Video: How one photographer turned his backyard shed into a camera and darkroom

Photographer and DIY camera extraordinaire Brendan Barry has used his time in lockdown to create a camera and darkroom out of a shed in his yard.

Throughout the above 22-minute video, Barry summarizes the build process, showing what was required to turn his compact shed into an all-in-one photo room and the process required to capture the image and make the resulting prints. As you might expect from such an ambitious project, it took a good bit of time to get everything sorted out and even more time to dial in the capture and printing process.

A close-up screenshot from the video showing off the massive 1016mm (40″) F5.4 aerial reconnaissance lens used in the build.

‘In [the video] I talk through the build and operation of the shed camera, bring together a number of the processes I experiment with and shares some of the materials and approaches I use in my practice,’ says Barry in an email to DPReview. Barry specifically notes he used ‘RA4 colour reversal, B&W paper negs contacted to positives and shooting with direct positive paper, both with normal chemistry and with caffenol’ to capture and make prints of the images captured with the ridiculous rig.

While this is technically possible to do at home, it will require plenty of power tools, spare wood you might have sitting around, a generous amount of gaff tape and an insanely large lens (a 1016mm [40”] F5.4 aerial reconnaissance lens in Barry’s case).

We’ve featured Barry’s previous projects before, including his 101 Park Avenue skyscraper camera, his shipping container camera and his guide to turning any room in your home into a camera. This shed project might not be his most grandiose project to date, but it certainly required a healthy dose of elbow grease and equal amounts of patience.

You can find more of Barry’s work on his website and keep up with his latest endeavors on his Instagram profile.


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