BUILD #7BilikObscura

Taking down the room camera


<picture caption> the insides of camera #7BilikObscura wet bench on the left, 'dry' bench on the right

12 June; KANTA exhibition ended yesterday; taking down of camera #7BilikObscura #20x24 #16x20, biggest camera-build I've attempted. Thank you to the many apprentices for the support, the journey of learning through doing and the many people who came and sat through patiently, experiencing the process together. Need to make some improvements and upgrade some processes, but overall it is a success #KantaPortraits #KantaBoxKamra #instudio25

11 June; One of the kind print, what I call the #firstsheet. One of my oldest designer colleague & good friend, Alex. I use expired paper, for one reason that they're cheaper (struggling artist), but another important aspect, the papers have unique characters and effects, silver have 'crystalised' and in this case, stuck to the plastic bag being the first sheet in the bag, giving interesting streaking patterns to the print. Camera #7bilikobscura #16x20 #kantaboxkamra #kantaportraits @instudio25 #photography #bwphotography #Repost @huwe

11 June; Was only able to do 5 demonstrations a day on the weekend, and sometimes by chance we have an open slot, or it just so happens, time allows us to meet. As random as Kuala Lumpur is, we all have stories and the more we share with each other, we find we have so much in common. Have a conversation Malaysia.

#REPOST @lilyjamaflyTime moves in circles. Old styles come back in fashion. The same mistakes are made over and over again to teach the same lessons. And our own faces tend to repeat themselves.

As we took this photo, my mom told us about the last time she saw a camera like this. In the 1960s the government deployed photographers to little kampungs around the country to take IC photos for the "first" Malaysians, fresh out of independence.

Thank you Jeffrey @instudio25 and the Kanta box team for taking this lovely portrait of us! I'm in love with it. And grateful that you managed to squeeze us in on your last day. #kantaboxkamra #KantaPortraits

11 June; "This is your radiance." He said the camera, this paper, alkaline and acidic solutions work together to capture your radiance and the light around you. Because science proves that all humans emit light. It is a collaboration.

Making this photograph was a magical experience. Jeffrey and his team talked me through every second of sitting down keeping my eyes and head in the direction we've chosen, staying still, conserving energy to hold one moment absolutely still. In that moment, against all posing ideas, my entire body decided to burst into a toothy grin. And the moment was gone. We went into the dark room and Jeffrey used his gloved hands to make a portrait out of paper while narrating how every step of bathing the paper and exposing it to light would bring my past moment to life.

This entire experience made me more conscious of who I am versus how I want to be seen.

Thank you Jeffrey and team, for your knowledge in this art and patiently working with me to achieve this photograph. Today is the final day for you to have this experience at Urbanscape House. Wait in line. #Repost @melizarani #kantaportraits #Kantaboxkamra

pic from faizul
demonstration on saturday
Danial, youngest sitter

preparing Meliza for portrait
image inside the camera

11 June; Instant portraits with Camera #7BilikObscura, a demonstration and walk through of the process, never had so many people inside my camera, and the youngest sitter ever, 6 month old Daniel #kantaportraits #Kantaboxkamra pics from various participants, thank you for the support

justin close up
preparation for close up

10 June; 10 June; #KantaPortraits with #7BilikObscura #roomcamera making portraits of @iamjustinlim #Kantaboxkamra #instudio25build thanks to @liankianlik for the pics!

first test run
room camera team

print caption; test prints, close focus cropped face (1st test), mid shot (3rd test), full body standing (2nd test)

7 June; Camera #7bilikobscura #20x24 our first successful test run. need some refinements but the print is awesome. thanks to the team work of Bronz, Ramizah, Ken, and Kanta/ Kamra operator loading assistant Nurul Huda. at the moment needs minimum of 2 to operate, I'm gonna try a procedure with only 1 operator. People have asked, Open for public, trial run portrait price at RM180. limited runs per day

7 June; camera #7bilikobscura full body portraits, something I've not worked with, probably cause of space constraints and lighting!, but with the #20x24 camera, it's a thing of beauty, here are 2 test I've taken so far. every shot is a first for me to solve and overcome, and it's been a pleasure to work with! managed to create a safe curtain so the #roomcamera can be operated by a single person! achievement unlocked! haha, literally a walk-in camera, my kinda studio

9 June– fully operational

6 June setup
1st sitter with print

2nd print
2 person print


6 June; say hello to camera build #7BilikObscura / #roomcamera the largest I've built so far. did 3 successful test prints. turned out amazing. abit more complex in terms of operations, but fundamentals are the same #Kantaboxkamra #kantaportraits exhibition

9 June; Camera build #7BilikObscura biggest I've built so far. Making negative exposures at #20x24 inches. Only around for the next few days, not sure when I'll get the chance to ever do it again. Catch it in action over the weekend, and if you'd really like an instant-portrait (you'll need to catch me at a good time). Trial run period RM180 #kantaportraits #Kantaboxkamra

2 June; Say hello to camera build #7BilikObscura (Room Obscura), name inspired from my old blog on darkroom http://www.bilikobscura.blogspot.com will be building a room-sized camera capable of shooting at 20x24" #kantaportraits #kantaboxkamra #bilikobscura will build and do a test print on Tuesday 6th June #cameraroom #20x24

31 May; will be attempting a build, room-sized camera, dubbed Bilik Obscura after my old blogspot http://bilikobscura.blogspot.my/

it will be my 7th build, featuring the 486mm projector lens and a painter's easel. It can print up to 20 x 24" for now as that's the limitations of the photo paper that i can get hold of now.


Exhibition: preparation work

Booklet- covers
Booklet- inside pages
Booklet- foldout index sheet

5 June; Exhibition booklet (foldout index sheet) Introduction to project & collaboration. Index of the 20 portraits, writeup of the sitters, and short description of the cameras on exhibit. limited print run, RM10. #KANTAboxkamra #kantaborneo #kantaportraits #instudio25


1 June; Making of a Silverprint Sheena Baharudin her light, she radiates, her likeness, emerges from the paper, as if magic. at 525% enlargement Silver Resin Coated paper. (leaking tray, my chemical level is low too so I had to handle the print)


1 June; Making of a Silverprint Poodien. made a couple of his prints some experiments on slight oxidation and solarising. 525% enlargement on Silver RC paper. (leaky tray and my chemical level is low too so i had to handle the print)

31 May; the apparatus (projector), in the early days of photography, cameras were used as projectors to make enlargements. it's like a reverse camera, rather than capturing, it projects light. Where the camera would be put up against a window, with a mirror reflecting the ambient sky light in-through the camera.

Here is the project's makeshift photo enlarger, combination of plate holder and projector lens about 700+mm for a 200% enlargement #kantaportraits #kantaboxkamra #instudio25build

31 May; Upcoming exhibition was initially proposed late last year by Kenny to include KANTA portraits. The project decided to only select portraits taken this year 2017 to be part of this collaboration. Most were taken in Kuala Lumpur, if not Greater Kuala Lumpur, of random people who happen to have their portrait taken at the setup booth. It will be an interesting juxtapose to Born In Malaysia 's approach in terms of portraiture photography. I hope you'll enjoy the prints and stories.

22 of more that 150 portraits were shortlisted and 20 hand-prints were made. A special apparatus (projector) was built to enable prints at 20 x 24" from #papernegatives that were smaller in size. 200% to 525% enlargement. It was no easy feat, with many sleepless nights. Results are some less satisfactory and some more pleasant. The short interviews for the captions were the most revealing and intimate. Thank you everyone for your kind support & participation #kantaportraits #kantaboxkamra #kantaborneo #5elecamm #instudio25build