DIY

This 1970s Caravan Is Actually A Portable Darkroom For Traveling Photographer

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

When it comes to making the art you want to make, you’re not going to let a little thing like a lack of materials and space get in your way.

That’s exactly how photographer Paul Alsop feels when it comes to creating his photos.

He deals in traditional photography, specifically in an antique process known as wet collodion, which uses metal plates and a variety of liquid chemicals to produce a print.

But living in New Zealand makes this process hard, as everything has to be imported. Living in a cramped house with roommates doesn’t make it any easier…

So what’s a photographer dedicated to the ways of the past to do?

Well, like many others looking for something that didn’t yet exist, he went the DIY route with a vintage trailer caravan from the 1970s.

But instead of turning it into a home, he turned it into his own mobile darkroom!

Check out how the Rubylith, as it’s known, turned out, and check out some of Paul’s vintage-process photos, too!

(h/t: BoredPanda)

Paul's darkroom-on-wheels is made from a converted bubble caravan so he can take his art on the go — or just set up in his own yard.

Paul's darkroom-on-wheels is made from a converted bubble caravan so he can take his art on the go — or just set up in his own yard.

Its name is Rubylith — or Ruby — named for the red filters used on darkroom lights, as well as the bright red paint job.

Its name is Rubylith — or Ruby — named for the red filters used on darkroom lights, as well as the bright red paint job.

Inside, he has a whole lab set up, complete with chemicals and machines.

Inside, he has a whole lab set up, complete with chemicals and machines.

Paul even scoured the Internet for the correct hubcaps, totally completing Ruby's look. In all, the renovations took about five weeks in total.

Paul even scoured the Internet for the correct hubcaps, totally completing Ruby's look. In all, the renovations took about five weeks in total.

By day, Ruby is nothing short of adorable.

By day, Ruby is nothing short of adorable.

But by night, when the darkroom lights are on, she casts a bit of a sinister glow.

But by night, when the darkroom lights are on, she casts a bit of a sinister glow.

But inside, there's just creativity flowing! And sometimes beer.

But inside, there's just creativity flowing! And sometimes beer.

Paul fitted out the caravan to hold all his photographic needs, and can make it completely lightproof for when he's developing images.

Paul fitted out the caravan to hold all his photographic needs, and can make it completely lightproof for when he's developing images.

His process is quite old and rarely used, and involves liquid chemicals. Each image created is totally unique, and each photo takes about 15 minutes to complete. It's a slow, difficult process, but Paul enjoys it.

His process is quite old and rarely used, and involves liquid chemicals. Each image created is totally unique, and each photo takes about 15 minutes to complete. It's a slow, difficult process, but Paul enjoys it.

Here are some of the photos he's created. Though his subjects are modern, the photos each have a delicate, vintage feel.

Here are some of the photos he's created. Though his subjects are modern, the photos each have a delicate, vintage feel.

In addition to creating photos, Paul also teaches the wet collodion process to those interested in this 19th century style of photography.

In addition to creating photos, Paul also teaches the wet collodion process to those interested in this 19th century style of photography.

His portraits look like something from a different time.

His portraits look like something from a different time.

You can see more of his work on his website, as well as on Instagram and Pinterest.

And if someone you know wants to make over a trailer but doesn’t want to live in it, SHARE Paul’s project to give them some inspiration.

Amazing that he makes it all right here in his adorable little caravan!

Amazing that he makes it all right here in his adorable little caravan!

You can see more of his work on his website, as well as on Instagram, and Pinterest.

And if someone you know wants to make over a trailer but doesn’t want to live in it, SHARE Paul’s project to give them some inspiration.