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I don’t really remember getting into
photography I think I just I just remember always being into photography
from like a really young age always having a camera around my neck my dad
gave me my first camera when I was maybe 11 10 11 it was an Olympus om 10 I used
to have on a piece of balers twine around my neck and just take it
everywhere with me and yes i suppose i was just always hooked. My name is Brendon Barry I’m a photographer and educator and I’ve aways enjoyed building things I was lucky enough to be given the use
of a studio space and my friends old mill. ‘Oh all right yeah just dragging
myself out of my pit” We just come to grab something at the studio and then we
are hooking up the caravan and taking her up the moors. ‘Are you?’
Yes. Right we’ll catch you in bit. and that was where I built, I suppose suppose the precursor
to the caravan camera which was the shed camera and that was where I kind of
developed and tried out a lot of the proceses that i’m working with now This was my old studio, it’s falling apart a bit now This was my first big camera so I could come in the back
and have it all boarded here so after building random cameras for a
while I decided to build a caravan camera it started with me just crawling
through eBay looking for an old Caravan I found one for 150 pounds just down the
road from here so ripped out the insides painted it black covered all the windows,
cut a hole in the back of it, put a lens in. Built a table for the chemical trays and
we was good to go. Okay so on the count of three hold nice
and still three two one. So the great thing about
the caravan is its, it’s a, it’s a camera obscura that very easily becomes a
camera when you put light-sensitive material in front of the lens. It’s also
a darkroom but also a teaching space as well and then the outside world becomes
the studio so when I take the caravan out on location. People are often quite
curious and they’ll kind of wander over and go like what is this? what’s
happening? and I invite them inside and show them how it works. Sometimes
you’ll kind of spot someone or a group of people that either maybe look kind of
interesting and I want to make that photograph or you can see them looking
and maybe they’re a little bit shy and they won’t approach so I quite often
kind of go over to people and and just sort of say oh you see that big Caravan
over there that looks like a camera well it is a camera do you want to come and
have a look the reaction when people come inside that’s that’s one of the
things that’s most rewarding for me and most exciting when you bring people
inside and you close the door and I’ll leave the lens cap down often and you’re
in this black space and then I’ll open up the lens and light pours through it
so I get them to step back and bring up the screen and the image from outside is
projected in and it’s that reaction if you could bottle that I think that’s
something really special that and it never gets boring even for me looking at
every single time and put a screen and outside its projected in like I never
get bored and most exciting thing is seeing other people experience that how I started kind of creating making my
own cameras I suppose I’d always kind of had I always loved making things when I
was a kid that I used to kind of take apart toys and rebuild them and put to
them and create kind of new ones with them and I think that kind of just fed
into my photography practice and then yes ways I just started thinking about
what other things you could make a camera and then I realized that you can
pretty much make a camera out of anything today we turned up at this abandoned old
airport Watchtower and we have turned a few of the rooms there into camera
Obscura’s which effectively is a big dark space with the lens in it which
lets light in and turns it into a camera this is completely brand new I’ve never
used a ready-made objects like cardboard or anything before and it’s really
inspiring it makes you want to try and use new things left one to close as an educator it’s
sometimes quite tricky to explain to students how they’ll kind of mechanics
of a camera work conceptually you’re trying to talk about aperture and
shutter speed and for someone that’s never cutting the understanding of that
before it’s quite a lot to wrap your head round bringing people inside the
camera there’s a really good teaching space and a place to kind of explain to
people the mechanics of photography in an in a clearer way we’ve been
experimenting with very surreal and bizarre portraits incorporating elements
of still life and snap using all the objects that are found around around
this area hoping to sort of minimize how much we’re bringing into the scene just
using what’s here and hoping we’ll come up with something interesting every place brings its own ideas and
brings its own like inspiration to things to learn from and things to take
from what’s around us I think they even though this place is kind of old and
tattered it feels like we can still use it for a lot of good you know people often ask like why have
you made a camera out of a pineapple for instance I suppose the short answer is
because you can but actually what it kind of opens up and allows is the
possibilities of what a camera is and how long can be made there’s an element
of humor to it obviously the reaction that I had from
people of the cameras that I was making was a lot more kind of engaged and
excited people kind of responded in it in a very different way and what’s kind
of nice about that as well as that you know when people were like oh my god
this is amazing you’re like yeah well you can do this at home in your bedroom
you know blackout put the curtains shut put some gaffer tape around the edges
and you’re wearing glasses pop out that lens cut a little hole in the curtains
make sure your mum or dad doesn’t mind and then hold up a piece of card or
something behind it and and you’ve created your own camera obscura you know
and sometimes it’s good to just have a bit of fun with this but it’s not take
it all too seriously and you know make a camera out of watermelon and see what
happens

48 thoughts on “Brendan Barry: The Camera Maker – An ILFORD Inspires Film

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I've really enjoyed the films you've been sharing, but this one might be the best yet! As someone who already builds smaller cameras (well, smaller than his, anyway; I'm currently working on a 5×7), now I'm inspired to build something really big!

  2. Thanks ILFORD!! This film was so much fun to make and we are so excited for more people to learn about Brendan and his amazing talents. Looking forward to the next one!

  3. Super cool video and great artist but I think the materials he's using (wood, melone etc.) is just a gimmick as it has no effect on the picture and a bellow would do exactly the same but would be much easier to handle…

  4. Fabulous, I really enjoy the episodes from exploredinary. They really know how to tell a story and again, the topic is fantastic. 🍻

  5. Used to be one of Brendan's students, also know a couple of the current students. Some dude, inspiring to see where he's taken this medium

  6. Just beautiful, lost for words. And that safelight-headlamp was genious! Need to get me one of those.

    Kind regards, vinny.

  7. I'm over here wining I can't print because I don't have a darkroom and Brendan just makes a contact print using his iPhone!

  8. such an incredible video! I have made a handful of pin hole cameras as well as models of the camera obscura as part of an independent study class i had in college. I hope this video inspires many to do the same!

  9. Inspiring as always. It´s a really good series of interviews and showing of some really inspiring work!

  10. Oh such an inspirational video such an incredible art work , i hope to finish the repairing I'm busy with on my collodion camera made in 1860 anyway Siyabonga.

  11. I have recently just gotten into film photography but I am always wondering about the environmental impact of the chemicals and the canisters of film. Does Ilford plan on addressing this problem and plan to change?

  12. So inspiring, as a photographer to see such creative processes happening really motivates me even more. Thanks for sharing!

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