It's called Ambrotype (from the greek ambrotos = capture) and is an ancient technique that dates back to the 1850s and is used to capture ultraviolet light, normally invisible to the human eye. It is specifically on ambrotype that Lightcatcher is based, the ambitious and unusual photography project of Kurt Moser, a photographer with a curriculum of more than 30 years at the international level.
The goal? To immortalize the beauty of the UNESCO heritage with unique images, giving these mountains their due importance and majesty.
Kurt Moser decided to turn an old Russian military truck, a Ural dating back to 1970, into a camera. Not just an image, but a photograph that captures time, details and life in objects, landscapes, and people.
Digital cameras are everywhere, so why undertake this project?
Because the project demans a return to the origins of photography, when each image was unique and never reproducible. Lightcatcher exploits the theme of ambrotype, which allows you to create very unusual images, timeless, original, unique, and almost three-dimensional. Working with an original bellows camera from 1907, "a small one, measuring 2 meters."
Barbara Holzknecht, project manager of Lightcatcher, launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter a few months ago, which ended on November 9; she is now seeking sponsors to finance the costs necessary to transformation the truck into a giant camera and darkroom.
The stages of Project Lightcatcher
The Ural truck will be transformed in 2017: externally it will remain in its original state, whilst inside it will be completely altered, with the inclusion of an opening in the back, where a 1,780 mm Nikon lens will be installed. The interior of the military truck will take on the characteristics of a camera and darkroom able to immediately produce photographs, just as the ambrotype technique demands, with a development time of around to 5 minutes from shooting.
Moser’s experience of light and silver has already begun: photos shot in this method, once complete, will, according to Barbara (project manager), be exhibited at the international level, starting with the Museum of Photography of Helmut Newton in Berlin, then on to Mumbai and other world-class museums.
"My intention” - says Kurt Moser – “is to create a photographic experience, to set the quality of the visuals and aesthetics in an unprecedented form; tearing stories from their transience, to capture the moment and transform images into artwork making them appear real, eternal, and immortal.”