BIRTH OF Camera
HOW THE CAMERA WAS INVENTED
Daimler-Benz commissioned Werner Krause to develop a photographic system capable of recording the ignition process in the Wankel engine. Standard optical lens systems were insufficiently precise to provide the high resolution imagery required. Dr Kraus resolved the problem through the invention of a unique mirror based optical system which captured and recorded the ultra-fast processes within the Wankel engine.
Although the patent satisfied the Daimler-Benz needs, Dr Kraus was not keen on his creation spending the rest of its life in the lonely research basement of the car manufacturing group and decided there and then to apply the optical system to other purposes.
Together with his long-standing friend and artist Erhard Hößle, Dr Kraus built a new camera with optics that made it possible to portray people in 1 to 1 scale pictures without image distortion. The image was captured on a special direct positive paper and developed into a life-sized portrait within 10 minutes of exposure.
Soon after its invention the camera fell out of use and was put into store. However, in 2006, Imago 1:1 was saved from this unwanted oblivion and revitalised by Werner Kraus’s daughter, the artist and actress Susanna Kraus, who re-commissioned the camera and refined the unique photographic paper.
This is how the largest walk-in camera in the world - IMAGO 1:1 – was born and came back to life.