IMAGOphotour: World's biggest mobile Self-Portrait Camera
IMAGOphotour: World's biggest mobile Self-Portrait Camera
We're rebuilding the world's only life-size 1:1 walk-in camera and make it travel the world as IMAGOphotour.
We're rebuilding the world's only life-size 1:1 walk-in camera and make it travel the world as IMAGOphotour. Read more
Since I am working with the camera IMAGO1to1, it is my dream to travel with it around the world. I want to connect people with this fantastic camera and invite them to the exciting adventure of the photographic self portrayal. It seems it could become true.
The world's biggest 1:1 portrait camera
My name is Susanna Kraus. I am an artist and the daughter of the inventor and physicist Werner Kraus. Back in 1970 my father, together with his friend, the artist Erhard Hößle, has built the camera IMAGO1:1. A camera that's based on a unique optical system and takes real, life-size 1:1 portraits of people on analog black & white photo paper. Until today this camera remains unique and still operates in Berlin, Germany.
My father died at the end of last year. During my childhood I heard so often my father speaking about his dream of a 'mobile' camera IMAGO1:1. More than ever before, I want to make our dream come true and build the IMAGOphotour. It is the mobile version of the camera IMAGO1:1, based on modern day material and designed to travel the world. By supporting this project you can help me make this dream come true and be rewarded with your own, one of a kind life-size portrait of yourself.
How the IMAGOphotour works
The IMAGOphotour is an analog camera equipped with a lens designed specifically for life-size photography. Think of it as an oversized photo booth where you step into the camera, pose in your desired position against the mirror and press the shutter release to take your own self-portrait. Your portrait is being directly exposed on light-sensitive direct positive paper and 10 minutes later you're standing in front your life-size black&white portrait.
At a time when images can be reproduced and edited without limit, the IMAGO1:1 provides you with a pure moment of yourself.This unique process makes it possible to produce one of a kind portraits of people. No negative or digital backup exists. Each portrait represents a unique moment captured in time, saved for eternity (up to 100 years) and designed to give you an extraordinary portrait of yourself no other camera in this world can produce.
How we will make this camera travel the world
Since the original IMAGO1:1 from 1970 was not designed as a mobile camera we will construct the IMAGOphotour completely from scratch. The outer body will be based on lightweight aluminium parts, the coating will consist of sheet steel, the round front casing for the lens will be made of fiberglass and the roof will consist of foldable canvas. The complete technical equipment and every single element need to be custom made especially for this camera.
- Size: 7x4x3 meter
- Approx. weight: 700 kg (the original weighs 1.7 tons)
- Material: aluminium, sheet steel, fibreglass, canvas
- Transport: continental via truck (7.5t), overseas via a shipping container (20 foot, ISO 6346 Standard)
- Size per portrait: 60x200cm (2x6.5ft)
- Material: Direct Positive Paper by ILFORD
- Technique: direct exposure & standard black and white development without any baneful chemicals
Originally used for reproducing drawings and plans until the 1980s, this special photo sensitive paper went out of production until the re-discovery of the IMAGO 1:1 in 2005. Since 2006 the paper is available again worldwide through a joint production by ILFORD Switzerland and Harman technology.
When I rediscovered the original IMAGO1:1 back in 2005 my two sons, Jakob and Paul, were of incredible help. They helped me taking off the dust, putting all the parts back together and bringing my fathers camera back to life. For the construction of the mobile IMAGOphotour we will put all our know-how together again to make this dream become reality.
My elder son Jakob is a qualified boatbuilder and knows how to craft each piece of the camera to make it fit together. Paul has worked as a craftsman in the film industry for the past few years and, having soaked up all the knowledge behind the camera from his grandfather, will help constructing the mobile IMAGO1:1.
I`m fortunate that both my sons are incredibly talented in craftsmanship, something which they probably inherited from my father. They will be assisted by Martin Reinhart, a professional camera engineer from Austria. On the photographic side, we're supported by the professional photographer Annegret Kohlmayer who is working with us since 2006. Great support our creative team receives by the business woman Dr. Gisela Kaiser and many helping hands of friends.
Your reward = your portrait
Of course there's a huge benefit for you in supporting us: you'll receive your own unique self-portrait taken with the IMAGOphotour. Once the construction of the camera is completed me and my sons will travel the world, starting from Berlin and visiting places such as Paris, New York, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sao Paolo and Shanghai.
Your voucher will be valid for the next 1000 years, so chances are pretty high we're coming anywhere near your place. But even if we don't you're always welcome to visit the original IMAGO1:1 from the 1970s in Berlin and take your self-portrait there.
Kickstarter is all or nothing: so either we reach our goal or we don't get nothing. Every donation counts to help make this dream come true and keep this unique camera & analog photo technique alive.
- The history of the Kamera IMAGO 1:1
- Detailled information on Direct Positive Paper
- Say Käse! - New York Times, August 17, 2011
- Mach dir dein eigenes Bild - Zeit Online
- More Imagograms from the IMAGO 1:1
- Video: IMAGO 1:1: the walk-in camera of Susanna Kraus
- Video: The IMAGO 1:1 at ZKM, Museum of Media Art Karlsruhe
- Video: THE AVANT/GARDE DIARIES
Pledge £ 850,00 for artwork by Annegret Kohlmayer:
More artwork by Annegret Kohlmayer: http://www.annegretkohlmayer.at
Pledge £ 2000,00 for art edition:
Speak with us (Livechat):
- each weekday from 5 to 8 p.m. (Timezone: MEZ Berlin)
- on request
- no cost
- no registration required
videochat on kluuu: http://www.kluuu.com/en/klus/242
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can use the camera?
Everyone who is curious to meet themselves in a life-size 1:1 portrait.
Where can I use the camera?
The original prototype of the camera is situated in an art room in Berlin, Germany, and can be used there to take pictures of. With the mobile IMAGO1:1 we will be able to travel the world and make the camera come to you.
What is a direct positive paper?
The direct positive paper is a high quality, traditional silver gelatine black and white, high contrast paper.
Is the resulting photograph a print?
No. It is a photographic image, directly painted with light on a direct positive paper.
Is the IMAGO1:1 a pinhole camera?
No. The camera is based on a special objective, conceived by my father Werner Kraus in 1968, that makes it possible to take 1:1 life-size portraits without any perspectival distortions.
What do I do when the image doesn't turn out well?
We repeat the whole sequence. Come what may, you will go home with a good self-portrait.
How many people can a picture portray?
It depends on your power of imagination: the more of you, the more you will have to adapt to the booth space limits while capturing the scene on photo paper. From 5 people up the whole procedure is normally more complicated. However, we happened to take pictures of 8-9 people. Alternatively, you may want to take 2 pictures and hang them side by side.
To which cities will you travel?
We have invitations from institutions in New York, Houston, San Francisco, Sao Paolo, Oslo, Shanghai and other cities. As soon as the camera is built and ready to travel we'll announce the travel itinerary.
Who builds the mobile IMAGO1:1?
The camera is mainly built by Jakob and Paul Kraus, but they will be supported by Susanna Kraus and camera engineer Martin Reinhard.
Risks and challenges
As me also my family and friends absolutely believe in this project. Up today they gave a lot of support. The money from kickstarter will help to complete the vision of the mobile IMAGOphotour camera. In the past I had a lot of challenges to accomplish. By example when I started 2006 with the IMAGO1:1 there was no way to get back the special Direct Positive Paper and reactivate the original IMAGO1:1. It was not a reason for me to give up.
I invested more than 2 years to transfer the know-how and enabled a new production of this special Direct Positive Paper. Today we are working with several international companies and a reborn Direct Positive Paper distributed all over the world.
For me the mobile camera is such a fantastic project that I gave all my money into it. Almost the half of the needed capital we invested in the new IMAGOphotour company. With the help of you and your support on kickstarter I am able to build this camera and start with this exciting tour.
Hopefully we will see us.
- (45 days)