Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Cameratruck: Shaun Irving and The World's Largest Traveling Camera



With an old mail truck purchased via eBay and lenses from old military surplus and a submarine periscope Shaun Irving travels around taking large-format photos that are not just stylish and intriguing but also 3,000(!) times bigger than the typical 35mm negative. As a matter of fact, The Cameratruck is not just a fascinating art and reuse project but also the world’s largest traveling camera.



Here are a few additional facts about The Cameratruck and its operator:
  • Aperture is set with a piece of scrap paper
  • Shutter is made of a cardboard box (!)
  • Developing rig consists of two buckets, a sponge and a garden hose (and developer, of course).
  • Other than the basic setup the process of an average Cameratruck shot also includes test prints before final exposure and takes about half an hour.
  • To take a photo, Irving stands inside the truck "fumbling around in the dark."


A series of 75 mega-photographs was taken from the Cameratruck in 2007 when Irving spent 5 weeks touring about 5,000 miles across Spain, visiting "every province" and taking photos of "presidential palaces and the most abandoned of villages."

"My work is primitive, through my choice and because of the limits of the camera. I've been shooting this way for many years, but I still can't even describe it. It's sharply focused... yet blurred beyond comprehension. It's mass-produced... yet hand-crafted and individual. It's cold and stark... yet packs an emotional punch. I wish I could take credit for my work. But the fact is nature, and even the truck itself, play a more important role than I do."



Above: A photo by Irving titled Tagged Bull Santa Pola Valencia, Spain. Below: more samples from the Spanish series.



Skull (Puente Ra) Sierra de Cebollera La Rioja, Spain




Mine at Tharsis Tharsis, Alosno, Spain




Doñana Parque Nacional de DoƱana, Huelva y Sevilla, Spain

Full-sized prints of selected works from the Spain tour are available for purchasing as limited-editions: Each edition is limited to five prints, full-sized and hand-developed by Irving on silver gelatin photographic paper. Image sizes averages about 7 feet wide by 3.5 feet tall. Irving also offers the original negatives for sale as one-of-a-kind works of art.



For more about the tour in Spain and further explanations by Irving about the art and science behind Cameratruck watch the above video titled Landscapes in a Truck. For more images of higher resolution and more about Irving and The Cameratruck visit http://www.cameratruck.net

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