Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Frances Schwabenland: "The Photographer of Jaipur"

Frances Schwabenland is a photographer and a videographer whose work was featured on The Travel Channel, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel and in Popular Photography Magazine. She's a multifaceted professional involved in travel, architectural, documentary, landscape and portrait photography.

Currently in the process of updating her website, Frances nevertheless featured a lovely video story of her special encounter with Mr Chand, a street photographer in Jaipur, who uses an ancient wooden camera weighing no less than 50 lbs to make photographs of passer-bys. She tells us in her blog that "he recreated for me that magic that drew me in years ago when I first started with a darkroom in my basement."

The tripod-mounted wooden box camera may well be a 1860 Carl Zeiss, which I've also seen in use in Pushkar and Havana. Photographers who still use these cameras are in a sense choreographers...perhaps even magicians, since they have to expose the negative by uncovering the lens cap for a fraction of a second with a deft flip of the wrist, then develop the sensitive paper to produce the negative...then the process is repeated to photograph the negative to produce the final positive image!

A far cry from all the digital hoopla we are now accustomed to!

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