Aura photography is the supposed mystical art of capturing the "life field" or an electronic imprint of such a field. Supposed experts claim that this can reveal deep truths about the physical and spiritual well-being of the subject. Sceptics explain that this is just a visual representation of the "galvanic skin response." There are several cameras on the market that use a sensor system to recreate a "representation" of a person's aura, but for fun and entertainment, there's a much cheaper method to fake aura photos using just a few wires and LED lights from your local electronics store.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- LED lights
- Electrical wiring
- Instant film camera
- Electrical tape
- Wire stripper
Unload the camera of film. This process will involve opening up the camera, and it would be a shame to lose the expensive instant film before taking your aura photographs.
Open the body of the camera using the screwdriver. You will do this by disassembling the camera itself. The goal will be to get to the inner wiring of the camera and to the space behind the optical elements (lens, shutter and aperture). Do not cut or remove any wires yet unless absolutely necessary. You want to put the camera back together as easily as possible.
Explore the inside of the camera. There are two key things you will be looking for: an area behind the optical elements in the film chamber, the connection from the shutter release to the shutter itself, and/or from the shutter release to the flash. It might be helpful to consult an owner's manual or a diagram found online for your model of camera.
Assess the space for the LEDs. Some cameras might have a quarter-inch or so between the back of the optical elements and the film in the film chamber; some practically will have none. If it has almost no room, you will have to consider using super-slim LEDs or creating a spacer from the electrical tape between the two halves of the body and covering the seam between the two halves with tape. The latter option will affect the crop factor of your finished product.
Prepare to make the circuit of LEDs. You will want to start the circuit at a point where an electrical impulse leaves from the shutter release to the shutter or to the flash, depending on desired functionality of the aura camera (it could take pictures only when the flash is on) and the accessibility of these elements. You also will want the rheostat to be in line in front of the LEDs. Some LED lights change colours as they draw more or less energy, so the rheostat will allow better control over the intensity and possibly colour of the Aura.
Begin wiring the circuit by stripping the impulse wire from the shutter release. You will want to add the first leg of your circuit to do this with the other side of this end being the rheostat. Afterward come the LEDs in an array of your choosing set up to frame a subject coming through the optical elements and being projected on the back of the film chamber where the film sits.
Reassemble the camera and give it a dry run. You might find that the lights are too bright or too dark. If they are too bright, turn down the rheostat, if they are not bright enough, you might need a new power source. You might also have to continue to retool parts of the process until you are happy with the results.
Tips and warnings
- Practice with the camera a lot after completing the work so that you know how and where the "auras" will appear and your photos always can appear flawless.
- You might have to come up with a more powerful power source for your camera as you are splitting up the impulse circuit quite a bit. Each time you add an element, the voltage drops.
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