This guy makes working cameras from the most random things

February 22nd, 2018
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Brendan Barry, a photographer and camera builder based in Devon, has a knack for making fully-functioning cameras using bizarre objects and spaces. His current work includes a pineapple camera, two kinds of bread camera, a log camera, and a caravan camera.

In a post he wrote on BoredPanda, he explained that he likes to “transform people’s understanding of what a camera was, is, and can be.”

“I am interested in pushing the boundaries of both the scale and the public engagement of what a camera is, what it can do and how one can be constructed. Taking the whole notion of what a camera might be and unpicking these preconceptions, creating new ways of inviting an audience into having a transformative experience in a space in order to create an environment for observing the outside world and reflecting on how we perceive it when seen in a different way,” he said.

He also uses large spaces like an elevator, an alcove, and even classrooms. For these projects, the spaces are “at once a camera, a darkroom, a studio, a classroom, and a space for reflection and contemplation.”

To get an idea about how he creates these unique cameras, you just need to understand that essentially, a camera is a box (or a room, as it was in the first years of its invention) with a hole or lens on one end that would let light enter, a flat plane on the other end where an image would be reflected, and a photosensitive material like film that would capture that image. Here‘s a more in-depth discussion if you’re interested.

Why create such weird cameras, you might be wondering. Barry explained that he believes the whole process of creating photographs can be even more interesting than the result, and that he aims to “inspire others to play with photography, to break the rules, make up their own and have some fun along the way.”

Take a look at some of the cameras he has built:

A pineapple camera:

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Pineapple Cam Mark II #homemadecamera #pineapple #mediumformat #analogphotography #filmsnotdead #diycamera #cameraporn #everybodyfilm #thefilmcommunity #staybrokeshootfilm

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A bread camera:

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‘Bread Cam’ complete & in action! First test pic was a success!! (Well, technically, bit boring creatively!). Right, gonna go play some more!! (Oh, thanks @realfoodexeter for the loaf!!) #homemadecamera #diycamera #everybodyfilm #analogphotography #filmsnotdead #diycamera #cameraporn #theanalogueclub #cameracult #alternativeprocesses #photooftheday #realfoodstore #bakery #baking #speltloaf #spelt #realbread #papernegative #keepfilmalive #ilfordfilm #ilfordphoto

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A log camera:

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Log camera is complete! #homemadecamera #4x5camera #analogphotography #filmsnotdead #largeformatcamera #largeformatphotography #viewcamera #cameraporn #everybodyfilm #thefilmcommunity #staybrokeshootfilm

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A caravan camera:

 

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I’m planning on getting out and about a bit more in 2018 with the Caravan Camera. Good rates to schools, universities, arts groups, etc… And putting some time aside to do free visits to charitable organisations that offer support to groups of people who may suffer from mental ill health and/or learning difficulties, hospitals, community support groups, etc.. If you know of or are involved with anyone who you think might be interested then please feel free to pass on my details (contact info on my website, link in my bio, based in Devon). Have an amazing year one and all!! #caravancamera #ultralargeformat #homemadecamera #diycamera #everybodyfilm #analogphotography #filmsnotdead #diycamera #cameraporn #staybrokeshootfilm #theanalogueclub #filmshooters #filmphotography #cameracult #wearefilmfolks #filmculture #thefilmcommunity #alternativeprocesses #papernegative #filmfeed #filmforever #keepfilmalive #ilfordfilm #ilfordphoto #ontheroad #roadtrip #2018 #2018goals #theprintswap

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A den camera, which is both a camera and a darkroom:

 

 

Here’s a portrait he took using the bread camera:

 

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Some of the photos made with the Bread Cams today. Just crappy inverted iPhone pics of the paper negs, but came out ok! (Except for the accidental solarised not developed properly double exposure!) #homemadecamera #diycamera #everybodyfilm #analogphotography #filmsnotdead #diycamera #cameraporn #theanalogueclub #cameracult #alternativeprocesses #photooftheday #realfoodstore #bakery #baking #speltbread #sourdough #realbread #explodingbakery #realfoodstoreexeter #papernegative #keepfilmalive #ilfordfilm #ilfordphoto

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This one was taken using the den camera:

 

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And a fantastic afternoon @wexphotovideo !! Thank you to all the people who came along to play with what I christened 'Den Camera', and all the people in the store who helped out and made it such a great day! #homemadecamera #diycamera #wexphoto #whitechapel #ilfordphoto #fstoppers #petapixel #filmphotography #analogphotography #analoguepeople #ishootfilm #photooftheday #cameraobscura #giantcamera

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And this one was shot using the Caravan Camera:

 

Barry, who is also a lecturer at the Exeter College in Devon, said that he is not a professional camera builder or engineer. But while his cameras are not as “exquisite, intricate, and technically sound” as the work of others, they are nonetheless creative and inspiring.

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