The Creative Camera Creations of Street Photographer David Lo

Think of a camera - something boxy, probably dark in color, with a lens and a few buttons. That's what most people would describe, except David Lo. He lets his imagination run wild, designing cameras that would impress the likes of Quentin Tarantino and James Bond, to name a few notables (see below). He calls his works "instructions for fantasy", and draws on the daily. His mind is full of designs, and Mr. Lo hopes to create a small book of camera designs one day. In Lo's world, the possibilities are endless. Check out some of his drawings and photography below, as well as on Flickr


Explain what you do in one sentence.

I am a New York-based street photographer who creates camera designs inspired by architecture, biography, technology, popular cultural icons and vintage cameras.

When did you start drawing? What type of subject matter did you start out with?

Originally I experimented with vintage cameras, modifying them to shoot digitally for my street work. When my wife became pregnant with twins, I suddenly had less time and resources to do all this and my camera design work took to the forefront. Overnight I became a camera designer, combining all my interests to create cameras on paper. It dawned on me only later that I was merging many different worlds together (architecture, photography, writing, cultural history, biography) in an intuitive manner.

If you could choose one of your designs to be built and brought to life, which would you choose and why?

I love this twin question. Some of my designs follow the tradition of portraiture. Others are poetic visual studies expressed with an architectural sketch. But they are really more like instructions for fantasy than construction drawings to hand to a builder. As such, they already live on the page and are realized in the mind of the viewer. I draw daily so recent work is always exciting to me. I have a pair of designs that complement each other in quirky, unexpected ways that relate both architecturally and photographically. My Design No.102 is a wrist-watch camera (designed in honor of the photographer Vivian Maier) mimicking a skyscraper which actually becomes a key that you insert (in a innovative way) to unlock treasures inside a box of Chinese Moon cakes (designed in honor of Herge, the creator of Tintin), which would be my design no. 105. The box of moon cakes has a polaroid thermal printer for the skyscraper camera which connects to your iphone (jailbroken).

What projects do you have on the horizon?

I have more ideas for projects than I can handle; I wish my babies were much older, I could use some help :) But seriously, I am working to make at least 75-100 more drawings so that I'll have enough material for a few small books of camera designs. Looking for a publisher... I would also love to have a small gallery show of digital photos(made with vintage cameras), some art objects like my Gallery Ying (which is a portable gallery inside of a camera) and of course camera design drawings.