Canadian photographer Todd McLellan says he grew up in a home where “something was always open.”
His father was a carpenter and TV repairman and his mother an electrical technician, so everyone in the family learned to take things apart and put them back together. It’s no surprise that McLellan became fascinated by the mechanical inner-workings of everyday objects: toasters, watches, coffee grinders.
Now 39, he has transformed that hobby into an ongoing photography series in which he takes ordinary pieces of technology, from salt and pepper mills to old Macintosh computers, lays out the guts of each object, and captures all the components in one shot.
The result is a stunning display of disassembly.
McLellan started the series as a way to celebrate the mechanics of old technology. “As I’m taking it apart, if I press this button, I know it presses that lever, and you can actually see that happen,” he tells Tech Insider.
Newer technology doesn’t offer the same tactile satisfaction, he says. “You press the button and its goes into the circuit board, and then it makes something on the screen do something. You can’t really place how that happened.”
The actual process of disassembly takes roughly a day and a half. For complex electronics, like a Walkman, the trickiest part is keeping everything organized.