While staying at home, many photographers turned their houses and flats into studios. In fact, some of them even turned them into cameras! Brazilian photographer Bruno Alencastro turned the “camera obscura room” concept into a fantastic collaborative project. He teamed up with other photographers, and each of them turned their home into a camera obscura. They took some fantastic shots showing the “upside-down reality” that we live in and telling their own stories about these days of isolation.
“Nowadays, the window starts to represent the border and the abyss between the outside and the inside world. Freedom and confinement,” Bruno tells DIYP. As a photographer, he wanted to create something while in quarantine. He wanted to document the times that we’re living in, but he says that no idea seemed original to him. “And it was in that moment of pause, in which we have been turning to the past in search of answers for when all this is over, that I had a snap: the camera obscura principle!”
Bruno started by turning a room of his Rio de Janeiro apartment into a camera obscura. Basically, it was like a huge projector, bringing the outside world into his home. And he took the first photo of the project. “Even my dog has stopped for 4 seconds so that I could get a balanced exposure between the darkness of my room and the projection of the world outside,” Bruno jokes.
Since it was impossible to photograph other people at his home, he invited other photographers to collaborate with him from the safety of their own homes. They turned their rooms into cameras obscurae and captured life in times of the pandemic. Each of them captured their uniqueness. Their achievements and losses, wishes and privileges, and their hopes and fears during these crazy times.
“From video calls and WhatsApp conversations, I started giving them tips on how to get the best technical result and also what I would like each photo to portray,” Bruno explains. “One of them was on his birthday, so I suggested that he held a candle to symbolize this unprecedented situation in his life: spending a birthday alone.”
I love it that these photos have the same concept, yet the results are different. Each person has their own style, and of course – their own personality and different story to tell. “Symbolically, what we see projected is a world upside down, just like the chaos that we follow around the world,” Bruno concludes.