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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!”