November 2, 2010

abelardo morell: the universe next door


camera obscura images at bryce wolkowitz gallery 10.29.10 - 12.11.10:



tent camera image on ground: rooftop view of midtown manhattan looking east 2010






tent camera obscura of park avenue south 2010






camera obscura: view of volta del canal in palazzo room painted with jungle motif
venice, italy 2008






camera obscura: view of florence looking northwest inside bedroom
italy 2009






camera obscura: garden with olive tree inside room with plants
italy 2009






camera obscura: view of landscape outside of florence in room with bookcase
italy 2009






tent camera image on ground: rooftop view of lower manhattan 2010






view of times square in hotel room 2010






camera obscura of central park looking north, fall 2008






camera obscura: view of the manhattan bridge
april 20th/morning 2010






camera obscura: view of the brooklyn bridge in bedroom 2008


Camera Obscura

I made my first picture using camera obscura techniques in my darkened living room in 1991. In setting up a room to make this kind of photograph, I cover all windows with black plastic in order to achieve total darkness. Then, I cut a small hole in the material I use to cover the windows. This allows an inverted image of the view outside to flood onto the walls of the room. I would focus my large-format camera on the incoming image on the wall and expose the film. In the beginning, exposures took five to ten hours.

Over time, this project has taken me from my living room to all sorts of interiors around the world. One of the satisfactions I get from making this imagery comes from my seeing the weird and yet natural marriage of the inside and outside.

A few years ago, in order to push the visual potential of this process, I began to use color film and positioned a lens over the hole in the window plastic in order to add to the overall sharpness and brightness of the incoming image. Now, I often use a prism to make the projection come in right side up. I have also been able to shorten my exposures considerably thanks to digital technology, which in turn makes it possible to capture more momentary light. I love the increased sense of reality that the outdoor has in these new works .The marriage of the outside and the inside is now made up of more equal partners.
Abelard Morell



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