Camera Obscura

With a good deal of help, I created this series of portraits while locked in a box; a blind collaboration with the subject outside, and myself inside that box. The images were made using a 4x8x8 foot tar paper camera obscura in which I was standing. The subjects’ likenesses recorded on the silvered emulsion of sheets black and white photographic paper.

For me, it was fascinating that the secondary senses a photographer used when working with a subject provided the strongest clues in these sessions. My sense of vision was removed by using this tool, so my sense of hearing became its proxy. My voice through the wall was the cue to the subject, and my sense of hearing provided my clues to stillness. The sounds of the subject were my only indications of movements; had the sitter moved from the point of focus of the lens? In this process sound became my only indicator.