For a time, I used no cameras at all. I made pictures only at night, wading into rivers and bays with silver gelatin paper and color film. The images are a product of the land, moonlight and my facilitating hands.

I feel like a translator: I introduce the water and surrounding flora to man-made, light sensitive surfaces. The land intuitively impresses her own subjectivities upon them. I return to my human community triumphant with photographic evidence that the Earth is alive and constantly creating; the pictures are a starting point for deeper understanding between viewer and landform.

I have listened to viewers of this work and there is a longing to see the ritual of the land and I creating together. It is undocumentable due to low light conditions. Making the process accessible means developing a photographic practice that maintains the tenets of my cameralass work and occurs during the day. It’s a large shift from private creation to public performance art.

One project I have started is making this shift: the CLAMCAM. The CLAMCAM is a rig of 8 quahog clamshells and each clam has been transformed into a pinhole camera. In its final form, it will be a wearable pinhole camera; a ceremonial object to be used in public, photographic, movement and nature based rituals.

The pinhole images, like my cameraless works, tap into a pre-existing visual language of the planet. The cameras render their subjects unrecognizable, yet the forms and colors are primal and familiar. Through ritualistic performance that involves the creation of photographs that access a visually awesome, metaphysical plane, I believe this project has the capacity to guide my viewers and I to rediscover our innate, spiritual connection with Earth.

I am in the process of building a new CLAMCAM. 
The original camera did not value aesthetics or process, only the picture resulting from it. That’s not my style. This sketch shows what I want a new CLAMCAM to look like: a wooden oval. The top arch will rest on my shoulder and the bottom of the arch will be under my foot. My body will stabilize the camera and allow me to engage in a ritualistic, intentional and performative method of making images. As of 2022, I am waiting to hear if I received two grants that will make fabrication possible.

©Madison Emond
For all inquiries, please email