working inside the camera obscura

Thomas Kellner & Jochen Dietrich: A van as a camera

 

During my early years at university, (I was just taking my second semester), I heard about a branch of Mercedes Benz, that was looking for young artists to decorate a wall in one of their new buildings.

I talked about it to a fellow student, who later became one of my best friends: Jochen Dietrich. We  were both just starting off in pinhole photography and had come to the conclusion, that a company selling cars and vans should have one car or van turned into a camera, with which to shoot the decoration.

The only compromise we had to make was to photograph in the area around the new branch, which was scheduled for opening at the end of November. - This time of year is a very bad season for pinhole photography in Germany as there are only 5 hours of daylight, especially when you want to photograph with such a giant camera. The exposure times were 6-8 hours, although we used a pinhole 10 times larger than originally calculated, even though we used a pinhole.

Finally, we managed to handprint seven large images of different sizes on canvas. This project became one of my key experiences in working in pinhole photography and photography in general. The chance to be inside the camera and to physically experience the projection inside for  the picture to be everywhere, became the basis for all further projects.