Photographer Builds Own Large-Format Camera

It seems that the bigger the camera you have, the more serious of a  photographer you are. That’s why every budding photographer lusts over an SLR. One guy’s taking things to the next level by building his own large-format camera.

Darren Samuelson with his camera

Darren Samuelson, a San Francisco-based photographer, built a great big camera. Appropriately enough, he documented the process on a blog called Darren’s Great Big Camera. It looks like something you’d see in an old movie, where the photographer would tell the people he was making portrait of to “watch the birdie” and would actually have a birdie attached.

This camera takes pictures on actual film, which for people born after the ’90s was something that photographers would pray that the didn’t accidentally expose while unloading it. Darren uses 14 inches by 36 inches X-Ray film, since it actually offers the large size needed to take those big photos, plus it’s cheaper at that size than regular photographic film. “For 10 sheets of the film I normally shoot with, I could get about 125 sheets of the x-ray film,” Samuelson said on his blog.

“This new film, although cheap, is very fickle stuff, but once you learn all the tricks, it can be just as sharp as most other films, but it really requires special handling. When the film is wet, you can rub the emulsion off with your fingers, so tray developing must be done with extreme caution.”

He’s also taken his camera on the road. What self-respecting photographer couldn’t resist taking his baby to all kinds of far-flung locations? San Francisco is picturesque enough for a shutterbug to spend an entire career taking pictures in as the picture of the Golden Gate Bridge above shows, but Darren has managed to drag his great big camera to Washington, D.C.,  New Orleans, and New York, among others. Perhaps someday you’ll see him jockeying in position for a shot near where you live.

For more  unique camera designs, see the WVIL concept camera, the Hasselblad pinhole camera mod, and the NASA Hasselblad camera mod.

Via: Laughing Squid