopropyl alcohol.
Instamorph_camera_grip-8

I ended up using half of this amount. Once removed it is best to mold and dry and it off with a paper towel to push the water out from the little pockets it may form. Then you are ready to shape it onto the camera.
hot instamorph

Start by pushing it into the corners. Best done without holding a camera in the other hand.
molding instamorph into camera grip

So far so good.
molding instamorph onto camera

Here I hold the camera to let the plastic mold to the contours of my hand while under load with an attached lens. I figure this will make it as custom fit as possible.
instamorph hand contours

Here it is after curing.
instamorph cured camera grip

I like it so far. I will have to shoot with it for a whole day to really tell if it works as a replacement. Already I do feel it to be a tad too slippery. I may go at it with some rough sandpaper or maybe try to carve in some knurling. Were I do do this project again I think I would have covered the hot plastic with a textured cloth before doing the hand contour shaping as I believe that would have imprinted the texture onto the plastic at the same time. That might have improved the grip.

I also don’t expect it to hold to the camera for long; never did really. In fact I hope it does fall off so I can make another mold and see which I prefer before gluing one on for good. I will update this as things progress.

Cheers!

Update 1: After taking a mini-file to the surface it got a bit grippier. I shot an 8 hour event with it over the weekend and by the end I was really enjoying the fix. It takes a little getting used to. You can’t dig in your thumb and lever the camera around one handed any more without the rubber grip, so you have to rethink holding the camera. The mild instability with one handed operation makes you keep the second hand on the camera as much as possible; kinda like those choir chairs that you would slip right off of if you started to slouch or lean back. I think this will be of benefit to me though, since one handing the camera is hard on the thumb and wrists and something I shouldn’t do when working anyhow.

Spider | Component Sculpture

A couple of months ago a friend of mine won an auction on the contents of a storage unit. We think the guy was a former engineer or tech of some sort. Part of the stash was a ton of very old electronics components including a few boxes of relay logic gear. I used a few of the ceramic resistors and one of the logic relays and made this spider, which kinda scares me. It reminds me of an old “b” movie from the 80′s whose name escapes me. It involved a villain that used lots of creepy robotic things to kill his enemies; one scene featuring these jumping robotic spiders that could poison you.

spider sculpture relay logic electronics components

spider sculpture relay logic electronics components

Some watercolor practice

Yesterday I decided to work more wet in wet and had my try at this birch tutorial by Peter Humeniuk. Learned quite a bit in the process.

birch tree bark watercolor

Also messed around with this exercise scraping trees.
watercolor

Costa Rica Watercolor Sketches

Sharing a few watercolors from my recent trip to La Fortuna, Costa Rica for a wedding of two good friends of mine.

I love doing these little sketches at the airport
watercolor airport Tarmac

watercolor airplane wing

Arenal volcano watercolor

watercolor of tropical scene

watercolor town square la fortuna costa rica

Cyanotype Printing

Yesterday I did some cyanotyping. A recent trip to see the purple martins roost at the old Highland Mall left me with some images that were just begging to be cyanotyped; high contrast stuff, silhouettes, and such. I also had some old negatives from past cyanotype printing that I wanted to print again.

I had a rough time getting going. As with previous times, I start out without enough exposure and take a while to settle in. All told I ended up with 8 keepers. I need to use test strips more :) I also realized the Canson 140lb paper that I am using is not the best suited for larger prints. Compared to some other types in my stash, it was flimsy when dry and very delicate during the washing process. I’ll be using it instead for watercolors or cutting it up into 5x7s for cyanotyping. It won’t fall apart so easily when cut to smaller sizes.

A couple of 5x7s
Purple martin cyanotype art austin

Purple martin cyanotype art austin

Some larger prints up to 11x15s. Forgive the warped edges from the not very flat drying. They haven’t been pressed yet.
Japanese Gardens in Tokyo
Japanese gardens in Tokyo Japan  Bamboo

gardens cyanotype art Japan

When printing, I always keep coming back to this one image of the Alamo I took a few years back. The contrast works so well with the light raking over the rough cut limestone. I remember standing there in the hot sun waiting for a second or two when the tourists would clear; the State Trooper guard watching me from under a shade oak with a wry grin on his face. I stood there for about 15 minutes and got 3 or 4 good frames during two clear moments of a couple seconds each. Two hours of stanchion-cloning-outing later and I had my image. Totally worth it.
Alamo Texas cyanotype print art San Antonio

And some more Martins. I plan on doing a post of the whole final photo essay soon.
Purple martin cyanotype art austin

Purple martin cyanotype art austin

Purple martin cyanotype art austin

Watercolor Sketches Around Austin

Between my trip to Ireland and my trip to Costa Rica during July I managed to get out a few times and do some watercolor paintings around Austin.

austin auditorium shores water color painting

Austin Long Center water color

Hey Cupcake!
water color of the South Congress Hey Cupcake food trailer

Succulents | Watercolor

Just doing some watercolor sketching around the house. Again, this is backposted from earlier in July.

watercolor painting of succulent plant display

watercolor painting of succulent plant arrangement

Ireland in Watercolor

Recently in July I took up painting again, a hobby I had dabbled in for a couple of years after college.  I think I ended up putting it down for photography and just never made time to pick it back up for very long.  Feeling the need for change, I decided for a recent trip to Ireland that rather than use my camera, I would do watercolor sketches as we toured around.  It was a grand time.  I will definitely be working this into my regular work and I am glad I have taken it back up.

Laundry Day
Laundry day Ireland Watercolor painting

Gardens at St. Enda’s Park, Rathfarnam
Ireland Watercolor painting gardens St Enda's Park

St. Enda’s Park, Rathfarnam
Ireland Watercolor painting St enda's park Rathfarnam

Garden Wall at Lough Rynn Castle
Ireland Watercolor painting wall Lough Rynn

Garden Plant at Lough Rynn Castle
Ireland Watercolor painting

Wall Gardens at Lough Rynn Castle
Ireland Watercolor painting Wall Gardens Lough Rynn Castle

Staircase on the Castle Grounds
Ireland Watercolor painting Lough Rynn Staircase

Potted plants behind a farmhouse
potted plants

Fields in Cloone
Cloone field county leitrim

More fields in Cloone
Ireland Watercolor painting Cloone hayfield

More of the castle’s walled gardens. I spent a lot of time there poking about.
Ireland Watercolor painting Lough Rynn Castle Gardens

Irish farmhouse
Farmhouse Ireland Watercolor painting

Lough Rynn’s lake
Ireland Watercolor painting Lake at Lough Rynn Castle

More Castle gardens :)
Ireland Watercolor painting Lough Rynn Castle

A light Irish breakfast
Breakfast Ireland Watercolor painting