This 35-Foot-Long Film Camera Makes Two-Story-Tall Photos

The prototype camera: 10 years in the making. 12 feet high, 8 feet wide, 35 feet long [Photo: Dennis Manarchy]
Photographer Dennis Manarchy is putting together a truly ambitious project to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the invention of the camera with a film camera that’s over 35 feet long.

Called the “Eye of America,” the camera measures 35 feet by 8 feet by 12 feet. The camera is built to be the world’s largest film camera that takes 6-by-4.5-foot negatives. It is also so large so Manarchy can operate the camera from the inside to adjust the focus, scale, and lights. There is a large plasma screen fitted to the back of the camera that allows others to see the camera in action.

Manarchy plans to take the camera on a 20,000-mile tour around all 50 states as part of his Vanishing Cultures: An Portrait of America Project. The project hopes capture some of the most magnificent portraits anyone has ever seen and the stories of American cultures, both new and dying.

According to Manarchy, the detail in a portrait subject's eyeball alone is a thousand times greater than what you get with the average 2.25-inch piece of film. Manarcy will need all the detail he can get because the final photos will be blown up into prints that measure over two stories tall.

The portraits will ultimately be exhibited in 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC and in the Mall surrounding the reflecting pool of the Capital. The “Eye of America” camera will also be donated to the Smithsonian.

The Vanishing Cultures Project is currently seeking funding and will begin a Kickstarter program on Feburary 1.

[Vanishing Cultures via PetaPixel via Gizmodo]

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