Daily Picture Show

Seeing Things Through The Viewfinder

I may be way behind the cool times, but this technique is way cool — and news to me. It's called "through the viewfinder" photography, and it involves two cameras (both a twin- and a single-lens reflex) and a long tube. Reader Ninotchka Beavers wrote in with a link to her portfolio, which contains a lot of what she calls "TtV."

The photographer's contraption

The photographer's contraption hide caption

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You're basically using one camera to capture the world as it appears through the viewfinder of another camera. And, if you've ever peered through the viewfinder of a twin-lens reflex, you'll understand why it's worthy of a picture. It's like a filter that renders the scene distressed and vintage-y. But in order to take a picture of the viewfinder, you basically have to look at it through a tube — with another camera.

Much like other experimental techniques — such as lomography or pinhole-ography* — this seems to be a pretty popular way of photographing. There are online tutorials that show you how to do it, and Flickr groups for sharing photos. I, for one, am delighted to have another way to geek out in my spare time — and a new use for my dad's finicky, old TLR. You should try it and add your results to our Flickr group.

* A term coined this very second, all rights theoretically reserved by The Picture Show.

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