Some photographers have a modest weekend project. Others are more ambitious. Photographer Chris Honeysett has secured funds to build what he describes as a ‘Mega Mammoth’ glass-plate camera, capable of shooting images hundreds of times larger than 35mm film.
A photo of the camera, as pictured on the Kickstarter website
Chris, who has already turned his trailer into a mobile wet collodion darkroom, plans to use the 22x27in glass-plate camera to photograph the American Southwest.
Chris’s mobile darkroom trailer, as shown on Kickstarter
He has raised more than $13,000 in funds for the project through crowdfunding website Kickstarter – almost $5,000 more than the target figure.
The photographer has already built the wooden end of the bellows, and attached them to the camera.
He reckons it will take around a month to finish building the remaining parts.
He also needs to get hold of at least two ‘vintage’ lenses of different focal lengths.
Why such a large camera? ‘Simple. Because for image quality, bigger is better,’ explains Chris on the Kickstarter website.
‘There is no grain or loss of image quality due to enlarging.
‘I plan on making direct positive ambrotypes. These are glass negatives which have the back painted black to turn them positive.
‘They are lustrous and rich in dimensionality and depth.’
Though the camera is still a work in progress, Chris says he has already managed to make a few ‘successful plates’, posting this image on the Kickstarter fundraising page
The photographer says he was inspired after seeing an exhibition of images created by Carleton Watkins in the 1860s and ’70s, using an 18x22in camera.
This is Chris’s second Kickstarter project. His first, A Moment in Time, California in Wet Collodion, took him across California using 8x10in and 12x20in wet-plate cameras.
Chris says that the project’s backers will receive prints of images he captures during the trip.
For more on this fascinating venture check out the Kickstarter website.