In 2009, I started to build some cameras to answer some of my very specific photographic needs. The cameras I make are all named after well knowned women photographers.
Anya is a very large format (20x24 inch) anamorphic pinhole camera. It was named after Anya Texeira who loved experimenting with photography for artistic expression.
I made this experimental camera to push pinhole photography to a ultra large format, making an experiment with a unique artitic touch.
BEST SUITED FOR:
Since I was a teen, I played around with pinhole cameras, and to this day, I still do. In 2010, I made bigger pinholes, large format. When I looked at the negative produced with a 8x10 pinhole, I was in awe, the diffraction was not noticeable because we do not need to enlarge the photo that much. So I decided to push the pinhole to the biggest format I could : 20x24 inch! Just look at that film, it's crazy big!
I was not sure of the camera design, the film holders alone are really expensive, so I had to do something simpler.
The design I opted for is a big tube, with a pinhole on top, making an anamorphic image: half of a sphere is transposed into a rectangle. This is the most compact and light 20x24 you'll ever see.
The camera is a big empty tube, the sheet of film is inside, on the side of the tube, and the pinhole is at the center of the top plate. The shutter is magnetic sheet that you manually move with your hand. The viewfinder is a big christmas ball cut in half, that you rest on the top. By looking directly from the top, the reflexion of that half sphere will be the photo. It will just be transposed into a 20x24 inch rectangle.
This camera was a lot of fun to shoot with. I had to shoot only when the sky was overcast, so there was no big shadows, because this camera shoots 360 degrees... Loading and unloading was done in a darkroom, and the camera had only one shot.
The resulting images were surprisingly sharp for a pinhole. I actually needed to reduce them, instead of enlarging them... I did a superb 11x14 of the Montreal's Biosphere from the original 20x24 image.
By making cameras, I was able to do some very special, one of a king images that sold well as Art.
Making your own cameras is a lot of fun, and it's a huge learning opportunity too!
I encourage everyone to try, use your imagination, sky is the limit!