Ian Ruhter is on no ordinary cross country road trip; the photographer has converted an old delivery truck into a giant, one-of-a-kind pinhole camera, capturing amazing images of the American landscape and the interesting people he meets along the way. In an adventure called "The American Dream Project," Ruhter develops hauntingly beautiful wet plate prints in the back of his make-shift, portable dark room. His dedication to a long-lost photographic process, and keen eye for American scenes and characters makes this amazing project on wheels one we'd love to follow!
Ruhter is a well-versed in a number of photographic processes and entirely capable of developing a near-perfect image. He grew bored with the digital age and reverted back to using what is called the collodion process, which was popular in the 1880s. This extremely labor intensive and difficult process requires photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed on a wet plate, all within about fifteen minutes. Ruhter spent months scouring ebay for the perfect lens, and in no time, fashioned a delivery truck bed into a giant pinhole camera. The entire back area is blacked out, leaving only a small hole for images to peek through. It is then projected onto a surface and the wet plate process begins.
The project has seen a number of places and faces across the country so far, with Ruhter noting almost everyone he meets wants to get involved. From smokey cityscapes to eerie, nostalgic portraits, Ruhter’s images evoke a sense of another world and a history long forgotten. His blog, Silver and Light features a number of his pieces that trace his journey across the country.