...or; A photograpic diversion

Yesterday morning (after a couple hours sleep) I realized I'd been working on integrating TinyMCE into SparkCMS for roughly 40 of the last 48 hours. So when Jason Kottke posted about his new found love of cans as a medium, I jumped opportunity for a diversion from my daily routine and set out to create my own photo can...

All the photos in this post, including the one that ends up on the can, are taken with my mobile phone. It's a pretty standard 1.2mp camera, no optical zoom, flash or other things that may enhance image quality. Photos taken in bright environments can turn out pretty well, though it doesn't handle dim environments at all (as the photos below very much exemplifies).

The creation of my "Tin can photo frame"

Here's a photostory of the creation of my tin can photo-frame. The timespan between the first and last photo is about one and a half hour. In actual work time, I guess it took about 15 to 25 minutes getting the canned photo finished.

  1. The untouched can

    A can of corn

    A normal can of corn. Besides the fact that we actually had it in our cupboard, it was chosen because I thought the structure/ridges would be a nice effect.

  2. Preliminary measurements

    Trying to measure the label of the can with a tape measure

    Measuring up my canvas to get an idea of how large a printout I need (don't want to waste any ink ;-).

  3. In the sink

    The can of corn in a sink filled with water

    Then the can went into the sink to make removing the original label just that tiny bit easier.

  4. Lillestrøm train station

    A photo of a train at Lillestrøm train station

    I landed on a photo taken at Lillestrøm train station taken a few months back, I've dimmed the parts I cut off.

  5. Plain paper printing

    The photo printed, laying on the printer tray

    I decided to print the picture on regular paper using the printer least suited for printing photos. Hopefully this will help add sort of a worn, old and cheapish look to the finished product.

  6. In the sink: Reloaded

    The can of corn in a sink filled with water

    The label was still pretty much stuck, so...

  7. My pierced eyebrow

    A closeup of my pierced eyebrow

    ...I played some more around with my camera phone.

  8. In the sink: Revolution

    The can still in the sink, the label comming off

    Ah, the label is finally coming of. Time to get it out of the sink and get to work...

  9. A shining can

    A shining can, standing on the label

    My shining clean canvas, now freed its gruesome original label. For less then 1nkr this actually is an affordable material to work with.

  10. Exact measurements

    The can, still standing on the label while the label is measured with a ruler

    Since the label made it mostly complete out of the sink, taking accurate measures was really easy. Just to big to fit on a standing sheet of A4...

  11. Shrink to fit

    Cutting loose the photo from the paper

    Next step was to cut out the photo.

  12. Applying glue

    The photo with glue on the backside

    I used a standard hobby (school) glue we had laying around. Applying way to much in order to form and tear the paper as I want it.

  13. Rubber-band-can

    The photo applied to the can, rubber-bands keeping it in place

    After forming the paper after the ridges, I let the can dry with rubber-bands to help preserve the structure.

  14. Soaked in glue

    The can with the photo applied, wet with excessive glue

    After about fifteen minutes I removed the rubber-bands. Possibly not revealed by the photo, but the paper is still pretty wet from the excessive glue. Thus I could stretch, tear and distort the paper some more.

  15. My photo can!

    The finished photo-can

    My finished "photo can" (best before the 31st of December 2008). The ridges, plain paper and excessive glue turned out nearly exactly as I wanted.

  16. Comparison

    Side by side comparison of my photo-can and a regular can of corn

    Side by side comparison with an un-styled can (possibly my next victim :-)


Although not nearly as nice as Jason's, I'm rather happy with the end result. Now, if I'd only managed to take some nice looking and interesting photos I'd create my own triptych (hey, I learned a new word from Jason's post - I had to use it) masterpiece...

Ps! In the comments to Jason's post, a user named Terral posted a link to some cool street drawings created by Julian Beever. Some his works are really impressing, especially the ones featuring water and/or objects from beneath the surface.

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