DEVELOP Tube: Photography to Watch

This is a working cardboard photo-booth – it is unique in its design and construction. Functionally, it is an automatic photographic portrait-making device. Internally, cardboard cogs, conveyer-belts, wheels and switches transport the photographic image through a series of chemical baths to create a silver-gelatin photograph.

To make the cardboard photo-booth work, the sitter must wait for the machine to be activated. Upon seeing a green-light on the front of the machine, the sitter deposits a token into a slot in the photo-booth. A red light is then illuminated and the sitter must sit perfectly still for as long as the red light is lit. Then the technological marvel begins and the cardboard automaton starts to process the photograph. It is a feat of supreme mechanical innovation and imagination as the hidden mechanisms* of this wondrous device yields a silver-gelatin photograph with a likeness of the portrait-sitter.

This retro-tech device harkens back to the history of photography. A time of anticipation, waiting and patience. The automaton draws connections to the past through the creation of a wet-processed photograph in a near instantaneous manner. Through this technological innovation, the mysteries of the photographic process are transmitted. It is more than nostalgia; it is a mixture of wonderment, curiosity and spectacle. All are drawn into the conversation of what photography was and what it has become.

The cardboard photobooth was activated at Corridor 2122 in Fresno on June 7th, 2012.

* may contain internal, organic humanoid matter.

More information: slow-photography.us

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DEVELOP Tube: Photography to Watch

DEVELOP Tube Plus

The DEVELOP Tube Photography Video Channel is an educational resource which features interviews, multimedia, lectures & films in photojournalism, documentary & fine art photography.

Browse DEVELOP Tube through the main Channel or through its catalogue


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The DEVELOP Tube Photography Video Channel is an educational resource which features interviews, multimedia, lectures & films in photojournalism, documentary & fine art photography.

Browse DEVELOP Tube through the main Channel or through its catalogue of over 270 albums featuring videos, bios and links to individual photographers and organizations.

SEARCH THE ALBUMS: vimeo.com/developphoto/albums/sort:alphabetical/format:detail

Love us? Please add DEVELOP Tube to your blogroll using vimeo.com/channels/developphoto as the URL. DEVELOP Tube also features original multimedia productions which effectively incorporate the still photograph, especially those concerning humanitarian issues: human rights, environmental sustainability and global health.

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There is also a DEVELOP Tube at youtube.com/user/DEVELOPPhoto with different video content.

DEVELOP Photo provides resources for the enrichment of the photojournalism, fine art and documentary photography community. DEVELOP Photo is a (growing!) project of photographer Erica McDonald.

The main site for DEVELOP Photo is coming soon. Thank you for visiting and sharing our love of photo & video. All videos added to the Channel must discuss, or incorporate the still photograph.

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    by DEVELOP Tube

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