Photographer Brendan Barry Turned An Old Camper Into A Giant Camera With A Darkroom

A photographer turned a camper trailer into a giant camera and people are very impressed with it. Photography has revolutionized our vision of the world by providing images taken from various places in different times. As we know it today, the art and practice of capturing images began when something called the ‘camera obscura’ was developed in the 11th century. From then on, this simple invention would evolve over the course of time. For centuries, the camera developed from a plain box to a film camera (Kodak) to Polariod up to the digital camera.

Despite the accessibility and flexibility of digital photography, some photographers still prefer to stick to the basic equipment. Unlike digital photography, pinhole photography (or the use of camera obscura) includes the photographer as an integral part of the entire process. From building the camera to developing the negatives, photographers are involved every step of the way. Photographer Brendan Barry is just one of those who are fascinated by large format camera obscura. This would eventually lead him into creating a massive camera out of a camper trailer.


An Old Camper Trailer Turned Into A Functional Giant Camera On Wheels

brendan barry giant camera on wheels

In 2016, he created an ultra large pinhole camera out of plywood, a glass pane and some blackout fabric. But the problem with it was that it wasn’t light tight. So, he has to load the entire camera in the dark to capture and develop images. Apparently, he found the massive camera rather awkward to use. So, he decided to enclose the camera in a shed where he could climb inside and operate from within. However, the shed got him stuck inside and confined to the studio. Furthermore, he wasn’t able to take the shed outside as it wouldn’t fit out the door.


Ultra Large Format Camera

brendan barry ultra large format camera obscura


Shed Cam

brendan barry shed cam

And that’s when the Caravan Camera came into his mind. A camper trailer would make an ideal housing for the large camera as it would allow him to take it everywhere. Moreover, it offers ample space where he can set up the darkroom. So, he can take photos and develop the negatives while he’s on the road.

camper trailer from ebay


old camper trailer off ebay

Barry bought an old camper trailer off eBay for £150 (about $200), gutted it, blacked it out and repainted it. He then built a mount for the lens and set up the space for the darkroom trays. To test it out, he got permission from a local pop up art space to park his giant camera for a week.

camper trailer interior gutted


camper trailer interior blacked out


caravan camera lens mount


caravan giant camera


caravan camera repainted


large camera on wheels


caravan camera and portable darkroom


giant camera on wheels and portable darkroom

While parked, over 300 people got to experience the Caravan Camera. They were welcome to step inside the camper and peek through the pinhole camera to view the world through the lens of a camera obscura. People would then pose outside to have their portraits taken and step back in to see how their photos come to life in the darkroom trays.

camper turned into giant camera


caravan camera trial phase


camera obscura image


camera obscura photography girl group


giant camera on wheels taking photos


pinhole photography developing negatives


camera obscura photography men

After its week-long residence, Barry has printed over 100 of the 16 × 20 inches portraits and held an exhibition of the prints. Take a look at some of the prints below.


“It was so rewarding to see so many people engaged in the process and excited by the results,” Barry said. “It’s not the quickest, easiest or most practical way of making an image, but in a world of smartphone cameras and instant uploads, it’s nice to slow things down a little bit and create something physical!”

giant camera on wheels prints kids and grandma


giant camera on wheels prints woman


camera obscura photography group of people


camera obscura photography couple


giant camera on wheels prints lady yoga pose


camera obscura photography group


print blonde woman

Source: PetaPixel