For the last month or so I have been on the hunt for a Kodak Duaflex 1 camera in my state but I am not having much luck at the moment. I have been so intrigued by all the TTV photos I have seen around the web. The little photos are just so darn cute and have so much character to them as well as adding that vintage vibe. I love the dust spots and the little scratches. I love that they are not perfect. They have all the ingredients of my definition of a photo with a story. For those of you who are not familiar with TTV photos (which stands for through the viewfinder), this basically means you use your digital camera to take a photo 'through the viewfinder' of an older camera.

Now don't get me wrong, I am no professional photographer at all but looking at these amazing TTV photos, how could anyone go wrong? Below is an example of the camera I am looking for. Notice that the viewfinder is on the top of the camera. That is where you point your digital camera at to capture your shot. The reason I am looking for this particular model is that it doesn't have an enclosure around the viewfinder which would make it difficult for taking TTV photos.

Now the tricky part..... (there's always a tricky part, nothing can be that easy can you will need a macro lens to take these type of photos or if you are using a point and shoot camera you just select your macro settings. You also need to eliminate the light between your digital lens and the viewfinder. Basically you need to construct a tube of some sort that connects your lens to the viewfinder. Here is a link to the awesome Through the Viewfinder flickr discussion group run by Rustman (Russ Morris) on making these home made tubes. You can also check out Russ Morris' tutorial and download his instructions on how he made his contraption, very cool idea!! Here is an example of a TTV photo I googled:


Isn't it stunning!!! If you like that then get a load of Alicia Bock's TTV shots....drool-worthy! What about Charles Blackburn, soooo amazing!! For loads more inspiration, check out the Through the Viewfinder flickr group for so many more artists.

Ok, so you don't want to go to all the trouble of tracking down an old camera, no time to get out and about with one of these contraptions, not to mention the looks you would, well why not cheat and try out some viewfinder masks like these over at Noise and Dust Through the Viewfinder. Below is an example using one of the many masks from Noise and Dust.


Here is my cropped photo I will be using straight from the camera.

The photo with the mask. I have changed the mask layer to Hard Light in Photoshop.

So simple and easy! Want to take this to the next level? Well, run the Urban Acid action from ATN Central (scroll down to the bottom of the page), over the photo before adding your mask and this is what I finish with......

......oh my, simply delicious if you ask me! I would love to have taken this shot with my contraption but cheating with masks will have to do until I can track down my kodak camera!

Photos + Actions + TTV Masks = Happiness on a Sunday!! xo