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Guinness Names World’s Largest Camera and Photo

The Guinness Book of World Records last month certified the world’s largest camera and, subsequently, the world’s largest photograph. The Legacy Project, a nonprofit organization based in Laguna Beach, Calif., produced “The Great Picture” last yea

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August 10, 2007 – The Guinness Book of World Records last month certified the world’s largest camera and, subsequently, the world’s largest photograph. The Legacy Project, a nonprofit organization based in Laguna Beach, Calif., produced "The Great Picture' last year. The Great Picture is a silver emulsion print that measures three stories high and 10 stories wide, made from an airplane hangar converted into a camera obscura.

"The photograph is a magnificent tribute to a historic turning point in Orange County history as well as a statement about the evolution of the photographic medium, hand versus mechanical/technological processes, and the importance of 'vision machines' to the advancement of culture," according to The Legacy Project website.

The Legacy Project transformed an airplane hangar into a large-scale camera obscura to photograph the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Southern California. With the help of 400 volunteers, six photographic artists converted the jet plane into a giant camera obscura that measures 45 x 80 x160-feet. It took more than nine months to construct. Without any lenses or optics, the mammoth camera has an aperture measuring a quarter of an inch.

To make the print, the artists hand-coated a seamless piece of unbleached muslin fabric with 20 gallons of silver gelatin. The fabric weighs approximately 1,200 pounds with rigging. The Great Picture was exposed for 35 minutes. To develop the image, the print was dunked in a vinyl liner that acted as a developing tray the size of an Olympic-sized pool. The developing process took more than 600 gallons of black and white developer and 1,200 gallons of fixer. In total, the finished Legacy Project's Great Picture measures 3,375 square feet.

"In addition to acknowledging the photograph as a remarkable object, the six artists view The Great Picture as an exclamation point at the end of the film-based era, a marker at the crossing where photography moves away from film and into pixels," stated a Legacy Project press release.

The world’s largest camera and photograph will premier Sept. 6 at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

 

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