Did you know that you can make a view camera using simple materials you may have at home? It’s not a camera that you can take pictures with, but it can help you see the world around you in an amazing new way. A view camera also helps you understand how photography works.
This project was inspired by photographer Willard Worden (1868–1946), and an exhibition of his photographs titled Portals of the Past: The Photographs of Willard Worden that was at the de Young in 2015.
Settling in San Francisco in 1901, Worden photographed San Francisco: Ocean Beach, the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, Golden Gate Park with the Memorial Museum (which later became the de Young) and the Japanese Tea Garden. He even photographed the city in the midst of the Great Earthquake of 1906. One striking image shows the meager remains of the destroyed Towne Mansion—a columned portico entrance—photographed in situ before being moved to Golden Gate Park to become what is now known as The Portals of the Past.
Watch How to Make a View Camera