A few weeks ago I went walking in the Alborz mountains, close to the north of Tehran, with one of my cousins-in-law, Ramin. We got to the village of Darakeh, where many Tehranis go for a hike in the mountain, by shared taxi from our house and stopped for chai at one of the many teahouses that line the route into the mountains.
An hour later, as we came around a corner we saw a curious sight, a small group of people surrounding a man who had the strangest camera I have ever seen! It was rather old and battered, made of wood and about 30cm high, standing on a sturdy tripod.
The young man, Azerbaijani by his accent, was taking a photograph of a group of walkers. He operated the shutter by taking the cap off the lens, and the exposure took about 10 seconds. The walkers had to stay very still!
He then reached into the camera through a hole covered with a cloth, and developed the photograph by dipping it into a bath of liquid which was sitting inside the camera. After a few seconds he took the paper photograph out of the camera and washed it in an old tin of water on the ground. As he did so, we saw that the image was actually a black and white negative.
Taking the negative image in his hand, he then attached it to a piece of wood about 20cm long, fixed it to the front of the camera and photographed it. When it was developed in the same way as the first photo, it then of course resulted in a positive photograph.
We decided to have a go at this, and we had our photograph taken for 500 Tomans, about 50 cents. I have a few pictures of this for you, but not as many as I would like since my high tech digital camera's battery ran out!!
... Payvand News - 9/20/06 ... --