Photography: Obscura – III – Camera

by Beauchamp Art

Obscura – III – Camera

Obscura - III - Camera - I

Obscura – III – Camera – I

Photos of micro-projections created using a secondary camera lens as an obscura, positioned in front of a computer screen projecting images onto a surface.

In this series using the camera lens as a camera obscura/projector, four images were selected as examples of what could be done with the process that seemed particularly poignant. Due to the delicacy of the positioning of the equipment, there had to be decisiveness at the time of taking the photos as to what to focus on, as well as in the filtering process of post-production. Most other adjustments involved increasing the contrast and neutralising the black areas, however, there is still variation between the images.
The first image is of another one of my peer’s profile pictures (as a continuation of the Faux Pas concept. Though primarily monochromatic, the soft blues and flesh tones of the individual pictures come through faintly; each of the four portraits are distorted differently and the appropriation of the pass-port images in the Warhollian layout (a kin to his Marilyn Monroe series) hints to the homogeny of monotonous images.
The second image is a close-up image of a memento mori, a skull, resting on a book, taken from Caravaggio’s Saint Jerome Writing, that I also used for a rust-based piece, and was specifically chosen as there are some theories (the Hockney–Falco thesis) that this and a number of other pieces from this era were painted with the assistance of a Camera Obscura, allowing the artist a more direct means of drawing from life. This hints at the potential redundancy of the realistic painted image, and questioning the perception of the authenticity of images as a whole.
The third image is an image taken from a social gathering [Dinner for Five] in which a group of individuals are sat around a table, half of which is doused in electric red light, the other in the natural ambience light coming through the window. This contrast was intended to make for a more varied image; and the reds within the picture are complimented by the pinkish hue bleeding in from the background.
The final image deviates from the rest of the series as is not projected onto a blank surface, but rather onto skin (setting the president for Obscura – IV – Exterior) and are of the looping GIF of ID images. However as this was an unfixed surface, the exposure time had to be much shorter to save the image from blurring (the projection would stay still, the surface would not. This could be useful for later experiments, but for this series was not the desired effect.) Positioning the image within the camera frame was strenuous (the obscura mirrors and inverts the image, which had to be undone when editing the pictures; however, they were not un-mirrored, only rotated, as it seemed unnecessary to do so.

Though another experimental series, this was a particularly useful one, and the technique of using the loose lens as an obscura was a particularly interesting experience.