Concrete Cameras: Preserving the Fading Art of Film Photography

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All images by Alex Stanton. Used with permission.

“I absolutely love photography but don’t have much talent in that area so this is my way of paying respect to these brilliant cameras,” says artist Alex Stanton–a self-taught artist whose Etsy shop features cameras covered in concrete. But what would possess someone to cover a camera in the foundation of modern society?

Alex bought a bunch of cameras at a yard sale and kept them around as decorations for his home–the same way many people do. But after realizing how excellent they were and that film is slowly dying out, he decided to try to preserve them. “The concept of my work is that these cameras are petrified fossils of technology,” says Mr. Stanton. “If you were to dig them up or find one at the bottom of the sea floor a thousand years from now, this is what they would look like.”

Editor’s Correction: Alex’s cameras are actually solid concrete. He uses the old relics to make a mold then the mold has concrete poured in.

Addendum: Alex got so much traffic from this story that he’s offering Phoblographer readers a 20% discount

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Alex says that he chose concrete because of its permanent nature. To him, it was the absolute best way to preserve the artifacts.

“I also the like the juxtaposition of delicate technology with hard unforgiving stone.”

Covering the cameras in concrete of course doesn’t allow them to work anymore though–but that’s alright because he looks for non-working models to start with. In fact, they now weight pretty much double the weight of the original camera after being covered.

Alex says that the cameras are becoming more and more popular on his Etsy shop. And because of that, he is investing in more iconic cameras. “My last piece was a Bolex which is the largest camera I’ve done and weighs about 7 lbs. ”

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