How many times have you seen a man holding a box camera, his head hidden under a cloth, clicking a family portrait? Such sights get rarer by the day but make for all the more reason to be cherished. This is where the renowned photographer and photo archiver Aditya Arya comes in. Curating the low key Vintage Camera Museum in Gurgaon, Arya is the man who can tell you all you need to know about the beauties in the history of cameras.
The museum is located at the India Photo Archives Foundation in Gurgaon and is home to over 1000 vintage cameras, all neatly displayed along with the kind of pictures they’d take back in the day. These cameras are mostly from Arya’s own personal collection while the rest are gifts and donations made by other photomaniacs. A walk into the museum makes you realize how clicking a picture today with a point-and-shoot or even a DSLR has come about through the more basic yet hard to operate machines from centuries ago. The museum was started in 2009 but the cameras here range from the late 1800s to the 1990s.
Photographs from the pre-Independence era and those commissioned by the British Raj, hang silently on the walls. Do a pop quiz with Arya and he’ll tell you the dates when each of them were clicked. He can tell you about the different kinds of materials they are printed upon and the timeline of various chemicals that came about in developing prints over the years. The museum also conducts workshops on the history of cameras and photography where you can learn about egg albumen, Salt paper and other vintage photo processing styles. It is the one destination for any camera enthusiast, whether it is photography, film or digital to visit as there is nothing better than knowing the history of what you love. And under the aegis of Arya himself and the largest collection of vintage cameras, the Museo Camera or the Vintage Camera Museum is definitely a must visit.
There is a nominal fee of Rs 300 that the museum expects from the visitors. This of course goes into the upkeep and maintenance of the age old yet sparkling clean cameras and the photographs on display here.
Nearest Metro Station: DLF Phase III Rapid
Entry: INR 300