See What Modern New Yorkers Look Like Through The Lens Of A 100-Year-Old Camera

DNU pushett irby

Photo: Courtesy of Pushett Irby Photography

After growing weary of digital photography, Brooklyn-based photographers Judith Pushett and Kevin Irby started experimenting with an enormous Kodak camera from around 1908 that Irby found at a rummage sale.The resulting photos felt dated but crisp, and the pair fell in love with the process of using the ancient camera.

The camera, from Kodak’s eighth series, uses 11×14 negatives and often produces surprising results, thanks to the age of the lenses and imperfections in the antique equipment.

“It’s the size of a washing machine,” Pushett said. “It was meant to be used in a studio but we actually take it places. We had to build a stand for it.”

Each shot takes about an hour to set up, and in that time, the photography duo really gets to know their subjects.

Naturally, the pair has started photographing people who, like themselves, have returned to traditional techniques. Their subjects have included soapmakers, composters, and brewmasters.

“The people who gravitate towards us are people who are gravitating towards traditional methods,” Pushett said.

Disclosure: Judith Pushett is married to Jonathan Bertfield, a Senior Product Manager at Business Insider.

First, take a look at the camera. The device, from around 1908, is bulky and everything must be done manually. Here it is in an ad from the 1922 Bulletin of Photography.

And here's the camera in upstate New York, amid a field of cows. The camera was meant to be used in-studio and came with a cast-iron stand, but Irby devised a way to transport it to shoot locations.

And now, the photos. Carolyn Steel, Claire Hartten and Christine Rico of Green Rabbits, during tea time, Brooklyn, New York. Green Rabbits is a collaborative consulting team working at the intersections of food, sustainability, and urban infrastructure.

Marisa Dedominicis, co-founder of Earth Matter, a non-profit organisation focused on educating and supporting ongoing community composting efforts. Pictured at a composting facility on Governor's Island.

The scene at the Earth Matters facility on Governor's Island, where chickens are an integral part of composting as their droppings provide nutrients.

Kaz, a member of the Brooklyn band Brown Rice Family, and maker of artisan soaps by the same name.

Megan Riley, a musician based in New Jersey.

Rick and Michael Mast, brothers and partners of Mast Brothers Chocolate, a Brooklyn-based artisan chocolate factory.

A solo shot of Rick Mast, partner of Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn, New York.

Shane Welch, founder of Six Points Brewery, located in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

And now, for a few cool non-artisan shots. Here's a wedding photo of B and Sam in their backyard. B is a landscape architect and Sam is a writer, both living in Brooklyn, New York.

Max and Anika, family portrait, Brooklyn.

The album cover photograph for local Brooklyn band, Super Hi-Fi, basement, Clinton Hill.

Now see some more old-school photos

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