Found card 3 Yi test model


In order to investigate the problems with some of the Yi cameras stopping recording, and to test the use of found materials for the models, I made a quick assembly from card from a recently purchased Ikea flat pack packaging. I will discuss the model and test filming here, and the investigation into the camera problems in the next post.

The material for the model was cellular card packing material, approx 30mm thick, small pieces of corrugated card (also from the Ikea packaging), and a piece of card from a box in which garlic bulbs had been delivered. I used a small sheet of perspex, borrowed from Alex from the front of his cabinet of curiosity (itself a form of diorama).

I used the camera mount wall from the three Yi model, so that I had ready made windows and camera locations. This meant that the width and height were the same as the three Yi model, although the depth was determined by the size of the pieces of card used for the floor surface (so slightly deeper than the previous model).

The assembly was covered in black felt to eliminate light ingress through the quickly constructed pinned joins.

I filmed with the camera’s inbuilt fish-eye correction disabled – this provided a wider field of view, but greater distortion of the image. As usual, I then “corrected” the footage via Adobe AfterEffects, using the “Optics Compensation” effect [reverse lens distortion box ticked, FOV: 77].

As previously, several of the cameras stopped working during filming (discussed further in next post). The footage below takes the complete recordings managed to be obtained from each camera, and alters their speeds so as to play within two minutes. Therefore the speed of each frame of the triptych is determined by the malfunctions of the cameras.

In the footage, the bright strip along the base of the back wall is caused by the thick perspex floor covering. I tried to cover all of the edges of the perspex to minimise this, but the effect is still there. Additionally, the use of perspex, rather than sticky film, as the shiny floor covering created very strong and sharp reflections of the sunlight. I prefer the mottled effect of the light reflected from the sticky film. I will either ensure I use this, or will source a “found” material that has a similar effect.

Silk cone found object models

For the reconvening of the Austinmer International Knitting Circle I had brought yarn to dye with eucalyptus leaves. The silk yarn once skeined left three perforated grey card cones. The grey card is similar to that commonly used for architectural models, and the form of the cones and perforations made an interesting found object, both externally and internally. I thought this would be an interesting object to film, and the three cones matched the three Yi cameras.

I used the camera mount wall from the three Yi model to hold the cameras while I filmed. I taped tracing paper over the holes at the top of the cones to obscure the view through this aperture.

In the simple edit above the first image was shot singly on day 1. The second and third were shot simultaneously on day 2 and the fourth and fifth on day 3. On both the second and third days I filmed with three cameras, but one each day one stopped filming very early. This repeated problem needs investigation.

As with the light modulator model, the footage at dusk was particularly enjoyable.

I would like to also film the shadows these objects create as a trio.

Cyanotype camera/room filmed

When the exposed cyanotype net was refolded back into a room the effect of the sun “shadows” on the space was particularly effective. The model was just large enough to film from the short end. I made a small number of test footage of some of the cyanotype print rooms.


The footage is filmed in time-lapse at 1 frame every half a second, effectively at 12x speed. The main part of the footage above is shown at this recording rate. However, the initial section of moving sunlight is then sped up again by a factor of 20, so 240x real time. The final section of fading light is sped up to a total of 900x real time.

These were not placed back in the same location, orientation and time as the original exposures, so the sunlight did not align with its own “shadows”. For future pieces I would ensure that a precise relocation into the original exposure location could be undertaken. The filming should start before the time of commencement of the original exposure. The filming would need to take place in the days following the exposure to ensure the sun is in an almost identical location.

Cyanotype room/camera – prints

The prints from the cyanotype room/camera models are recorded below. I preferred the print to have the window wall at the bottom, so that it connected directly with the shadows on the floor. Occasionally I exposed them the other way up. On the 20th April (when most of the tests were conducted) there was intermittent sun and cloud all day. This had the effect that the solid dark blue “shadows” of the sunlight are not continuous, rather each marks the time the sun emerged from behind clouds.

Test 1: 19/04/17, 16:05 | Exposure: ~ 1/2 hr  | Orientation: not recorded, approx. NW


Test 2: 20/04/17, 08:30 | Exposure: ~ 1 hr  | Orientation: not recorded, approx NE


Test 3: 20/04/17, 11:00 | Exposure: ~ 1.5 hrs  | Orientation: North


Test 4: 20/04/17, 13:32 | Exposure: ~ 2 hrs  | Orientation: North


Test 5: 20/04/17, 13:29 | Exposure: ~ 3 hrs  | Orientation: West


Test 6: 20/04/17, 14:50 | Exposure: ~ 1.5 hrs  | Orientation: North West


Test 7: 21/04/17, 08:38 | Exposure: ~ 1.25 hrs  | Orientation: North East (but ~10º off)


Test 8: 21/04/17, 10:03 | Exposure: ~ 2.5 hrs  | Orientation: North


Test 9: 21/04/17, 12:26 | Exposure: ~ 3 hrs  | Orientation: North


Test 10: 24/04/17, 10:10 | Exposure: ~ 2.5 hrs  | Orientation: North


Cyanotype camera/room model

While in NSW, visiting Jo, Redmond and Hollis this Easter I did some work with cyanotypes. Redmond is a cyanotype expert, and introduced me to the technique nearly 10 years ago (the pictures below shows him in December 2007 doing an exposure test strip in the back garden of their old house).

I wanted to combine the work with models and sunlight with the cyanotype process. This idea emerged in a supervision conversation in July last year, in response to a discussion about sunlight’s effect on architectural materials, over time, such as fading. I was interested to explore how this could be expressed through the use of a light sensitive material such as cyanotype. In London I have only made cyanotype through using sunprint paper, as I wasn’t fully familiar with the chemicals needed to make my own paper. I thought that my spell in Austinmer was a perfect opportunity to avail myself of Redmond’s help in finally undertaking this experiment.

As I wanted to undertake a number of tests, I devised a small model so that I wasn’t using too much cyanotype chemical and Redmond’s high quality art paper. The model was designed to have a removable front wall, that could be swapped out with versions with different window apertures. The proportions of the model were based on the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio for the back wall, and a rotated 9:16 ratio for the side walls.


As I wanted to conduct several experiments at one time (and it was likely they would need long exposures to ensure the movement of the sun had some noticeable effect) I made four copies of the model with about 8 different window configurations. Jo kindly donated some foam-core, and lent me one of her many cutting mats, and I used my travel model-making kit to construct the models, which were pinned, rather than glued, to allow for dismantling and transport back to the UK.


The models were 80mm wide by 25mm deep and 45mm high (drawn at 1:1 in my notebook). The resulting “room” was therefore approximately 1:100, and of a similar proportion to a digital camera, which felt apt as I was using the room to act as a form of camera (itself Italian for “room”). The models were wrapped in black paper to prevent light bleed through the foam board and joints.

The first two exposures did not have the orientation recorded, but subsequently I made a North line to ensure the orientation was specifically determined and recorded.

The exposures were all recorded with iPhone photos which logged the time of commencement and end of each exposure. These, along with orientation and window configuration were logged into my notebook, and the test number was noted on the back of each print.


Filming Three Yi model – Perth

While in Perth I set up the three Yi model in my Mum’s back garden, taking advantage of the strong Australian light.

Due to the heat of the sun I used silver foil to shield the cameras and model. However, the cameras still got very hot, and may be the reason for the disruption tot he recording in the central camera. Again, one of the cameras stopped recording before the others, although I think it was a different camera to the London test.

The camera heights are still not aligned, although the discrepancy is now also showing on the right camera.

Filming the three Yi model – London

Before leaving for Australia I made a test filming of the three Yi model.


The cameras were not in complete alignment, with the middle one sitting higher. The cameras also didn’t all keep continuously filming so there is a gap first in the middle image and then the left.

I am generally pleased with the imagery of sunlight and the dusk footage, particularly with the sunlight reflected off the floor onto the walls. However, focus needs to be carefully calibrated – should all cameras have the same focal depth, or should this vary, which would help identify that they are all separate footage, not a single image split in post production.