Consider the camera as a tool for perception. This is where I being my photographic practice. I first consider the subject matter and then decipher how the camera can perceive this chosen space. I then ask how I can operate or construct the tool to observe the space in an objective way.
I am particularly drawn to the pinhole camera as it breaks down the barriers between space and record, creating a pure projection of light and atmosphere, perspective and scale. My constructions enable one to visualize the presence of light and perspective parallel to experienced reality.
As I watch the silver reveal itself in the developer tray I feel as if stepping into a dream - transported to a mysterious, yet somehow familiar world. The views are imprinted on my mind, yet the final image is drastically different from my experienced reality, posing questions of the presence and importance of vantage point and scale. They are simple atmospheric gradations of light that become place and no-place at the same time. Perception transitions to memory and morphs into a dream.
The search for the unexpected is the primary driver in my explorations of space. I wonder how far I can push the photographic mechanisms to reveal the unexpected in photography, the parallel existence of light that only the camera can perceive.
Meghan Duda creates atmospheric recordings of space and time with a collection of handmade pinhole cameras. After earning her bachelor degree in Architecture from Virginia Tech in 2005 she chose travel over the office, traversing the country photographing vernacular architecture. Settling in Fargo, North Dakota in 2007 she was struck by the surrounding landscape and her photographic focus shifted to experimental landscape photography. It was in graduate school at the University of North Dakota where she built her first handmade camera which she named the Trailer Obscura - a 5’ x 8’ pinhole camera on wheels that she uses to make large atmospheric recordings of the prairie. Duda continues to construct cameras as a way to explore vantage point and perspective and to express the many ways in which the camera perceives light.