Camera West Diptych- 2016 - Cyanotype contact prints on watercolour paper. 48" x 96" and 48" x 96"

See the rest of Blueprints for Observation in the gallery below.



The cities we inhabit live and breathe, adapt and heal, grow and evolve.

A building set to be demolished downtown Vancouver BC (Beach and Howe) was turned into a disposable camera when I made holes through the walls peering outside through rooms facing north, south, east, and west. This camera had no lenses – just apertures measuring 1/8” in diameter allowing light into the rooms. This simple design is the ancient technique and scientific phenomenon of light known as the camera obscura – the first photo observation tool that evolved over time into the modern camera.

The projected images were exposed onto lithographic film then developed with an experimentally innovated darkroom process utilizing chemical sprayers. The developed negatives were then used to make contact prints on watercolour paper using the cyanotype process (the original archival blueprint).

This exploration of techniques and mediums produced a large body of work of mega-format negatives complimented by their cyanotype contact prints. The outcome depicts a near 360° cityscape of large film negatives and blueprint images from the perspective of a building that no longer exists.

The negatives and prints range from 24" x 30" up to a massive 48" x 162" which currently holds a Guinness World Record for largest photographic film negative.

© 2019 Joel Nicholas Peterson                        

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