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Artists turn taxidermy subjects into cameras (pictures)

Two artists come up with some of the most unusual cameras we've ever seen, including shooters made out of turtle and armadillo shells.

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Christopher MacManus
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1 of 7 Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs

Camera shell

In an ordinary world, turtles and armadillos are occasionally the subjects of a photograph, but in the hands of Swiss artists Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs, the creatures become the camera.

For the two-volume visual portfolio "As Long As It Photographs" and "It Must Be A Camera," the duo spent two weeks creating shooters out of unusual objects such as a stack of books, an animal's horn, and turtle or armadillo shells. Photography enthusiasts will surely love the added decor of old lenses and bellows to the animals sourced from taxidermy. "We found ourselves thinking about what a camera is, or what it needs to have," Kreb said of the project in an interview with American Photo Magazine. "The expression of the camera "body" can be a starting point for an exploration."

Quite the opposite of the plastic or metal point-and-shoot you would carry to a flowery field.

A multitude of inspirations -- such as a shared professor who firmly taught that to take good pictures, you must live an interesting life or be in an interesting scene -- led the duo to come up with the project, which spans several years of exhibition and just recently made a splash on the technology blog circuit.

Take a visual tour as we explore the bizarre creations. We start off with a reclaimed turtle shell turned into a classic-looking camera, complete with flash and strap. It actually takes pictures, too.

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Voodoo magic

This "Voodoo" camera derives from a forgotten relic adorned with horns and other protrusions.
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3 of 7 Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs

Horn shooter

Swiss artists Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs picked up this mysterious old horned instrument from a flea market, and kept the decor simple by using wooden frames to simulate the shape of an old camera.
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Slow photography

Here's the reverse side of another turtle shell camera with a humongous viewfinder and nifty metal grip.
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5 of 7 Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs

Required reading

Photography books become the housing (and bellows) for a camera created by artists Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs.
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Say cheese!

What was once a stuffed armadillo becomes a retro shooter complete with handle, bellows, and lens. Just imagine the looks you'd get upon pulling this camera out at the park.
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7 of 7 Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs

Bookworm

Artists Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs created another camera from forgotten hallowed books. In a statement given to Aperture about this design, the artists said, “We wanted to build a camera that is constructed from words about photography, not photographic equipment. The idea is to be able to photograph through a collected body of knowledge. In Tibet, newborns sleep on a bed created by laying blankets over holy books, so that they can soak up spiritual knowledge while they sleep. Similarly, perhaps, this camera osmotically transmits the wisdom of decades' worth of thinking about photography.”

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