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The Master of Camera Obscura

Photography // Saturday, 19 Apr 2014
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Originally born in Havana, Cuba, photographer Abelardo Morell has embraced the classic technique of camera obscura, a method used photographically through the use of pinhole cameras. Morell finds rooms with windows that offer unique and spectacular views from the Eiffel Tower to the Italian countryside and then blocks out all the light from the windows with the exception of a pinhole which causes the narrow channel of light to project an exact upside down image of the scene outside on the opposite wall. Next, Morell sets up a large format camera facing the projection on the wall and creates a long exposure photograph revealing the juxtaposition of the actual room meshing with the landscape outside the window.  Recently, Morell devised a way of creating a portable light-tight tent that creates a camera obscura where the ground serves as the opposite wall, making it possible for him to photograph using his method in places that he was previously unable to photograph. Currently, a retrospective of Morell’s work is on display at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia until May 18, 2014.

text written by Canbra Hodsdon

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