The ephemeral projections of a camera
obscura have fascinated artists since the 15th century. Charles Schwartz
and Bill Westheimer have been exploring the wonders of the camera obscura
in modern upper Manhattan — playing with perspective, surface, the
effects of the sun — and capturing the results with digital photography.
The location of their camera obscura is fixed, yet it provides a dizzying,
ever-changing view of the city's activities, architecture and landscape.
This work is not as iconic as the celebrated images of Abelardo Morrell;
it captures more fleeting moments, with the intensity of a distinctly
personal gaze from a high, darkened room.
Their work was featured in a group show, "Contemporary Obscurists:
The Camera Obscura in Contemporary Photography" at Alan
Klotz Gallery in New York, September 15 - November 12, 2006. The wide-ranging
exhibition also included images by Stephen Berkman, Rebecca Cummins,
Vera Lutter, Abelardo Morrell, and Shi Guorui.