Some Assembly Required: John Huneycutt

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

The Maduro

John Huneycutt, Oakboro, NC

John Huneycutt believes in photography’s simple elegance. Specializing in the wet collodion process, he embraces mixing simple chemistry to create complex and beautiful imagery. To illustrate the simplicity of analogue photography, Huneycutt set out construct his own camera. Since wet collodion is a hands-on process, Huneycutt felt that constructing his own camera would allow him even more involvement in the photographic process. When gifted an old cigar box from a local smoke shop, he repurposed it for a healthier habit—photography.

“The Maduro,” named for the cigar it once housed, measures 7 x 8 x 7 inches and is outfitted with period Dallmeyer lenses, as well as a Goerz Apochromat Artar and 3.5 x 4.5” glass and tin plates. The conversion process took Huneycutt two days. The completed camera is a work of art in its own right, the integrity of the cigar box’s structure and aesthetic design has been well preserved, and the prominently featured embossed text highlights its history.

Photo made with The Maduro.

View more of Huneycutt’s work on his website.

Have you made or modified your own photographic equipment? Let us know at