PetaPixel

Camper Obscura Van Tours England to Spread the Joy of Photography

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If you’re ever in England and come across an old camper van with the words “Camper Obscura” splashed across the side, knock on the door and say hi to photographers Jonathan Blyth and Matthew Pontin. Since the summer of 2010, Blyth and Pontin have traveled widely around the South West of England, teaching people about photography from the rear cabin of the vehicle.

The Camper Obscura itself took more than a year to plan (and build), and was created by converting an old 1986 VW Type 25 Transporter camper van. The light-sealed vehicle features a lens on the roof (donated by a friend) that can be turned in 360-degrees in order to point the “camera” at any subject around the van.

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A look inside the Camper Obscura back in 2010

A look inside the Camper Obscura back in 2010

The van was created as a project of Blyth and Pontin’s organization Fotonow, which aims to “encourage greater social inclusion and the shared exploration of visual experience through photography.”

In other words, Blyth and Pontin are passionate about the medium, and they’re hoping to spark interest in the community as well. The van travels to schools, community groups, fairs, residential homes, parks, and local events.

After a group of visitors enters the van, the doors are shut and the magic begins:

The hands of children inside the Camper Obscura reflecting the world outside

The hands of children inside the Camper Obscura reflecting the world outside

Hold up a white board inside the van, and it becomes a window into the world outside

Hold up a white board inside the van, and it becomes a window into the world outside

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Blyth and Pontin estimate that, in all, roughly 15000 have stepped inside the van since it began its journey. These visitors have also become participants in a side project. Each one is asked to pose for an instant film portrait. The thousands of portraits collected so far form a documentation of Britons living in the areas visited by the van:

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portraits

There are many more photos of Camper Obscura and its adventures so far on the Fotonow Flickr page. You can also learn more about the Camper Obscura on its website.

Camper Obscura (via PopPhoto)


Image credits: Photographs by Fotonow and used with permission


 
 
  • tyrohne

    yeah… step into my van young lass and let me show you some photos..

    This has all kinds of creepy to it..

  • Scott M.

    Interesting idea but, the one guy with the rooster hair is someone I would not get within 25feet of.

  • http://twitter.com/ralphhightower Ralph Hightower

    I like the pun: Camper Obscura