View Full Version : ... And now, a Wine Barrel question!

John Kasaian
12-Jun-2005, 08:26
I'm kind of semi-messed up with a torn muscle in my shoulder. The previous thread got me thinking about ULF pinhole cameras again, especially the one I've been dreaming about ever since the Frozen Turkey Cam came to grief.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you....the Wine Barrel Cam!

I have just one problem to solve before unleashing this beast upon the photographic world(well two problems---the other being how to lift the thing up on the bed of my old pick up truck, which seves as a tripod, with a torn shoulder):

Should I mount the brass shim stock with the pinhole on the inside of the bung hole, or the outside?

Janko Belaj
12-Jun-2005, 09:02
first - wine barrel... old wooden one, or modern metal model?
And for mounting "lens plate", mount it outside. mount first one holder, and than plates with different apertures :-)
(and you might even have an aperture priority automatic camera - all you have to do is to calculate how much of wine you have to drink according to sunny 16 rule and to "Photographing while drunk or stoned" thread ;-)))

Paul Fitzgerald
12-Jun-2005, 09:06

Inside would be safer, it might get bent moving the beast. Why not .002 stainless shim stock?

Just a thought.

12-Jun-2005, 09:30
hi john

i also say do it inside, and put a piece of card-stock/matboard on the outside with a "hinge" on top/sid/or bottom as a cap ... for protection.

- john

Janko Belaj
12-Jun-2005, 10:46
if the shim stock is placed outside, it will be easy to replace in case of damage (just can't imagine what can be damaged on such thing). but I still wonder two things - is John just joking, and if is not... really, what is your idea John, to use old wooden barrel with... hmmm, barrel distortion of sides, or new which looks like a giant can (and free of such distortion)? I'm planing one oposite-fish-eye experiment in which I will need either to paint emulsion inside of half-ball, or to stick hundreds of small papers inside of that half-ball...

John Kasaian
12-Jun-2005, 12:13
Thanks for all the responses! The wine barrel is wood. Perhaps to be in keeping with the camera's ancestry I should figure a way to use a wine cork as a "hat" rather than a more traditional swinging shutter type arrangement? ;-)

John Kasaian
12-Jun-2005, 12:25

Not a joke---I'll use aluminium flashing to hold the film or paper in a semi circle inside the barrel. There are a few local wineries , so maybe they'd like a print of thier vineyards taken with a wine barrel?? I can always cut the barrel in half and plant more tomato plants;-) Plan "B"(always good to have a Plan "B"): Maybe I can get a 48" barrel(hey, that sounds logical!) lens on eBay, mount it on one end of the barrel and put a spare 8x10 or 11x14 back on the other?

I'm have flashbacks now from the frozen turkey pinhole camera---maybe its a reaction to my medication.


domenico Foschi
12-Jun-2005, 23:49
are you trying to do some vintage prints?

John Kasaian
13-Jun-2005, 08:18

Probably just the screw top variety;-)


Charlie Skelton
14-Jun-2005, 05:11
A short historical note.

This technique was first developed in france in the mid nineteenth century, with two schools developing in the east and the south west of the country both inspired by the theorist Vincent Tonneau; whilst the schools did share common artistic aims, they became divided over format. The Bordeaux school used the 225 Litre Barrique, the Burgundy school preferring the slightly larger 'Piece' at 228 Litres. On first appearences the differences in format appear slight, however, the Burgundy 'piece' being shorter and wider offered great scope for soft romantic textures , whilst the Barrique with its longer focal length excelled at precise, strongly focussed and more closely integrated images.

The groups regarded each other with distant respect, but realised that a common front was needed to ensure that the 'great art' achieved the respect and admiration of the wider artistic community, initially this was successful (a joint show at the Paris expo of 1855 caused a sensation), but after the death of Dumarc in 1885 dissent between the schools started to grow.

A final seperation of the two schools came about in the late 19th century when a schism over the relative differences in staining development offered by Troncais as opposed Alliers oak tore the movement apart. In the ensuing recriminations , rich collectors in Bordeaux bought up as many works of the Burgundy school as they could and on November 17th 1894 burnt them in Barriques in Libourne singing ' ils regardent mieux brūlants qu'ils ont jamais fait sur le mur' ( They look better burning than they ever did on the wall), the Burgundians responded with two burnings of Bordelaise works in the following winter, the first a small burning of left bank works at Vosne on January the 14th, and the second dramatically held on the night of February 3rd outside the Hospices de Beaune, where the artists gathered their beloved 'Pieces' together and burnt them along with the works chanting 'L'arte Bordelaise a ete consomme dans le feu de Borgogne' ( Bordeaux' art has been consumed by Burgundian fire).

With most of the work destroyed along with the barrels, the movement was dead.



Chauncey Walden
14-Jun-2005, 08:22
Of course, they were really designed to work with a barrel lens. It has also been said that the reuse of some barrels for other spirits left them multicoated and thus infinitely more desirable.....
Sorry, couldn't help it!

John Kasaian
14-Jun-2005, 11:19

LOL! That's a great history lesson! I wonder if there were any famous Civil War photographers on this side of the Atlantic who travelled from camp to camp with wine barrels takiing wet plates of the Blues and Grays? My imagination soars! Or maybe its just this ol' wine barrel outgassing;-)