Photographer Transforms 20-Year-Old Computer into Functioning Camera

Working Camera Made from Computer Parts

Inspired by ideas of recycling and reusing, Iranian photographer Alireza Rostami created a very special camera. By combining old computer parts with the lens and back of a large-format camera, he was able to build a functional “Frankenstein” camera. This ingenious use of materials is part of Rostami's bigger message about living without waste and finding new meaning in old technology.

The project started with Rostami's very first computer, which he purchased in 1999. Over the years he'd made changes to the computer, including switching out the motherboard, but had always kept all the parts as a sort of remembrance of advancing technology. After languishing in a closet for years, Rostami began to brainstorm ways that he might be able to transform the old computer into something useful. It was then that he decided to combine his love for photography and reusing materials.

After careful calculations, he made a light sealed box out of different computer elements. From there, he mounted a Linhof camera lens and Mamiya Universal lens ring. A wood backing completed the camera, which Rostami has already used to take some unique selfies. Finishing touches on the computer camera are fans that work via batteries, as well as USB and printer slots that, while not functional, add a techie touch.

Rostami hopes that his project can inspire the younger generation to reuse their old belongings. If it were up to him, there would be no such thing as waste.

Iranian photographer Alireza Rostami created a working camera from old computer parts.

Working Camera Made from Computer Parts

By combining the lens of a large-format camera with elements from a 20-year-old computer, he shows that old technology can be made new again.

Working Camera Made from Computer Parts Working Camera Made from Computer Parts

The camera has a working fan, as well as a USB and printer slot for design flare.

Working Camera Made from Computer Parts Working Camera Made from Computer Parts Working Camera Made from Computer Parts

Check out some of the selfies Rostami took with his “Frankenstein” camera.

Selfie Made from Hybrid Computer Camera Selfie Made from Hybrid Computer Camera

Get an in-depth look at how the hybrid camera comes together in this video.

Alireza Rostami: Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Alireza Rostami.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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