Ondu – working art

I love photography and I love my digital cameras. I also love my little kit built Recesky 35mm TLR and quirky things.  So, it’s no surprise that I was smitten by the beautiful looking wooden pinhole cameras designed and built in Slovenia by Elvis, Beni and various family members and friends, with the intriguing name of ONDU.

Many months ago I backed this project on Kickstarter and have been eagerly following the trials and tribulations of the team as they sourced the wood, imported technical equipment, installed machinery, broke machinery, repaired machinery and finally produced and shipped their wonderful products. My two ONDU cameras (the 135 and 6 x 6 versions) arrived a few days ago and I have to say they are everything that I expected, and more!

Eat your heart out Apple – these cameras are a work of art: Organic, tactile and just plain wooderful to look at (intentional mis-spelling!). They even come with cloth carry bags stitched by the boys’ mum!


I have ordered my 120 film and 35mm film and am now looking forward to field testing these beauties over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!



6 sentence story – The camera never lies?

At first he was sure there had been a mistake.  When he opened the pack of developed photographs fresh from the store his initial thought was that they had given him someone else’s film. But as he flipped through the prints he saw that they were, in fact the shots he had taken; or rather the compositions were the same. The actual subjects had changed though – the faces were different, the clothes dated. He thought that was all, but when he looked closer, even the background was wrong – trees smaller and a missing house.  This must be some kind of joke, he thought, but if so it was an elaborate one, and who would do such a thing…?



Camera Obscura in San Francisco

Just under a decade ago we moved to the west coast of the US and lived near San Francisco. Being new to the area we wanted to see as much of the area as possible and one sunny day, when checking out the ruins of the Sutro Baths and nearby Cliff House, we stumbled across this wonderful camera obscura on the cliff edge:


This camera obscura (literally “dark room”) uses a mirror in the pointed roof of the building to reflect light down through a lens onto a 6 ft (2m) diameter parabolic horizontal viewing table which gives a more even focus across the surface, magnifying the image 7-fold. What makes this one even more interesting is that the mirror rotates a full circle every 6 minutes giving a full 360° view of the area.

This wonderful building was built in the late 1940s as part of the Playland amusement park and was only placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 after several threats of demolition following the closure and redevelopment of Playland in the 1970s.

The images of Seal Rock and the surrounding area were amazing, especially when considering this is such relatively simple technology, first described in the writings of the Chinese philosopher Mozi in the 4th century BCE.

Even the children were impressed back then, and that takes a lot to achieve these days!



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