Over 10 Years In The Making...Vanishing Cultures will be an audacious 20,000-mile mission to capture the uncommon beauty and individuality that define our people in a way that has never been done before. This is an artistic mission that will reflect the true essence of our nation by capturing the unique spirit of our people...on a very grand scale. Vanishing Cultures will include the following highlights:
- Dennis Manarchy, world-renowned photographer, has spent 10 years constructing by hand a prototype 35-foot long traditional FILM camera that produces 4.5-foot by 6-foot negatives with unbelievable visual detail
- Once we construct the new traveling version of this amazing camera, we will set off on a 20,000-mile journey around the country to photograph and commemorate our Vanishing Cultures in their own environments (see list of featured cultures below)
- As we reach the 200th anniversary of the camera, the new version (shown below) will be an archival tribute to Vanishing film photography and our hope is to donate it to a museum upon completion of our mission.
RECENT PRESS: NPR | UK Daily Mail | ABC News | CNN / HLN TV |Slate | CS Magazine | Film's Not Dead | Gizmodo | Engadget
What cultures will be featured on this nationwide journey? Here's a working list...and we're always looking for suggestions!
What's it like shooting with a 35-foot camera?
"Two days of preparation results in 1/1000th of a second flash exposure and I have only one chance to get it right. I literally focus half-way down an eyelash. If the subject moves, it's out of focus...if they blink, it's a disaster...and if their expression is off the portrait suffers. I must say that the length of time it takes with the subject creates a special bond that I would never want to lose...and that moment is captured in every one of these portraits."
The existing prototype is shown in the photo below...and it works in spectacular fashion.
The negatives, measuring 6 feet by 4.5 feet, have 1,000 times greater detail than an average digital photograph. This camera will be a monumental achievement for photography and it will be an unprecedented tribute to a dying art.
The size of the negatives allows us to enlarge the photos to over 2-story tall prints (24 feet x 16 feet) with such pristine detail that you can see the fleck of an iris, the weight of an eyelash on a child's face or the individual pores on our skin. They provide a true and unaltered look at the faces of our nation.
WE MUST TRAVEL with the camera in order to visit and document these incredible cultures in their natural environments and surroundings, which is why we need your help to build the version of the camera in the video below.
The Trip…Phase II
Once we build the new version we will embark on a 20,000-mile journey across America to capture representative subjects of Vanishing Cultures in their own environments. A documentary team will capture the stories surrounding each destination and culture that we visit.
The Result…Phase III
As a result of the detail and scale of the big camera, 24-foot photographs will be produced and displayed in stadium-sized outdoor exhibitions along with the negatives and the stories behind these spectacular people. Educational materials and text books will capture history and cultural background; documentaries will provide intimate views of the folklore, stories and environments surrounding these people in imaginative, cinematic ways; and the photographs will provide a timeless and artistic capture of our cultures.
A Historical Mission...
The scope of Vanishing Cultures reaches far beyond the art of photography. This is an opportunity to ensure a place in history for these amazing cultures and people before they are gone forever. This project is both a tribute to these unique people and an amazing era of traditional film photography.
About the Photographer...
Over the past 30 years, Dennis Manarchy has ranked among the world's top photographers. After growing up in Rockford, Illinois he graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology and apprenticed with Irving Penn. After serving as Lieutenant in the Vietnam War, he returned home disillusioned and met a Lumbee Indian Chief at a local book store in North Carolina. The Chief invited Dennis to live with his tribe and Dennis spent months readjusting to post-war life while refocusing on photography. His experience with the Tribe changed him forever.
Dennis has won countless awards for photography and commercial directing and his works are included in permanent collections within the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Museum of Modern Art, among many others. He has shot major advertising campaigns and celebrities and has twice been rated Best Photographer by Graphis. Yet despite his achievements, Dennis maintains amazing humility and deep concern for humanity, and his love and appreciation for cultures and real people are evident throughout his work. His wife, Mary Beth, and his daughter, Molly, are two incredibly gifted and talented spirits and I have been blessed with the opportunity to become friends with their family over the past 4 years as Dennis' vision for Vanishing Cultures has finally come to fruition...we are now just steps away from making this dream a reality. Thank you for your support!
IN THE PRESS: ABC News |Slate | UK Daily Mail | CS Magazine | Film's Not Dead | Gizmodo | Engadget
Special Thanks To: Our amazing volunteer team, Bob Coon & Mark Schwartz at PDT (www.pdt.com), Arturo Cubacub at i-cubed media (i3hypermedia.com), Jon Scott (jsg676.com), JR - Print Lab (printlab.com), Ted Lichtenheld, Jim Shearer and Jules Tomko at Essanay (essanay.com), Mikey Shimer (mikeshimer.com), Peter VanVliet (petervanvliet.com), Bill Sosin, Sven Asmus, Cleatus Murdaugh (distortiondesign.com)
For higher rewards, including corporate or foundation sponsorship opportunities please email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Project Flyer: 8 1/2" x 11"
Designer Vanishing Cultures T-Shirt by Dennis Manarchy & Peter Van Vliet (petervanvliet.com/)
Exclusive Vanishing Cultures Poster - Design by Dennis Manarchy
"Exposed" book by Dennis Manarchy: describing the evolution of Vanishing Cultures and the giant camera behind the mission (Making its debut on Kickstarter!)
Gold Sponsor Reward: Limited Edition (only 50 produced!) 18" x 24" Giclee Fine-Art Print from our Super-Sized Camera Signed by Dennis Manarchy:
Platinum Reward: Limited Edition (Only 20 produced!) 30"x40” Giclee Fine-Art Print from our Super-Sized Camera Signed And Numbered by Dennis Manarchy:
Diamond Sponsor Reward: "Autumn's Eye" - Right: 48" x 60" Giclee Fine Art Print
Diamond Sponsor Reward: "Autumn's Eye" - Left: 48" x 60" Giclee Fine Art Print
Daguerreotype Random Drawing Reward: One-Of-A-Kind 4.5-foot by 6-foot Original Negative, Signed & Dated by Dennis Manarchy (Winner of negative below will be randomly drawn from Daguerreotype Reward Contributors)...this is one of our first test images from the big camera (over $25,000 estimated value):
Big Camera Reward: 5-foot x 8-foot Giclee Museum Quality Fine Art Print of "Christina In Distress" from Dennis' award winning "Metal" series, signed and numbered By Dennis Manarchy (limited edition of 15)
Super Big Camera Reward: Limited Edition (only 10 produced) 16-foot "Autumn" print from the big camera, signed and numbered by Dennis Manarchy:
Super Sized Negative Reward: Example Original Negatives (4.5 feet x 6 feet):