(Image copyright Susan Burnstine)
Like many photographers I’ve experimented with toy cameras, pinhole cameras, instant cameras and various filters in an attempt to capture something more mysterious and ethereal. My experience, with the rare exception of some instant shots, has been that the results simply look crap. I’ve not found any mystery underlying reality using these methods, just a bunch of rubbish-looking shots.
Susan Burnstine however, by constructing her own medium format cameras from all sorts of materials, seems to have tapped into an alternate world. With lenses and bellows made from a variety of materials, including magnifying glasses, rubber and garbage bags, Burnstine has created a beautiful collection of photographs. It’s worth noting that her images are created in camera and not via digital post-processing.
This is great work. It almost inspired me to get my toy lens out again – but deep down I know I’d simply end up with another bunch of pointlessly awful shots.