A Bone’s Perspective

I love photography. It’s truly been awhile since I’ve worked in that medium. The digital camera has offered a real learning curve and I just haven’t invested the time to learn. I miss film or what is commonly known as analog photography. I use to develop my own film and prints. When digital came I just didn’t move forward. There were other things in life that got in the way. But, I still didn’t invest the time to learning.  I did start looking at other avenues to play with. One of them was SX70 manipulation. And of course, Polaroid crumbled and that film died. I’m very much aware of the Impossible Project. It’s just when it died I couldn’t get myself to dive back into those manipulations.

I have been thinking about pinhole photography for sometime. I had made one in Jr. High and several times through out High School. And with Lomo around, there are so many options for it now. But, still nothing really sparked the creative fire. Not until I ran into Yama.

This is a pinhole camera made from a Tibetan Skull. The artist is Wayne Martin Belger. It’s amazing and rather expensive. But, it brought the excitement of photography and sparked a creative fire that hasn’t existed for some time. It’s not unusual to create pinhole cameras out of things like oat meal cans, small altoid tins, spam cans, boxes, ceramics etc.. there are some very beautiful ones made of wood. But, this is beyond beautiful. It’s magical.  I love the creative use of the Bone.

The use of the Bone stirs up thoughts of other ways to make use of a camera like this. I was thinking how interesting it would be to use the Bone for photography but as part of Tapping the Bone. Tapping the Bone is a way of working with and communicating with your ancestors.  I’ve learned about this from Griffin Ced, at the Greenman, in North Hollywood. Even though I’ve taken a few classes I certainly have no authority in writing the how to’s. I do highly recommend taking his class if you’d like to get more familiarized with this art form.

I am getting close to initiating my Bone to do some ancestral work. So, it’s very timely that I found this. I could only begin to imagine the photographs I’d take. Or what my familiar would share with me through photography. I don’t even know if it could be used in that manner and how. But, the possibilities seem limitless. I want to make something like this.  I won’t be using a real skull. I have to think this through. I need to figure out if I can work this way with my familiar or with my ancestors.  The way I’m thinking of it is a bit complex.  But, communication through another art! It’s exciting!!

This bridges my love of photography with my love of skulls and spirituality soo well and it ignites that creativity that has been dormant for so long. Off to think of ways to make this manifest.  If not with the ability to work with the ancestors but to have a bad ass functioning pinhole camera extraordinaire. Which I know will NEVER come close to Yama. And I certainly don’t want anything similar. But, I want one of my own. A Bone, a camera, a different perspective. 

Please go take a look at Yama and check out the artist and his site. His work is unique and the cameras are truly works of art.


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