Hi folks, really interesting discussion going on here and we'll definitely be looking into some of the points you've raised when we return to Afghanistan in April.*
To venture a reply to some of the remarks:
Why don't they use direct positive paper?*
It never made it their. It also is very expensive. Supply is already an issue in many other countries.
But it does make the process easier. In Afghanistan you usually get a negative and two positives. Working with the negative - positive process allows you to reproduce several positives from the same neg. If the neg is good that makes a lot of sense.
About using bare hands when developing and fixing*?
Some of the photographers told us that is one of the positive point in not working with these cameras anymore. Always smelly fingers as well as damaged skin. A lot of darkroom experts use their fingers though instead of tongs.
About finding these cameras in Europe: the book Photographs de Rue/Street Photographers by*Patrick Gnassia and Zilmo de Freitas*has a picture of a street photographer from Bucharest using a camera with an external focus, but sadly without the stuffed toys (we'd love to see such a picture!). It also has some pics*from box cameras in*Greece as does the*photo gallery from Chris Wroblewski's*Smudgers*book we put online recently - from the '80s (I think):*afghanboxcamera.com/abcp_gallery.htm
If you come across any please send us the link/reference/image! Putting together a picture of these cameras is a slow archeological process - the more hands, the better.
If you've downloaded the 'How to build' manual on our website, we'd be happy to get some feedback - especially if you make one of the cameras. A note: colouring the pictures by hand used to be quite common in Afghanistan - give it a go!*
Otherwords:**we update the website now and again;*any updates as well as other links and bits of info relevant to the project*will come via a public Facebook page for the meantime:*facebook.com/pages/Afghan-Box-Camera-Project/129532640494753
If you have any questions in regards to the Afghan Box Camera ( technique, history, background ) let us know.