Sometimes a friend will offer me an old camera, often it is something interesting that belonged to a grandparent, almost always it is a film camera that hasn’t been used in a long time. Occasionally it is an early digital camera. In most cases they don’t work and have become just a paperweight or decorative item. Over the years I’ve accumulated a few shelves of cameras and now when someone looks at my “collection” they remember one that they have sitting in their attic and I end up with yet another orphan.
Years ago I decided to make a book of wet-plate photographs of old cameras, but only if the cameras had specific memories connected to them. Thus was born “MOMENTO” – a book of those memories and cameras and a collection of photographs of cameras.
Lately, I’ve been making my “Gutenberg” 3D printed artist book sculptures I began to make books about specific cameras. Each camera is sealed inside a 3D printed translucent PLA resin “book” – inaccessible unless you break the sculpture. The first ones were done with functioning digital cameras, and I used the cameras to photograph and make a video of the process of printing the camera. The memory card with the images and video is still inside the camera.
Now I have a library of camera books. Some include a 3D printed box for the camera and some do not. But now I know what to do with all those orphaned cameras.
A PhD camera is a point and shoot AKA “Push Here Dummy” camera.