Customized Afghan box camera takes subjects back to old times with vintage effect

A content creator from Baguio City has experienced having her photo taken the way people used to do in the past with a customized Afghan box camera.

According to Kuya Kim’s report on “24 Oras,” Thursday, an Afghan box camera, which is also called kamra-e-faoree, is a simple, box-shaped camera made of wood.

The camera does not use electricity and has an analog photographic process, which means it uses chemicals and paper instead of film to print an image.

“Very rare na magpapicture sa isang vintage camera kaya dapat itotodo ko na din ‘yung outfit ko, ‘yung accessories ko, tsaka ‘yung makeup ko,” said content creator Chairein Cordoviz.

Chairein’s photo was taken by vintage photographer Clinton Aniversario, who also owns the Afghan box camera. He also calls it the traveling dark room box camera.

Clinton said that all steps were done manually to create images from the gadget.

“Purely handmade by chemical kaya iba-iba ‘yung lalabas kaya walang magkakaparehas na result,” he said.

Chairein said it felt as if she had traveled back in time.

“You have to sit still and hold your pose for six seconds. Makikita mo ipapasok niya ‘yung kamay niya sa box, siya rin ‘yung magpprocess ng lahat ng chemicals,” she said.

“Dapat dark room pero ito, namodify ko para makita ng kliyente ‘yung process na lumalabas ‘yung mukha nila sa papel,” Clinton said.

Taking pictures with the Afghan box used to be a popular source of income in Afghanistan, as residents used to have their photos taken with the camera for their identity cards called tazkira.

Aside from his customized Afghan box, Clinton also has other vintage cameras displayed in the museum he built in Pugo, La Union.

—Carby Basina/MGP, GMA Integrated News

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