“I think photography is not an art”, Man ray said by the middle of the past century. In the present time Karlo Sosa, a photographer that uses the estenopeica technique (and a big fan of Man Ray) begs to differ: “a photo is art since the moment you think about shooting it and make it happen”.
He was born in Córdoba and by the age of twelve he got his first camera. Karlo studied photography in his province, at the Spilimbergo School and also worked at a movies production company, but he moved to Buenos Aires eleven years ago and get specialized on the estenopeica technique (with a personal touch: his cameras are made out of tea boxes, preserve cans, whatever comes handy!).
What is estenopeica photography?
A technique that appeared more than a century and a half ago and was quickly embraced by the impressionist and picturesque art currents. The mechanism is the same than regular modern cameras, but it doesn’t use an optic system. That means that you can’t see what specifically you’re shooting at when you take the photo, which has been replaced by some math involving light intensity and exposure time.
lthough Karlo says this definition is not enough: “estenopeico photo shooting is a very powerful tool because you can create an instrument, out of nothing, capable of reproducing an image. And, for those who feel excluded, to put a camera together like this and finding out that they are able to capture such a magical thing like a photo, do a self-portrait and realize that you actually exist, is somehow getting your identity back”.
At the beginning of this year Karlo was in Mendoza and Córdoba teaching how to manufacture cameras to the poor, handicap and senior citizens. He feels that’s his way of doing politics, outside of any specific party and holding an anarchic instrument, since all you need is knowledge to build it.
Low budget photography
When Karlo first arrived to Buenos Aires city he lived in a two by four meters room, only with the essentials. There was always food on the table though, and also photography. That’s when he started going through the stores asking for expired films and inks that could no longer be sold to the public.
That’s how low budget photography was born: that art of processing photos without spending a cent. Nowadays, more due to experimentation than to need, he has improved his technique and prints his photos using glue, egg white and Arabic gums (usually used in beverages and food), among others.
To get in touch with Karlo and learn more about these techniques log on www.ojodelata.com.ar
Long distance courses or private classes are available. And you don’t have to worry about bringing a camera, you can build one.