Camera Obscura built for this project.
“Viewfinder” inside camera obscura
Lens / mirror assembly.
Weather Report features 36 photographs of the same place in different weather conditions. They were taken over the period of one year (from May 2003 to May 2004). The place I photographed was the Long Swamp Road (in little village Moscow, Ontario), with my house and garden. I placed the horizon in the middle of the frame, which was the best set-up to show how the weather and changing seasons affected the earth and the sky. Also, I included in the frame various points and shapes (house on the right, two trees in the middle, open field on the left, lawn and sunflowers in the front), which I wanted to have there in order to capture better the changes of the landscape.
I have been always attracted by documentary aspect of photography. Photography records precisely how given place/object looked like at a certain moment in time. Once that moment has passed, it’s gone, and only on photograph you can see it again. This is why I chose to use repeated pictures of exactly the same place in different seasons and conditions to capture the elusive and volatile phenomenon of weather. In the summer you only have a vague memory of how your garden looked like covered with snow in the winter. Even in the evening, it is difficult to recall how the landscape looked in the entirely different light of morning. This project shows all these various moments, various looks of the same place, gathered together, easy to compare and trace the changes.
The photographs were taken using a 6 ft x 6ft x 10ft walk-in Camera Obscura, constructed by me specifically for this project. I needed the camera which could remain in one fixed spot and which would be weather-proof, so I could shoot even in poor conditions, like cold, rain or strong wind. Due to my long-term interest in various optical devices, which preceded the invention of photography, I was already familiar with Camera Obscura and I decided this device would best suit my needs. I used high quality 4 x5 lens and 8×10 colour transparencies. Thanks to that I achieved a round picture, representing full coverage of the lens. This enabled me to avoid cropping and also fit well with the periodic representation of the seasons of the year. By using a high quality lens
and large transparencies, it was possible to achieve a great precision of detail.
The titles of the pictures are an integral component of the composition. They convey important information about the exact date, time of the day and weather conditions at the time the photographs were taken.
The camera I built for Weather Report was not my only Camera Obscura. I have built several of those devices, smaller and bigger and I have been using them for many various purposes. For example, I built a mobile, trailer, walk-in Camera Obscura (pictures below) which I have been using for my workshops for schools. I was giving one week Camera Obscura and Pinhole Photography Workshops for public schools from the year 2000 until 2012. This workshop was sponsored by Ontario Arts Council grant Artists in Education.
Created with support of The Ontario Arts Council.