Ian Beesley (Big Big Camera)

The Big Big Camera

Ian Beesley was a guest at the National Coal Mining Museum today. Unfortunately, due to work commitments I was unable to visit but my husband works there and he took photographs on his phone on my behalf.

My tutor last year, Chris Coekin, suggested that I look at the work of Ian Beesley and I researched him during ‘Expressing your Vision’ here

Todays visit was in connection with a big big camera. The Big Big Camera was originally used by wallpaper manufacturers who needed large process cameras – with negatives about 20″ square. Beesley was interested in restoring the camera to full working order.

It is 100 years old and measures 5 feet high and 4 feet wide.


The Big Big Camera

Man Size

A huge lens

Quite a spectacle

Beesley said that ‘Wherever we took this camera people were fascinated by its scale and by the effort involved in making just one image. It has been great fun and a real challenge getting this far and I’m hoping to produce a full scale exhibition with this camera eventually.’ (Gallery Oldham, 2017)



Gallery Oldham. (2017). Developments with our big big camera – Gallery Oldham. [online] Available at: http://www.galleryoldham.org.uk/developments-with-our-big-big-camera/ [Accessed 26 Oct. 2017].


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