You must have heard, read about or seen the giant cameras used in astronomical telescopes that capture images from the deep space. But, have you ever seen a giant camera that takes regular pictures? And we are not talking about any camera bigger than a regular-sized camera, but one of the size of a camper trailer!
Unbelievable? Read on…
You have to hand it over to Brendan Barry, a photographer by profession, to transform his camper trailer into a DIY photobooth with a portable dark room. He also aptly christened it as ‘Caravan Camera’.
It is still a wonder how Barry created a 16-inch by 20-inch ultra large format camera, but he did manage that. On this he affixed a 20-inch military lens and, lo and behold, he had created a giant functional camera!
There was small hitch, though. The camera had everything to make it functional, but lacked total darkness. Any light inside the camera would not allow the photos to come out crystal clear. The solution was to make the device ‘light tight’. This made portability of the camera a major issue.
The solution? Barry struck upon the idea of putting the camera in a camper trailer. Chipping in just £150 or about $200 he bought a suitable trailer off eBay. He painted the exterior of this caravan as a camera. Not wanting to spend additional money on black paint to darken the interior, he simply gutted it to blacken it out! He then fixed the camera inside this trailer.
To promote his Caravan Camera and gauge its popularity, he parked it outside a pop up art space for a week. It goes without saying that this mammoth contraption was an instant hit. Over 300 people stepped inside his oversized DIY photobooth to appreciate this marvel and then stepped out to get themselves snapped in camera costumes.
Since, the Caravan Camera doubled up as a darkroom, Barry was able to develop all the pictures taken by his camera. In all, he printed over hundred16x20-inch portraits, after the trial period. An excited Barry wrote, “It was so rewarding to see so many people engaged in the process and excited by the results.”
In times of the smartphone cameras, taking and developing pictures in the old-fashioned way from a caravan camera is certainly a big achievement. Barry’s innovative idea is certainly paying him rich dividends.