Meet the man who makes cameras out of everything
Lego cameras, watermelon cameras, mannequin cameras, and more!
Brendan Barry is a large-format photographer and educator based in the UK who has a knack for turning common objects into cameras. Watermelons, pineapples, mannequins, a caravan, and abandoned structures are just a few of the things that he has transformed into tools to make pictures. A new short-doc from ILFORD PHOTO explores how he builds and uses these extraordinary cameras.
“I always loved making things when I was a kid, I’d take apart toys and rebuild them, butcher them, create new ones,” he says in the video. “I think that just fed into my photography process … I realized that you can pretty much make a camera out of anything.”
While his food cameras are whimsical, the larger scale camera obscuras that he has created, like the caravan camera, double as a teaching tool.
“It’s sometimes quite tricky to explain to students how the mechanics of a camera conceptually,” he says.
Barry says that in his experience, bringing people inside the dark large cameras is a really useful way to help people understand concepts like shutter speed and aperture, but it’s also a unique experience.
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“The reaction when people come inside, that is one of the things that is most rewarding for me,” he says. “I’ll open up the lens and the light pours through … and the image from outside is projected through, that reaction, if you could bottle that, I just think its something really special.”
We know we certainly feel inspired to go out and shoot after watching Barry at work. Check out the full video above.