Called the Trashcam Project, Hamburg’s sanitation workers have equipped standard 1,000-liter garbage containers with pinhole cameras. Using these cameras, the “binmen” (and one “binwoman”) take pictures of their favorite places showcasing the beauty and the changes of the city they keep clean every day.
“Pictures for the Trashcam Project are created by hanging large sheets of Ilford photo paper (not film) inside a closed dumpster with a few holes drilled into the front,” says CNET. “To create the eerie photographs you see here, the pinhole photographers line the ‘camera’ up with their subjects and secure it in place – by locking the wheels of the trash bins, we’re guessing. Then they wait, for up to an hour, until an image is formed.”
That process produces images like this one called “Berlin Cathedral Seen by a Dumpster.” Trashcam Project explains:
“This is one from the archives. The first trashcam picture we made just to find out if it was possible. So this is not Hamburg but Berlin. We were so afraid the bin would bend and light would leak in that we didn´t dare to move it more than a few meters away from our office (Yes, it is nice to work here). As you can see our processing skills have developed since then. But still a gripping shot. It was taken on four sheets of Rollei Vintage paper we glued together to get the giant format. Exposure is about four minutes.”
For more images, check out the ongoing Trashcam Project’s Flickr photostream.