Saskatoon man makes 'big, ugly' camera from scratch
'It’s a big, ugly thing and my kids used to refuse to go with me when I’d go and take pictures.'
You would need a pretty big pocket to fit this camera built by Saskatoon man Rick Retzlaff.
Retzlaff builds his own unique cameras from scratch — two of which are featured in Photographic Phantasmagoria, an exhibition running at the Saskatchewan Craft Council.
"I'm an engineer by trade but I like to work with historic and alternative process photography," said Retzlaff.
"I can never buy any of the equipment that I need to use, because of the odd processes that I use and so [I'm] really forced to build it."
Ten years ago, he built a giant camera to fulfill the need to create a very large negative.
"It's made out of primarily Baltic Birch plywood from Rona and put together with a lot of glue and a lot of tape," he explained.
"It's a big, ugly thing and my kids used to refuse to go with me when I'd go and take pictures. [They'd say], 'Dad, it's so embarrassing!' But if you're doing something embarrassing, that's probably an indication that you're doing something right, right?"
Retzlaff said it can take a full day to take one picture with his massive creation.
"I used to go out in the winter and I used to pull it behind a toboggan because it's so big and heavy. So, I'd go out with a toboggan, which is kind of sad, but that's how you get it out."