Voila! A camera with built-in darkroom!

We hear a lot about Afghanistan these days, and most of it is about war, hatred, Islam this or Islam that, soldiers dying on both sides, while civilians carry on suffering as they have done since time immemorial.

At one time, Afghanistan was almost an up and coming place, speedily rushing to join with the most modern European states. That was due to their leader at that time, Amir Amanullah, who was bringing in revolutionary changes so that his country could align itself with Europe and the western world.

Unfortunately, his changes were too fast, as the people revolted, not wishing to come out of their centuries old customs and ways, and his plans and dreams came to an end, taken over by war and more strife.

But, if we ignore politics and war, there are some interesting things going on there, especially in the field we are always talking about here, photography.

For a long time, people have been using a very simple form of photography to make a living. The cameras they use are home-made and hand crafted, using materials that are to hand.

And the wonderful thing about it is that these cameras are self-contained, with no need for a darkroom to develop and print the photos….the customer just has to wait a few minutes, perhaps sipping a cup of hot tea or coffee that the photographer also sells, and his photo is ready for him.

As is always the case in such a country that has fanatics as well as moderate people living there, this too was seized upon by the ruling parties, and at one time it was banned, as according to their own version of religion, showing images of people or animals is forbidden! So for a while, these cameras and their owners disappeared or changed to other ways of making money.

Now, the word is that these photographers are back and their cameras can be seen at every street corner. This has to be a good thing.

I had heard of these guys from a chap I met in India, just over the border almost, who had been to Afghanistan on business, but advised me not to visit, as tensions were still palpable there due to the American and UK armies presence, etc.

So in order to find out more about these photographers, I took to the internet, and there I found a wealth of material. Instead of typing out everything from those sites, I’m going to leave you with a link here that you can follow and read at your leisure.

I’m trying to build such a camera myself and once it’s complete, I’ll post my results on this blog…unless of course, one of you beats me to it, in which case, please do let me know and if you wish, I’ll post your photos on here for you.





About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 years...my first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money back...no arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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