Some Assembly Required: Sergey Lebedev

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

Photo made with driftwood pinhole camera

Sergey Lebedev, Kaliningrad, Russia

Sergey Lebedev lives near the Baltic Sea. His seaside home serves as inspiration for both his photography and the cameras that he constructs. Lebedev’s photographs of the beach’s rocks, tide pools, sea grass, and driftwood are calm and dream-like. By photographing from low vantage points one feels as though they are immersed in the landscape. Lebedev takes this immersive experience to another level by constructing his pinhole cameras from driftwood that he finds at the scene of his photographs. Smoothed by the sea, each piece of wood that Lebedev uses for his cameras come from a fallen tree that has been smoothed by the sea and washed up on the shore before being carved by hand, making them beautiful, one-of-a-kind art objects. The pinholes use medium format film in formats of 6x6, 6x9, or in some cases, both 6x6 and 6x9 within one camera. The camera’s construction takes a few days to complete from wood selection to capture, and begins and ends with a trip to the beach.

Pinhole camera made from driftwood

View more of Lebedev’s work on his Instagram.

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