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Tuesday
Oct202009

Portable Paparazzi 

Well, here she is. After countless hours in the basement workshop, the photo booth is fully functional. It has already successfully captured two events with some amazing results. Inside that simple plywood box is a conglomeration of scrap parts that were never intended to work together. There is an old brass sconce (with paint still on it where the previous owner carelessly painted the wall around it) and old black and white portable tv set, several odd parts from deceased Apple computers, metal garage door hardware, galvanized sheet metal from some old duct work, and lots of love. All of which was either pulled out of someone's trash, found at the Habitat for Humanity, ReStore Center, or picked up at the local thrift store. At the heart of this contraption is a Ricoh GR II Digital Camera.

How does it work? well, the booth sits atop an adjustable tripod stand. When you walk in front of it, you can see your happy face smiling back through a 5 inch black and white TV monitor. When you're good and ready, you reach up, push the button--the camera focuses and fires. Behind the white panel on the front is a glowing 75 watt bulb and a 40 watt-second flash. After the shot is taken the image stays on the screen for a few seconds so you admire your photo. It also has built-in wireless capability which sends the photos over a network to a laptop, that, when hooked up to a projector, will present a side show on the wall, automatically updating as photos are taken throughout the evening.

The next scheduled event is coming up in November for CSCA's Creative Best at the Arena Grand Theatre. Be sure to stop by and say "Cheese" to my photo booth while you're there.

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Reader Comments (5)

So very cool, guys. Hope to get my mug into the box at Creative Best.

October 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDylan

that's incredibly cool. did you follow directions or some other guide to putting it together?

October 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

No instructions needed. I happen to already have the perfect camera for the job. It has a hot-shoe, video out, cable release, AC adapter, B&W capability...The rest of the work was finding the right scrap parts to plug into it. I can't take credit for Inventing it. Photo booths have been around for a long time and even some digital versions similar to what I built. I saw them, got inspired, and figured the rest out in my sketchbook.

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