The images in this project are made from a basic photographic lens combined with large format paper negatives. The lens consists of a single element borrowed from a pair of reading glasses. The camera is made from wood and cardboard and is large enough to accommodate the 16”x20” paper negative. The camera is 90cm long and has a fixed focus of 260cm. This limits the distance of the subject to the camera and therefore how the subject fills the frame. Denotatively, the poor optics involved mimic human foveal vision as well as early photographs. They are sharp in the middle and soften towards the edge as well as having a shallow depth of field.
These are pictures that can only exist because of a lack of technology. Speed and ease are not options in this process. The camera takes five minutes to load one negative. The pictures have to be taken close to a darkroom. Most importantly though, the subjects have to be still for up to two minutes. They can’t rely on their snap-shot Facebook face. They have to go somewhere else.
Mr Mike Gray
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