Antonio Bunt: "Making cameras is a way of life"

Photo © Antonio Bunt

Photo © Antonio Bunt

I found photography as a therapy when I started college in 1993 but I never took it as both therapy and a serious profession until 1999 when I started a group where we exchanged techniques and similar points of view. I rediscovered pinhole photography and alternative processes.

For me these techniques represent my delight for historic research in photography and I keep on practicing them even though digital imaging has surpassed any conceivable future. I think pinhole photography has a particular aesthetics and since I can’t see very well, it liberates me from what I call my "vision anguish" since I don't have to focus the lens, I just point and shoot and the results still amaze me, giving back that surprise factor this modern civilization has taken away from us.

Photo © Antonio Bunt

The series you see displayed here is me sharing how I see the world with my defective eyes. Locked-up is a series I made after I returned to Mexico City by the end of October 2001. I lived in Montreal for a more or less extended period but I had to come back home for many, many reasons not worth discussing here.

When I got back to my old flat in Condesa neighborhood I started feeling very scared to go out so, I let myself be carried away by this irrational feeling (anyway all feelings are irrational, hence the lack of reason) and I committed myself to my apartment and I stayed here until the beginning of March 2002. So, to avoid losing my mind, I took my first oatmeal box pinhole camera and started photographing my surroundings, my constrained surroundings.

See the
Pinhole Series "Locked up" by Antonio Bunt

So I went out after a long time but pinhole has always been there for me so I decided to build my own pinhole cameras, custom-made to satisfy my imaging needs rather than the other way around. I started with simple designs such as the oatmeal box but soon, after taking a workshop about making nonconventional cameras, my mind expanded and I started making even weirder cameras.

I adapted an old Land Camera for instant pinhole photos. I made a camera with three optics (wide angle, normal and telephoto lens), another that took four images on one 4X5 (my favorite format) and I even did some "spy" cameras, adapting "innocent" containers (tea, lotion, sweets) so I can take pictures of "banned" subjects (something very common in Mexico).

My most recent project is a large format camera that accepts normal 4X5 film holders but has three pinhole interchangeable optics, tripod threads, a barrel lens and a "focusing" screen.

Making cameras for me is a way of life. So every time you see me observing an unusual container, chances are, I'm analyzing how it can work for an unusual camera... Antonio Bunt

More about Antonio
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Anonymous said…
It is a beautiful story Antonio, a treasue to be able to publish
Anonymous said…
A great work!

br said…
very interesting projects and cameras. the pinhole images are beautiful.
Anonymous said…
Pictures for the soul !