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My old pal Billy Baque takes us on a tour of one of his many classic film camera obsessions, the “Cuban Polaroid:”

It was a wooden box with the bellows and lens from a folding camera mounted at one end with a complete darkroom inside. Using photographic printing paper the photographer would expose a sheet of paper for the negative, develop, stop, and fix it inside the camera, then put a copy stand on the camera and photograph the negative (to obtain a positive), develop, stop, and fix, then wash the final print in a coffee can of water attached to his homemade tripod.

The technology apparently developed as a means for working photographers to produce souvenir prints on site, on demand, and at very low cost. [Thanks, Billy!]

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Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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