Brownie In Motion is a beautiful hand made large-scale art installation, analogue darkroom, and real functioning Brownie Target Six-16 camera designed by artist Stephen Takacs!
The Brownie without a doubt has got to be one of the most significant cameras in photographic history. It was able to bring photography to anyone and everyone, a low-cost camera which introduced the concept of the snapshot.
Based out of Columbus, Ohio multi-disciplinary artist Stephen Takacs has paid homage to this iconic camera by building an enlarged one which he’s been able to tour around certain locations in the US. Takacs realised his dream last year of creating this unique camera and with the help and funding of various institutions he has been able to make his dream camera a reality.
Designed from a full-sized prototype, Target Six-16 was constructed with portability in mind. It’s comprised of aluminum pipe, Kee Lite fittings, and a water-resistant skin. Designed like a tent, the camera can flat pack to a small size that can fit into a car.
On the front of the camera there is a lens and a small infrared motion senor that is connected to the camera shutter. When movement activates the sensor, an electric motor opens the shutter allowing light to enter the camera via the lens. The camera’s lens projects an upside-down image of the exterior world onto a semitransparent fabric screen found on the interior of the camera obscura. Viewers can physically move and manipulate the screen to alter the focus of the image or simply enjoy the view of the world turned upside down.
Takac’s now appealing to the public to help him raise funds for the purchase of a vehicle, chemicals, film and fuel to allow him to travel around other locations in the US with this wonderful camera. In line with this, Takacs intends to create a series of portraits of artisans whose highly-specialized niche skills are on the verge of extinction: “In our fast-paced, technologically-driven world, fascinating skills and stories are lost each day. Through the lens of the camera obscura, I would document the lives of the movie projectionists, the blacksmith, the paper maker, the quilter, even your local radio repairman.”
Image Credit: © Stephen Takacs