Whiskerino 2009

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  • posted: November 25 @ 10:20am
I made a Wolcott camera a few years ago. There are only a few in the world, even though they are pretty simple. It is essentially a dark, wooden box with a large concave mirror inside at one end. In the middle you have your film standing upright, directly in the path of light. You have a large hole in the other end of the box. There is no lens, only the mirror, which acts as a lens. Light comes through the large opening, goes "around" the film (sheet of film has opaque backing on it), bounces off the concave mirror and is focused back onto the film surface.

Here I am simply aiming my camera into the camera, looking past the back of the film, into the mirror, and onto the face of the film (in this case, replaced by a piece of card). Light travels in a straight line, so you can get some weirdness in the dead center of a picture, however if the subject is farther away, the concavity of the lens picks up most information accurately and focuses with decent results.

This camera was the very first photography related item ever given a US patent. Patent No. 1,582, May 8, 1840


XscatteredshowersX says:
did you take this picture with it?
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:22am -
XscatteredshowersX says:
i mean took the picture of you taking this picture
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:22am -
Furricane says:
very nice bit of history here. Thanks.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:22am -
XscatteredshowersX says:
ah, forget it
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:22am -
mims attack says:
no, unfortunately, no time to get film out and do it.. you have to load it in the dark of course.. it would be very difficult to do a self portrait with one. I'd have to make a large, remote controlled, automatic lens cap mechanism to take the exposure.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:23am -
XscatteredshowersX says:
get to work
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:24am -
Broseph says:

thanks for taking the time to explain.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:25am -
mims attack says:
for reference, that mirror is about 6" diameter. concave mirrors like this are somewhat difficult to find.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:25am -
mackle says:
very educational and VERY cool
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:27am -
Fledgling Brewer says:
That is very cool! Beardy AND informative.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:28am -
jnonfiction says:
You're unbelievable.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:48am -
Andrew says:
I feel like I learned something amazing. While on a beard contest website. Awesome.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:54am -
zackle says:
Incredible, dude.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 10:55am -
JamesC says:
tractor rape chain
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 12:36pm -
folliclejuju says:
that is really impressive and an odd testament to where photography has come since then
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 12:44pm -
tedford says:
learning. i did some.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 12:59pm -
pcain says:
love this. seriously.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 1:49pm -
wondermade says:
Color me impressed. Though if you were really committed you'd have made that remote.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 2:49pm -
ThatGuy says:
Nice camera lesson. Awesome.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 7:42pm -
Taylor says:
unreal! thanks for the history lesson... please keep sharing your knowledge wealth with us.
Posted: Nov 25th, 2009 - 11:33pm -
Barefoot says:
you are a genius.
Posted: Nov 26th, 2009 - 12:20am -
Sir Walshington says:
i most definitely would sit at the table like this if i was home. unfortunately, i am alone for the first thanksgiving. :(
Posted: Nov 26th, 2009 - 10:43am -
Site closed!
Whiskerino. fin.