DEMO; Refugee School

Part of the 2nd phase of the journey; #edgesofmalaysia

01 Camera Strapped 26/01
02 Demonstrating 26/01
03 First Magic 26/01
04 The Image 15/02
05 Making Portraits 15/02
06 Image in the box 15/02
07 Next Batch 01/03
01– Camera strapped on and ready to go, #bikepacking with Kamra #1 to visit a refugee school for show & demonstration, introduction to the community. it’s an underground network and an unwritten system for refugees and migrant. I got asked some hard questions by the kids, I'm learning about them as much as they are from me. 26/01

02– Demonstrating the process, while being their special guest for English language class. “photography is magic”, my best scientific explanation of the process haha :) this has been my most rewarding experience so far. Most of these students are from the North West State of Myanmar, refugee status perhaps still in limbo. 26/01

03– the first magic of photography, the ‘moulding’ of light to produce a likeness image. 26/01

04– the image, moulding light with just found items. Demonstration, portraits Students of age 9-10. 15/02

05– Making portraits of the class, one at a time. Students of age 9-10. 15/02

06– “image” in the box, most fulfilling experience, when these kids started showing the same experiment to the other classes. 15/02

07– next batch of class from refugee school, ‘science & english class’ plus making portraits. 01/03


BUILD; Enlargement Attempt

Success! we have image. first rule of (this kind of) photography, have image, will print.

now all i need to do is a bunch of calculations with formulas and a whole load of tweaking to the build to get it working well. (haven't even done any exposure yet). back to the drawing board.


BUILD; Element Camera 10x12

Building an element-based camera, (working title ele-cam) utilising century old glass plate-holder as focus frame & negative holder. The built was inspired from the idea of lightening the load of the concept camera, while being able to make a larger format, life-sized, scale portrait.

By collecting just the elements of the basic camera; Lens, Focus Frame & Mechanism, it is possible to construct a camera without the need of the enclosure. Bypassing the need to carry a large box around. Building the darkbox (enclosure) from found materials in the field, and the bellows from industrial garbage bags which can double as packing/ waterproofing solution.

items needed
- lens
- lens board mounted
- magic arm with super-clamp
- monorail with ball head
- rear element cum focus frame
- plate/ paper holder
- industrial bags
- surveyors tripod

But before building this, will attempt it with the globe lens concept, utilising only half of the elements, raise funds to purchase some of them. a separate dark box with stacking trays needed for processing & reloading. use of wet contact print with sunlight for repro.

early 2016 Found landscape lighting ball (aqua lens)

12 Jul Acquired antique plate holders & rear elements from Arcadia (thanks for the support!) RM 100

19 Sep Ej Motiwalla tripod surveyor's tripod, new 'old' stock. from a century old surveyor equipment company, est. 1885! acquired the aluminium one based on weight. the wooden one (yellow) was stronger, but it weighed about 6-8kg. Got the display-unit Japanese-made surveyor's Alloy tripod at RM 371 (US$ 90)

5 Oct Acquired two lenses 300 & 486mm RM 2,000

6 Oct Acquire Tee nut 1/4" metric threading

8 Oct Test Aqua Lens on tripod (globe filled with tap water weighs in at 14+ kg)

20 Oct Acquired Acrylic sheet & plywood board RM 94

25 Oct Cut to size ground Acrylic sheet & restoration of focus frame for project Life-Scale Camera (working title Element Camera). made ground glass from acrylic sheets, 3mm frosted. although not as cheap, it's bright and durable (not breakable). had to do some restoration work on the viewing frame, needs a new felt sealant. but both formats now have a viewing glass. sizes 6.5 x 8.5" and 10 x 12". these will be the biggest camera ever assembled. here is a reference to how i got hold of these century old plate holders & rear elements.  http://kantaboxkamra.blogspot.my/2016/07/purchase.html they are gems, but a waste if let to rot. am aiming to prepare a simpler build for demonstration by early next year, if my resources & time allow.

28 Oct Visit Master Chan and purchase Monorail spares Had a impromptu visit to Master Chan, to inform him of visiting the photo lab the coming week. Also took the opportunity to lookup for monorail spares. Which of course he had! A couple of mid length monorail, Korean made. For the building of a life-scale camera a.k.a Element Camera. RM 200

29 Oct Mock up setup with tripod

30 Oct Made crude lens board for 300 & 486mm lens Modify rear element to fit focus frame

31 Oct Mount Rear Element to monorail on tripod. Loan magic arm from Helios. 

1 Nov Mount Front Element to magic arm. Use garbage bag bellows. First Visualising 300mm lens. need better mounting.

9 Nov Mount 486mm lens, mounting bracket not secure, lens too heavy. need better solution.

10 Nov Life-Scale Visualising, approximately double the focal length. possible, need measuring aid to zeroing the camera standards.

11 Nov Acquire Garbage Bag Kg Baru Pasar. too translucent. RM 5 for 10 pieces.

14 Nov Salvage mounting bunting frame, Ampang point, with adjustable mounts as front & rear standards stabilisers.

15 Nov Acquire Zippo Lighter fluid for polishing plastic, acrylic sheets. Polish Globe Lens, cut acrylic sheets 2mm for film back. RM 35

16 Nov Globe Lens setup. need to build mounting wooden base securely attached to tripod base mount.

18 Nov Acquire 0.4mm Garbage Bag. Still not totally opaque. RM 11

21 Nov Modify tripod for better grip with clamp. works well.

22 Nov Mobile kit layout. gunny sack on ground for tiled surfaces. 

23 Nov Acquire screw adapters & spirit levels. Acquire trekking poles (adjustable height) as front & rear standard stabiliser.

24 Nov weigh the components 12 kg lens version (excluding lens)

1 Dec Enquiry, order 20 x 24 RC paper, fomapan 

2 Dec Demo & Interview with Kenny Loh

23 Dec Setup 300mm test, focal length 

24 Dec Setup 486mm test, 300mm visual test

26 Dec cut photo paper to size, prep makeshift darkroom, purchase rubber shoes tripod (RM 8)

27 Dec setup strobe lights & stands

28 Dec purchase variable magic arm & hex stud (RM 565)

30 Dec first print, exposure, focusing & mechanism test

3 Jan magic arm & hex stud arrives

first print, expired paper, chems, exposure off