Some Assembly Required: Barbara Bosworth’s Telescope-Mounted View Camera

This series focuses on those who take the making of pictures a step or two further, creating their own photographic tools.

Barbara Bosworth’s 8x10 view camera.

Barbara Bosworth’s 8x10 view camera.

Barbara Bosworth, Boston, MA

Inspired to photograph the night sky by her memories of summer nights spent identifying constellations, Barbara Bosworth’s new book, The Heavens, is a testament to her amazement at the natural world. The photographs, which she considers a “nod of appreciation to Galileo’s drawings of his moon and sunspot observations through a telescope,” were rendered with a telescope of their own. To attach her cumbersome Phillips 8x10 view camera to a telescope needed for the detail in the sky, Bosworth teamed up with members of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston. Bosworth wanted to photograph the night sky as she saw it, with a sense of mystery and without the star streaks common in night photography due to the long exposure times and the rotation of the earth. To achieve, “dots, not streaks,” she mounted her camera onto a Losmandy clock drive. The clock drive locks onto a star and rotates at the same speed as the earth. Although it can render the landscape as a dark, blurred shade of blue or black, it offers an incredibly clear and expansive look at the night sky.

Full Moon, Lolo Pass © Barbara Bosworth, 2018

View more of Bosworth’s work on her website.

Have you made or modified your own photographic equipment? Let us know at info@donttakepictures.com.