Last term at the Certificate for Photography program at University of Washington, I constructed a 4×5 box camera thinking I would make it for a pinhole, I did make it and made a shutter out of a floppy disk which you can see in previous posts. One of the projects I made from the film after making drawings for all sides of a factory was to develop the film and without enlarging it onto paper, cut the film into shapes and make an “architectural” model out of the film adhering the sides and clerestories with scotch tape. The 4×5 factory was a bit small and an 8×10 film camera would make a bigger sculpture from it’s negative, so a new camera was built, originally designed for a pinhole lens, but made flexible to take any Horseman or Sinar lens board. The camera had set a focal length of a little over a meter and used a 210mm lens and lens board from a Horseman 4×5 view camera. On an 8×10 camera a 210mm lens is a bit wide, so so the drawings to be photographed were enlarged to fill the negative. Instead of hand drawing the elevations were constructed them in Google’s SketchUp drawing program, printed at 11×17 and then about doubled on an enlarging copier. The pages were taped together to get a subject big enough to fill the image on the film. Color corrected compact fluorescent bulbs in two studio lights with reflectors and scrims were used to flatten out the light. After some sloppy developing (two of the negatives dislodged in the developing tank and blocked a lot of the chemicals for another two negatives, so they were faint) the negatives were dried and then cut out and made into the factory sculpture out of the film. The sculpture was placed upstairs in the study window and shot digitally south to Lake Union, Downtown Seattle and the Space Needle. The RAW files were manipulated in Photoshop and made a couple of great prints.
Simply stated, an economical scratch-built 8×10 camera box was built with a fixed focal length, a 210mm lens and a double sided 8×10 film holder were attached to the front and back of the camera, a set of sides were drawn electronically for factory shapes, the enlarged factory drawings were shot on film with the 8 x 10 camera, the film was chemically processed, the film was washed and dried then cut out to be joined with scotch tape, then the sculpture was digitally shot and the RAW files were manipulated in Photoshop and printed on the University’s high-end Epson archival inkjet printers.
Seems so simple, doesn’t it?