How To Create a DIY Mosaic ‘Camera’ Using 1000 Drinking Straws

In this six and a half minute video from Fotodiox, photographer Sean Anderson shows how he used over a thousand mini drinking straws to create a “straw camera” that can capture mosaic type images. Originally inspired by a PetaPixel article from 2017 where the DIY camera used a film back to capture the images. After […]

How To Create a DIY Mosaic ‘Camera’ Using 1000 Drinking Straws

In this six and a half minute video from Fotodiox, photographer Sean Anderson shows how he used over a thousand mini drinking straws to create a “straw camera” that can capture mosaic type images.

Originally inspired by article from 2017 where the DIY camera used a film back to capture the images. After seeing that project, Sean was left with two looming questions: 1) Could the camera be made smaller? and 2) Can the straw camera be converted to digital and not use film?

While Anderson says this camera build was one of the most simple DIY designs he has ever done, it also ended up almost taking the most time to complete. He had to precisely measure 1,000 coffee stirring straws and then cut them into three pieces each (for a total of 3,000 straw pieces) in order for them to fit precisely into the container. This whole process alone took several days to complete.

Once all the straws were placed snuggly in the container, Anderson discovered a small problem with how the images would “render” when shot using a digital camera. In order to see the full image, he had to move the system a great distance away from the “straw camera.” To fix this, he added some frosted plastic over the straws to focus each point of light onto the “element” allowing him to move the camera much closer. Then he added a cardboard box “bellows” to the rig in order to further control and eliminate any reflections and glare.

While testing the system, Anderson discovered that the subjects being photographed had to be incredibly close to the straws, or else the image would be a muddy mess. This means the images will also require a lot of additional lighting, so those who are planning to try the build for themselves should be sure to keep that in mind. He says, unless you make it much larger, the system works best for photography smaller objects in a still-life format. Even so, the results are a fun and unique take on photography.

Below are some sample images created with the straw camera:

Anderson says the camera works best in a studio environment, but it still has use outside using natural light as a backlight to create some intriguing silhouettes against the sun. While the “camera” isn’t without its flaws, it is still a fun and low-cost creative project to do at home.

To see more of Sean’s DIY Camera builds, visit the Fotodiox YouTube channel.

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Hotel Introduces Fee to Deter Photographers From Crowding its Venue

A family-run hotel in the United Kingdom that is situated on a picturesque cliffside has received criticism for introducing a £200 ($273) members-only fee designed to protect it from hoards of tourists who are only seeking a photo of the sunset. The Druidstone Hotel overlooks St. Brides Bay in Wales, United Kingdom, and has been […]

Hotel Introduces Fee to Deter Photographers From Crowding its Venue

A family-run hotel in the United Kingdom that is situated on a picturesque cliffside has received criticism for introducing a £200 ($273) members-only fee designed to protect it from hoards of tourists who are only seeking a photo of the sunset.

The Druidstone Hotel overlooks St. Brides Bay in Wales, United Kingdom, and has been a popular destination for holiday goers. However, the owner of the hotel, Angus Bell, has expressed his frustration after the venue has become inundated with tourists after images taken of the sunset from its cliffside bar were shared on Instagram, reports BBC.

As more people have chosen to spend holidays without flying abroad due to COVID restrictions, locations like the St. Brides Bay where the Druidstone Hotel sits have received a large influx of tourists.

The hotel has 10 bedrooms and a clifftop bar that caters to its guests. However, as more people have been trying to enjoy the grand views and take photographs of their travels, it has left the hotel regularly filled with visitors who only come in for the photo opportunity, which has, in turn, created long waiting times for the hotel’s paying guests.

 

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To cope with the increased numbers, Bell recently introduced a fee to deter those who only want to stop by and briefly enjoy the hotel and its views. Bell has also said that the membership may increase to £400 ($546) with additional benefits, such as an increased bar tab facility.

Non-members are still able to book rooms or a table in the restaurant, but the membership concerns the hotel’s bar — the preferred venue for watching — or photographing 00– the sunset over the Bay.

In its early days, the hotel used to be a members’ club and welcomed regular visitors and cultivated a “bohemian atmosphere” that was enjoyed by musicians, actors, and artists, and others, reports.

Not unexpected, the new membership fee faces open criticism of the hotel, but Bell doesn’t intend to change his mind about imposing the fee. That said, The Druidstone Hotel has noted that it doesn’t want to price out those who really love the place but are unable to now afford it, and suggests getting in touch directly in such cases.

“We’re learning to say, no, learning what to do to keep staff and guests happy and make sure we are less stressed”, says Bell.


Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.

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