Abelardo Morell  Tent Camera

Since 1991 I have con­verted rooms into Cam­era Obscuras in order to pho­to­graph the strange and delight­ful meet­ing of the out­side world with the room’s inte­rior.

In an effort to find new ways to use this tech­nique, I have worked with my assis­tant, C.J. Heyliger, on design­ing a light proof tent which can project views of the sur­round­ing land­scape, via periscope type optics, onto the sur­face of the ground inside the tent. Inside this space I pho­to­graph the sand­wich of these two out­door real­i­ties meet­ing on the ground. Depend­ing on the qual­ity of the sur­face, these views can take on a vari­ety of painterly effects. The added use of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy on my cam­era lets me record visual moments in a much shorter time frame– for instance I can now get clouds and peo­ple to show up in some of the photographs.

This way of observ­ing the land­scape with spe­cially equipped tents was prac­ticed by some artists in the 19th cen­tury in order to trace on paper what they saw in the land­scape. Inter­est­ingly, this approach to pic­tur­ing the land was done even before the inven­tion of photography.

All images © courtesy of Abelardo Morell

www.abelardomorell.net