Abelardo Morell’s camera obscura technique has taken him from photographing his own living room to interiors across the globe. “One of the satisfactions I get from making this imagery comes from my seeing the weird and yet natural marriage of the inside and outside”, he says. In setting up a room to make this kind of photograph he covers all windows with plastic in order to achieve total darkness. Then he cuts one small hole in the materials that he uses to cover the windows. An inverted image of the view outside then floods onto the walls in the room. He focuses the large-format camera on the incoming image on the wall and exposes the film.
Morell recently designed a light proof tent that, via periscope type optics, makes it possible to project a view of the nearby landscape onto whatever ground is under the tent. Inside this darkened space he uses a view camera to record the effect. He says, “I think it is a rather wonderful sandwich of two outdoor realities coming together. This Tent-Camera now liberates me to use camera obscura techniques in a world of new places. I now have a portable room, so to speak.”
Time Square, New York.
Photographed with a tent camera on a rooftop capturing the view of midtown Manhattan looking East.
Jordon Pond in Acadia National Park, Maine.
Tent camera image of landscape outside Florence.
View of the outskirts of Florence, with books.
Bedroom view of Florence looking northwest.