Over ten years ago I had a camera obscura built in my home in New York City, overlooking Central Park, and I have been taking pictures with it ever since. While camera obscura is a pre-photography device, my camera obscura was designed specifically to be functional as a modern camera. It is outfitted with a very high-quality lens that can rotate and aim up and down, and has a fine focusing mechanism. The images that I produce with the camera obscura have evolved a lot over the past ten years, but I have always been fascinated by the combination of this 19th century photographic technique with 21st century technology.
This group of photographs is a sampling of work that I have made with the camera obscura over the past ten years. There are a variety of styles and techniques represented, all of which derive from an exploration of the world immediately outside the camera obscura as viewed from its unique, fixed vantage point. In some cases the photographs are direct representations of the architecture, landscape or movement of the city, and in others these elements appear as a background projected onto objects from my daily life.
Please click on the individual photographs to learn more about the process used to make each image, and for details about the print.
For more information about camera obscura in general, and specifically on my camera obscura, please visit my website at: http://www.cs-photo.com (see “camera obscura” section on left navigation bar on homepage).
To see the camera obscura photographs that I made in collaboration with Bill Westheimer, please visit: http://billwest.com/co/.
- Charles Schwartz