Why buy a camera when you can build your own? For Joe Barone, building a camera is just part of the photographic process. The recent college grad just started his own photography business in Michigan. While discussing with his professors about a project for his independent study assignment, Joe was inspired by his ” fascination with old things.” Growing up in his parents’ hardware store, he was always tinkering and building items, so why not a camera?


Using the camera obscura concept, where light comes in through a hole on the side of a box (or room) and reproduces an upside down image, Joe created his own camera by taking apart an old flatbed scanner and duct taping it with some household items. The final product? This:

2013_barone_9 Joe used an old Canon lide 110 scanner, some foam core, a magnifying glass and gold duct tape to make his camera. Because the camera fits the popular steampunk era, Joe added some gears and other little accoutrements to give the overall aesthetic of a piece of equipment from that genre.

Powered by blood, sweat and tears, (mostly tears, according to Joe), he took images of his family and friends with some eerie results. The camera scans the subject from left to right over an extended period of time. The images are distorted and bizarre as movement from his subjects create varying effects.

All images you see below are straight out of the camera with some minor level and curve adjustments.

2013_barone_1 2013_barone_2 2013_barone_6 2013_barone_7

Joe has entered his camera and the images in the international ArtPrize photography competition. You can see the rest of the images from his steampunk camera on his website. You can also connect with him via his LinkedIn and/or Facebook.

CREDITS: All photographs by Joe Barone are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.