On a warm night in Peking, while drinking plenty of local beer, we (Andrea and Christian) made a promise to each other: back in Europe, we would start with the construction of our own giant photo camera. A camera that would fit our ideas of what is photography and the art of telling stories. And what started as a boyish fanciful idea, became a real creative project. Up to a certain stage of the process, we didn’t know whereto our creation would lead. Every week we came up with new ideas but only few of them would eventually work out. We never stopped thinking and brainstorming. We searched and learned how to solve problems or find new ways to develop our cube.
The very first pictures we took were actually black and white. At that time we still didn’t use any lens, just a small hole in the cube. The picture on top shows a tree near the lake of Molveno, situated in the middle of the Brenta Dolomites in Northern Italy. It was taken in 2010 and at that time we still had a lot of work to do. We kept trying new technologies and we built a lot of components ourselves.
In time we made a lot of changes. First we found a very rare 18kg Nikon lens. In the picture on top you can see the lens size compared to a classic lens which photographers use every day on their film and digital cameras. It’s a special reproduction lens allowing us to take 1,5meter x 1,5meter ultra sharp pictures. It projects the image on a large flat magnetic panel we attach inside the cube.
From the very beginning we knew that the camera had to be modular in order to dismantle and rebuild it in every possible place. We even carried it around in high mountains. The picture above was taken in August 2010 at 2.200 meter altitude.
What we didn’t expect was that the cube itself looks amazing! It perfectly integrates in the environment. And you would never think that this is actually a giant photocamera with two people working inside! Take a look at the following pictures:
The picture on top was taken in the woods of the nature reserve near Spormaggiore, where the last bears of the Central Alps live. It’s hard to find the cube between the trees!
We usually sit inside the cube for 30 to 60 minutes, as long as it needs for the picture to been taken. But to transport the cube and set up the technology we use inside, it takes hours. That’s why we can only take one or maximum two pictures per day.
The photographic results are amazing. First of all there’s the very large size of each picture. 1,07×1,07 meter. It is actually a unique huge positive image. Not enlarged and not a copy of an image. One single frame. The picture you see on top shows a portrait of the designer Martino Gamper. The picture is “Real Size” which means his head is as big as his real head!