Alternative Camera Workshops

Of all the various courses and workshops I have ever taught the experimental camera-building workshop is by far my favorite, no matter the venue or the backgrounds of the participants it has energy unlike any other. Workshops range anywhere from one day to a semester in length and are a perfect way to integrate both analog and digital photographic processes. Typically, we’ll build a 4×5 camera in the one-day to one-week workshops. Two-week sessions may include building both a 4×5 and a 120 roll film camera. More than two weeks, all options are open including 8×10, multi aperture, slit and stereo cameras. I’ve offered camera-building workshops or courses at Indiana University, Kalamazoo Institute for the Arts, Western Michigan, Syracuse University, Society for Photographic Education (Midwest Regional WMU), Bowling Green State University, Penland School of Crafts, Alfred University, and University of Michigan.
Experimental Camera Class 2014

Penland Experimental Camera Class 2014

4x5 with glass lens and flash exposure

4×5 with glass lens and flash exposure, Olivia  Motley, Penland

4x5 camera for WordPress

With a combination glass lens and extra large pinhole aperture (brass shim)  this camera can record images with a single flash exposure.  2014

 

IMG_1890

During  August 2015 I was invited to provide  a one-week camera workshop for all the incoming art students at Alfred University — a hands-on introduction to the studio and orientation of sorts for the freshmen. In five days we made 50 cameras for 100 students, took the students through basic darkroom and digital processes, made 500 prints and had an exhibition of the work on the final day. This image includes some of the 1200 camera parts I made in advance of the workshop.

Alfred University workshop

Alfred University camera workshop 2015

Alfred Exhibition

Alfred Exhibition 2015

 

My Cameras, My prints

For more than three decades my primary art practice consisted of building experimental cameras, recording images (primarily 4×5 color negatives) with them and making C-prints. During the last few years my image-making has shifted its focus from analog to digital. Nevertheless, my interest in camera-building continues full force as I work to discover new camera designs and options for them.

4x5 Camera with "Hands of Gold, Heart of Stone" diorama in the background

4×5 Camera with “Hands of Gold, Heart of Stone” diorama in the background

"Hands of Gold, Heart of Stone" Diorama 2008

“Hands of Gold, Heart of Stone” diorama 2008

 

C-print 2009

“Hands of Gold, Heart of Stone”   24″x20″   C-print   2008  Lou Krueger

 

"Hands of Gold, Heart of Stone" Print and Diorama at the Terhune Gallery 2010

“Hands of Gold, Heart of Stone” Print and Diorama at the Terhune Gallery 2010

 

"Disarmed" 2008, Pinhole C-Print

“Disarmed”  20″x24″  C-Print   2008  Lou Krueger

 

Camera and light set up with "Disarmed" diorama

Camera and light set up with “Disarmed” diorama

 

"Disarmed" diorama

“Disarmed” diorama 2008

Throughout the whole of my career I’ve been both image-maker and object maker. I derive as much satisfaction from building a diorama, a camera or a set for a photograph as I do making the photograph. Many times I find the camera or diorama as every bit as compelling as the print itself.

"A Mother's Love" Diorama

“A Mother’s Love” diorama 2007

 

"A Mother's Love" 2007

“A Mother’s Love”  20″x24″  C-print   2007  Lou Krueger

 

"The French Kiss" set-up w/ mouth attachment for pinhole camera

“The French Kiss” set-up w/ mouth attachment for pinhole camera

model attachment to lens board

For this image I made two composite models, attached one to the lens board and photographed the other mouth through it. The six minute exposure was made with sparklers and a pen light.

"The French Kiss C-Print 2006 Lou Krueger

“The French Kiss”   20″x24″  C-print  2006  Lou Krueger

 

BGSU Camera Workshop 2012

bgsu-2012-exp-wkshp

image from 120 roll film camera

image from 120 camera

 

workshop classroom with cameras and paper tests

workshop classroom with 4×5, 120, wet-plate 8×10, stereo, multi-aperture cameras and paper tests

Josh with wet-plate camera

Josh working on a 120 camera with the wet-plate camera in the foreground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh Torres glass plate negatives

Josh Torres glass plate negatives (reversed on black cloth)

8x10 glass plate negative by Josh Torres

8×10 glass plate negative by Josh Torres (reversed on black cloth)

 

Kristen and Josh working on 35 mm stereo prototypes.

Kristen and Josh working on 35 mm stereo prototypes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wordpress-35mm-stereo

 

Kendalynn 35mm Stereo Print

Kendallyn 35mm stereo test print

stereo paper negative test

stereo paper negative test print

contact paper positive from stereo paper negative

contact paper positive from stereo paper negative

Kim, Chelsea, Chris and Josh with 120's, 4x5s, multi-aperture, 120 w/flash

Kim, Chelsea, Chris and Josh with 120’s, 4x5s, multi-aperture, 120 w/flash

 

Chris Demuro's 35mm camera with a rubber- band shutter and working flash

Chris Demuro’s hand-held 35mm camera with a rubber- band shutter and working flash

Chris' drawing for 35mm winding mechanism and take-up rell

Chris’ drawing for 35mm winding mechanism and take-up reel

 

Student Work

The workshops encourage invention and reward trial and error. Some students fall in love with making cameras and some students get seduced by images the cameras can make. Most students find both possibilities compelling. The shorter the workshop the more balanced the experience. I’ve included a few images to give some idea of what students have done in the past and the nature of their experimentation as image-makers. The color prints are C-type and the BW are fiber base, the majority are in the 11×14 to 20×24 range.

Kristine Ruman

Kristine Rumman

 

Josh Eckhart

Josh Eckhart

 

Stephanie Story

Stephanie Story

 

David Adams from multi-aperture camera

David Adams, multi-aperture camera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sara Kuesel

Sara Kuesel

 

pinhole005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Beth Konopinski

Laura Beth Konopinsk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Ranville

Andy Ranville

 

Shawna Wonderly

Shawna Wonderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh Eckhart a print from one continuous negative made with a 120 camera

Josh Eckhart a print from one continuous negative made with a 120 camera

 

Kit Kieser

Kit Kieser

 

Stephanie Story

Stephanie Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christina Wight, image from five aperture lens board

Christina Wight, image from five aperture lens board

 

Sarah Casto

Sarah Casto

 

Susan Keller

Susan Keller

 

Kristen Lewellyn

Kristen Lewellyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sara Kuesel

Sara Kuesel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michi Farbach

Michi Farbach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dana Kapron

Dana Kapron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Laux

Laura Laux

 

Susan Keller

Susan Keller

 

Chris Schedel

Chris Schedel

 

Emily Denlinger

Emily Denlinger

 

 

 

 

 

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