So, you’ve gone tired of making pinhole cameras out of milk cartons, tins, and boxes? You are thinking bigger? These guys built a pinhole lorry, using the entire loading bed as a pinhole camera!
American photographer Shaun Irving and English Art Director Richard Browse have created what they believe to be the world’s largest mobile camera. Designed in America and constructed in Spain, the cameratruck is a simple box camera built right inside a standard delivery truck. Measuring 5 metres long, 2 metres wide and 2 metres high, the gigantic camera is capable of taking pictures almost 3 metres across.
The cameratruck serves as transportation, shelter, darkroom and of course giant camera. And though it sounds like a hi-tech marvel, the camera itself is as simple as can be: just a light-tight box with a hole in it. It’s like the very first pinhole cameras ever used, but with two important differences: the cameratruck uses a lens to focus the giant image inside the box, and unlike any other camera in the world, the photographer stands inside the camera to take the picture. This makes the cameratruck a fantastic educational tool, especially in this digital age when the magic of photography is rapidly disappearing. As Shaun himself says, “Photography is so much easier to understand when you stand inside a camera and see it happening all around you.”
Taking a huge photo with a 5 metre camera is where the magic of the cameratruck starts. But developing the negative and resulting positive prints is what moves the work of Shaun Irving from photography into art. The size of the negatives, about 2.5 metres wide by 1 metre high, make them impossible to develop in a standard developing bath, so Shaun has to work in the dark, sponging on the chemicals by hand from a bucket. The smell is nauseating, but slowly the image begins to appear on the huge sheets of photographic paper. And not just the image: there are streaks where the developer missed, swirls and bubbles where the sponge paints its way across the surface of the paper. You might even see Shaun’s handprints in there somewhere. Every negative is developed by hand and every print made from it is unique.
A truly inspired project, well worthy of a link, I thought… Check them out on Cameratruck.net!
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