Friday, 5 June 2015

"case studies" - Polyphemus


While living in Warsaw, and after experimenting with modifying existing cameras and film backs, Dafydd decided to try large format photography, but because of the cost involved and after looking at so many examples he decided, maybe foolishly, that he could just as well build himself a camera (a field/view camera).

The idea was to build a small lightweight camera that could use up to 3x4" film (so technically still medium format I suppose), but that could also still use roll film, and that would have full front and back standard movements - front tilt and swing for focus and back tilt and swing for perspective control.

And so now we have, Polyphemus (named by a friend and fellow photographer, beginning the tradition of naming)...

The camera was made with rudimentary tools, on the floor of our flat from recycled materials and scavenged wood found in courtyards around the city. The bellows (lined with a light tight material) is made from a paisley shirt bought in a second hand shop and card strips cut from a cereal box.

The front collage was made by poet, collagist and friend Richard Leach - after measuring and cutting the lens board, it was sent to America where Richard put together his wonderful collage and then dropped it back in the post to Poland, finishing off the handmade camera.

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