Let’s be honest. Film photography has become a somewhat ambitious venture, what with the logistics of it being relatively scarce. But nothing is more ambitious than building a huge folding camera, bellows and all, that can shoot on a 3-foot wide film.
With the goal of blowing up shots to 14 by 36 inches without falling into the digital trap, Darren Samuelson built a folding camera similar to an 1850s design. Its elongated frame includes a portable darkroom, allowing the photographer to take and develop photographs with wet plates. Look at this amusing diagram of the folding camera of old.
As if building The Beast, as he calls it, weren’t difficult enough, Darren loads X-ray film into his brutish camera. While X-ray film is incredibly cheap compared to its photographic counterpart, it is very tricky to process. He says so himself.
Ambitious, difficult, tricky or none of the above, the results are quite fascinating.
Currently, Darren and The Beast are on a road trip to New York and thereabouts. Go and follow their story at darrensgreatbigcamera.com.
Thanks to Robert Rohe for this tip. Do you have a tip? Email us! Tips are articles where Lomography or analogue photography are featured.