Chiara built his first large-format camera in 1997. He wanted "a certain type of image that wasn't available through commercial cameras, so I had to develop my own," he told The Times. Instead of film, he uses large sheets of photographic paper that he exposes through a lens opposite — like a camera obscura, or a huge pinhole camera, or a large daguerrotype without sheets of glass.
Chiara's custom cameras produce landscape and architecture photographs that exist outside of the realm of crystal-clear digital photography, and stress the art of process. "It's a different type of image that has a lot of the noise from the process, and from the camera and from the development," he said, referencing "the drips from the chemicals and the tape that's left on at the bottom" as examples of that visual "noise."