Issues & questions
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.
Afghan Box Camera Project - back to Afghanistan
There has been a lot of interest in the box camera project especially in the How To Build a Box Camera Manual.
We now decided to publish a book on the subject with all the manuals, photos and research.
For that we are going back to Afghanistan. One of our many aims is to make a video on How To Build a Box Camera. We've already got a carpenter lined up for that.
We just started a kickstarter fundraiser for the research trip
maybe people in the community are interesting in supporting the project.
all the research will be put online again to make it accessible for free.
thanks again for all the enthusiasms for our research
An interesting note, I just finished watching the documentary "Photo Wallahs" which was a study on photography in the region of northern India in 1992. Great short movie I would recommend, which touches on lots of subjects we can still draw parallels to today.
Within the movie there was a short clip of a photographer using the box camera to make a photograph, using (I'm am guessing) coccine dye on the paper negative before making a positive dupe. Interesting to see the use of this type of camera in this region as well since it is somewhat close to Afghanistan.
Even the image on the website shows the camera in use!
How to build an Afghan Box Camera
it might be of interest to you that we have uploaded a new film on the Afghan box camera.
We shot it last year and Kabul with a carpenter.
I'll finish my box soon
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