The Google maps street view car has nothing on these guys. These three vehicles are enough to make any photographer drool just a little bit. Why? Because they’re cool cameras…on wheels! Not only are these vehicles pretty cool—they’re also functioning cameras. From digital video to old school film plates, these sets of wheels are the coolest, snappiest around.
The Camera Van
Likely the first (and perhaps only) van covered bumper to bumper in cameras, the Camera Van doesn’t just look cool, it actually works.
Harrod Blank got the wacky idea from a dream, and spent two years developing his new set of wheels, with the van taking it’s first trip in April 1995. Harrod left California in the van and headed for New York, making stops in Houston and New Orleans, then spent six months in New York.
Among all the various cameras attached to this set of wheels, the front includes every old Polaroid, while the back includes many different Kodak models. Screens display old pictures and videos along the side and back of the van. A mural of a Kodak Instamatic is on the driver’s side, made entirely of, of course, Kodak cameras. The inside is pretty “tricked out” too, with 200 light meters on the dashboard.
Since most people didn’t realize some of those cameras actually work, Blank spent his tour snapping candid images of the reaction he got when people saw his creation.
Silver & Light: A giant time machine
While the exterior of Ian Ruhter’s delivery truck isn’t nearly as exciting as the Camera Van, when he’s standing inside, he’s literately inside a giant camera.
Wanting to get back to working with his hands, Ruther converted an old delivery truck into one giant camera for wet plate images. Opening the door on the back, he covers the gap with black fabric and a large camera lens, turning the entire back of the delivery truck into a working camera. “The only limitations there are are the ones I put on myself,” he said.
Ruther uses the truck to take huge wet page images. Building this huge camera wasn’t easy—in fact, he compares it to going all in on a poker game. With each exposed image costing him $500, Ruther got off to a frustrating start. But if you take a look at his latest images, well, it’s easy to see why he calls the truck the Time Machine.
Shooting from two wheels
Image by Megadeluxe
Of course, a dream vehicle list wouldn’t be complete without a two-wheeled option. Just picture the open road and the wind tousling a leather jacket. Oh, and you’re shooting security footage as you drive. Pretty cool, huh?
While the bike isn’t quite to the level of snapping huge, frame-worthy images, and uses two megapixel security cameras from Sony, it has cameras instead of headlights and taillights. Oh, and the night vision factor on the security cameras bumps up the cool factor just a bit. Two more cameras sit underneath the seat, giving the bike a 360 degree perspective.
Powered by a 1966 49cc Honda engine, the minimalist motorcycle came to be after Japan Security System Co. gave custom bike designer Chicara Nagata free reign on a contract to design a security camera. We’re not sure how the company reacted at the final product, but we think it’s pretty cool.
Feature Image via CameraVan.com