As photographers, we have varied interests. There are also some photographers who love to dig deep into the technicalities of photography and rest who dedicate themselves to capturing the perfect image with all technicalities set aside. Photographer Brendan Barry builds cameras and educates people:
Building a Caravan Camera
Barry has been taking photos since he was ten years old. Along with photography, he loves building things. So much so that he’s built cameras that you might never have imagined. He’s built a Lego camera, a log camera, an enlarger camera, a mannequin camera, a bread camera, a caravan camera, a lamp camera, and the list goes on.
“After building random cameras for a while, I decided to build a caravan camera.”
To make a giant camera, Barry got himself an old caravan on eBay for 150 pounds. He then ripped out the insides, painted it black, and covered the windows to block all the unwanted light entering the caravan. To allow some light into the caravan while forming an image, he used a lens as an opening.
Barry also has chemical trays set up inside the caravan to use it as a darkroom for developing the images that he takes with the giant camera.
“When the image from the outside is projected in the screen, it’s that reaction which if you can bottle is something special. And it never get boring. And the most exciting thing is seeing other people experience that.”
Taking an Image with a Caravan Camera
Although the camera is huge, it uses the same basic principles of photography. Barry follows these steps to take an image:
- Use a light meter to take the reading.
- Compose the frame inside the caravan.
- Mount the photo-sensitive paper onto the composition.
- Expose the paper manually.
- Develop the paper negative.
- Contact print a direct positive.
- Develop a direct positive.
Besides making a caravan camera, Barry and his students also share how they managed to convert the rooms of an abandoned airport watchtower. Aside from awing the crowd with such photography, his purpose is to educate his students about the mechanics of a camera.
“Bringing people inside a camera is a really good teaching space.”
Would you go as far as building a camera out of a watermelon?
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