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Build Your Own VIDDY Pinhole Camera

A DIY set for building a charming 35mm and medium format machine

by David Graver in Tech on 28 July 2014

Cameras, DIY, Kelly Angood, Kickstarter, Photography, Pinhole

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It's been over a year since the wild success of UK-based artist Kelly Angood's "The Pop-Up Pinhole Project"—a Kickstarter initiative, for which she proposed a camera that buyers assemble for themselves, from card stock. It was innovative, beautiful and highly functional. Angood's returning to Kickstarter today, with a petite play on her initial product. This time, it's called VIDDY, and it employs both medium format and 35mm film and happens to be even more charming than the original.

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For those who don't know, a pinhole camera utilizes a single small aperture (a pinhole) in place of a lens. This particular pinhole has been laser-cut into screen-printed and die-cut cardboard, all done in the UK. The kit also includes a reclaimed medium format spool, a red light-proof window, split pins, and a customizable sticker sheet—not to mention illustrated instructions. Pop out the pieces, put them together and you're shooting in under 30 minutes. The camera takes superb photos, but there's also something to be said about the value in a photographer building their own camera.

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More than just a smaller, cuter version of The Pop-Up Pinhole Project's Videre camera, VIDDY incorporates feedback Angood has received from the DIY pinhole community that she helped to form. This edition incorporates a film viewing window, shutter indicator and a virtually glue-free construction. And, while the image quality is very good, this isn't a camera for professionals and enthusiasts only. It's already been employed to teach children as young as 11 years old photography basics—a true demonstration of how easy it is to build, use and enjoy.

Snag your very own VIDDY on Kickstarter, in one of four colors, with a £30 pledge, with delivery slated for November 2014.

Images courtesy of Kelly Angood

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ListenUp

The Smiths get covered, DJ DB Burkeman on the Rolling Stones and more in this week's look at music

by CH Editors in Listen Up on 27 July 2014

ListenUp, Shabazz Palaces, PrivateJam, Rolling Stones, Chinatown, The Smiths

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Shabazz Palaces: Lese Majesty

Ishmael Butler—whose notoriety peaked in the mid '90s when he became known as Butterfly, one-third of experimental trio Digable Planets—is a music veteran with impeccable taste and tenacity. His consistently fresh take on hip-hop is evident in Shabazz Palaces' upcoming release Lese Majesty. The 45-minute sonic journey channels multiple eras and genres, the album flows from ambient hip-hop track to space jazz without missing a beat. Multiple listens are necessary to catch all of the quick-witted lyrical references to everything from history to literature. If you're in Seattle, check out an art exhibit from Black Constellation (Butler's common collaborators) at the Frye Art Museum, open through 5 September. Don't forget your headphones.

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HTRK: Chinatown Style

London-via-Melbourne band HTRK (pronounced Hate Rock) has been creating music since 2003; recovering from bassist Sean Stewart's suicide in 2010, HTRK released Psychic 9-5 Club earlier this year, their first recorded project as a duo. The LP is a further stripping down of their musical style, exploring themes of love and loss using the bare minimum of Standish's sultry, delicate vocals and Yang's new age, experimental sounds. The 11-minute video short for their soft, spellbinding track "Chinatown Style" is an intimate look at the Manhattan neighborhood, wordlessly moving from restaurant kitchen to dance studio to underground rave.

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The Rolling Stones: Tumbling Dice

This week's #PrivateJam comes from pioneering DJ and record label founder DB Burkeman. A player in early rave culture and known for his key role in bringing drum and bass to the US, the New York-via-London crate-digging music maven turns to good ol' rock when he needs it. "Tumbling Dice," the groovy Stones track from the early '70s, comes from what many call their best period. "It's a track that has the power to snap me out of whatever kind of funk, or self-pitying mood I’m in," DB says. "If I’m feeling good, it produces a natural high unlike anything else." Musically, the song comes full circle with Burkeman's tastes. "I feel like it's one of the first and still best examples of a rock'n'roll band making wicked dance music. The groove they hit after the three minute mark still gives me goosebumps."

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Júníus Meyvant: Color Decay

Already in heavy rotation in his native Iceland, Júníus Meyvant (né Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson) caught the attention of listeners on both sides of the Atlantic with his crisply produced folk-pop debut single "Color Decay." Meyvant's stoic rasp calls to mind Father John Misty while the calculated horn placement suggests a distant relation to Beirut at his loudest. In true Icelandic form, the song is cheerful without being cheesy, and folksy without sounding provincial. The song appears on This Is Icelandic Indie Music Vol. 2 with a host of promising artists from the cultural hotbed island nation of the north.

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Woolfy vs Projections: Ask (The Smiths Cover)

While California’s Woolfy vs Projections (aka Simon James and Dan Hastie) have been working in tandem and as solo artists for well over a decade, their 2012 album—The Return Of Love, on label Permanent Vacation—put them on the (ever-so-slightly) mainstream map. Fans of their work will immediately recognize their take on The Smiths’ song "Ask," which uplifts Morrissey’s more somber tone and elucidates the vocals with a bouncy effect, while leaving in the original singer’s classic ruminating style. The upshot is a unique take on a widespread favorite that will have you tapping your toes and seeing the much-loved song through fresh eyes.

ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that takes a deeper look at the music we tweeted throughout the week. Often we'll include a musician or notable fan's personal favorite in a song or album dubbed #PrivateJam.

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Link About It: This Week's Picks

The New Yorker's archives freely unfold, space plant photography, the science behind tattoos and more in our weekly look at the web

by CH Editors in Link About It on 26 July 2014

Africa, Cars, Dance, Link About It, New Yorker, Photography, Social Media, Space, Tattoos

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1. Opening The New Yorker Archives

With the launch of their redesign and in preparation for their upcoming pay wall, The New Yorker has opened up its archives free to the public—temporarily. All issues from 2007 to date are available to peruse and, to help navigate, The New Yorker editors have offered up some tips on must-read pieces.

2. Bonsai Trees In Space

Tokyo-based artist Azuma Makoto isn't interested in discovering the possibility of life on other planets—he's interested in sending life from Earth beyond it. Strapping a bonsai tree, orchids, lilies and other plants to a balloon, the artist juxtaposes the symbols of life against the backdrop of the stratosphere. While the work "Exobiotanica" claims to transform these plants into extraterrestrial life, it also reminds us of how unique the Earth's environment is.

3. Why Tattoos Are Permanent

It seems pretty straight-forward why tattoos stick around forever. But as recently explained in a TED Ed video, the reason is more complicated than one may imagine. With each needle prick from the tattoo machine, the body is alerted of a fresh wound, and thus begins the inflammatory healing process. Over time, some pigment is disposed of internally, while other bits are absorbed by skin cells and remain suspended in the dermis. So even though we shed nearly one million skin cells each day, your tattoo will likely last as long as you do.

4. The History of Shuffling

Documentary magazine The New British has put together a short feature called "Release" that explores shuffling in the London underground dance scene, beginning with its roots in the 1920s jazz dance, The Charleston. The program will premiere at London's BASEMENT on 1 August 2014 and The New British's Facebook page has all the details.

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5. Getting Down with Internet Star Baddie Winkle

This grandma is winning the internet. The online superstar Baddie Winkle—who hails from Hazard, Kentucky and has over 185,000 Instagram followers—has created quite the dynamic virtual persona. Born from spending time with her great-grand daughter, Baddie can be seen tossing up peace signs and rocking all forms of marijuana-friendly threads, and this interview with Paper Mag proves why she—at 86 years old—is a cross-generational online icon.

6. Replacing Inkblots with Plastic Bags

The epitome of "open to interpretation," Rorschach Tests have been used by psychoanalysts since the 1920s with arguable validity. Whatever their clinical efficacy, the inkblots have worked their way into pop culture and general knowledge over the years and it's no secret why—analyzing the abstract shapes is addictive. Now artist Kyung-Woo Han's latest project substitutes cheap plastic shopping bags for ink in his latest series that invites the viewer's interpretation and is sure to spur conversation in galleries.

7. Bora Wear Belts

Established to pay homage to his native Kenya through designs and support local artisans through manufacturing initiatives, Mugo Muna's Bora Wear is now on Kickstarter. The latest project involves belts, handmade in Kenya of local leathers and individually molded, cast metal buckles. Check the crowdfunding campaign to support the project.

8. Jaguar's Tour de France F-Type

Forget the herculean feat of hammering for nearly 4,000 kilometers, the space-age technology that goes into the bikes of the riders and the down-the-second calculation of tire changes—at this year's Tour de France, a support car nearly stole the show. Jaguar's special edition F-Type was built as a support car for Britain's decorated Team Sky. With 550 horses under the hood, a separate electric charging station in the boot, built-in carbon fiber roof rack and svelte Team Sky blue interior accents, the one-off ride is a cyclist or grand tourer's dream. Let's just hope it makes another appearance on the Champs-Élysées.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily on Twitter and published weekly every Saturday morning.

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