Photographer Creates Huge Functioning Camera From a Shipping Container, Complete With Dark Room Inside

One photographer has turned a shipping container into a huge camera, complete with a built-in darkroom. The creation is capable of producing large, traditional analog prints.

Brendan Barry, the same photographer responsible for turning everyday items (including fruit) into functioning cameras, has returned with this new project. Basing the shipping container in Northernhay Gardens, in Exeter, Devon, close to his home, Barry spent three weeks creating various images that he is now displaying to the public.

Painting the exterior the resemble a Polaroid camera, he made sure the container was wheelchair accessible, fully ventilated, solar powered, and capable of welcoming large groups of all ages and abilities. What’s more, it has a built-in print-washing system, lens movements, and most exciting of all, a working mechanical shutter.

He joked:

It is basically the world’s biggest, slowest, and most impractical Polaroid camera.

A photography teacher at the UK’s Exeter School of Art, Barry’s intention was to “reach out to a diverse range of people and invite them to make portraits of the community, by the community.” People from local charities, community groups, and education centers were included in workshops he ran from the container. This even extended to being open to any passing member of the public interested in experiencing traditional image-making processes.

[We wanted to] create a series of images that collectively touched on themes of inclusion and collaboration, celebrated diversity, promoted acceptance, and inspired engagement and participation in the arts.

The project was Arts Council England funded and made possible with support from a variety of local and national partners including Exeter Phoenix, The Royal Albert Memorial Museum, The Photographers Gallery, and Exeter School of Art.

Check out the video to see a step-by-step of how Barry brought his shipping container camera to life.

All images Brendan Barry and used with permission.

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10 Comments

Adriano Brigante's picture

Brendan Barry strikes again! This guy is really inspiring.

Matt Barr's picture

Ian Ruhter too.

Adam Henderson's picture

I thought this might have been him when I saw the headline.

That's so friggin cool! For some strange reason this reminded me of the old photo booths.

Rob Mitchell's picture

Lovely project. The results are unique and amazingly special.

Willis Bretz's picture

It's so refreshing to see this project and how he is bringing a community together and sparking their interest in photography.

Henry Williams's picture

This is an amazing piece of art! I like how this dude decided to create a huge camera from a shipping container. Did he use satire essay topics like https://edubirdie.com/blog/satire-essay-topics to introduce this one for the general public? It looks a little bit crazy but awesome inside. Huge satire on modern "gear centric" world.

If he threw in a cot to sleep on he could actually live inside of a camera.

There can huge difference between being an experienced and excellent photographer, of which there are many - and being someone who fully understands the full gamut of everything photography of which there are few - thus being the Masters in tnis field.
From what I've read about Brendan Barry, I'd say he's definitely the latter.

Abz Mystery's picture

This was in my home town. I think one of my photography friends knows the guy.