Thursday, May 2, 2013

Worldwide Pinhole Day

Sunflowers

April 28th was Worldwide Pinhole day. It is a day when photographers set aside their glass and make images without the benefit of a lens. A pinhole camera is simply a dark box that can hold a piece of photo-sensitive material opposite a very small hole through which light can enter. They can be very simple like those made from oatmeal boxes or 35mm film canisters, or they can be more complicated, incorporating bellows and mechanisms for winding roll film. Even a highly sophisticated DSLR can be converted to a pinhole by removing the lens and putting a small hole in the body cap. I chose to make my own pinhole camera that would shoot medium format images (6x12 cm). I used black foam core from the craft shop, glue and black gaffer's tape. I bought a laser cut pinhole from a guy over on f295.org, but you can pretty easily make your own. The image above is my WWPD submission (see pinholeday.org). I just took a vase of sunflowers out onto my patio and set the camera on a chair. The exposure was about 90min. The highlights are totally blown and the composition is not very good. Admittedly, I didn't give it much thought. The point was just to make an image on that day. It was fun though. I took the picture using Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper, so there is no negative, you just get the image out (after developing), sort of like a Polaroid in slow-mo. So a couple of days later, I decided to make another image with my pinhole camera.


Wateridge Plaza

There is an office complex nearby where I work that is called Wateridge Plaza. There are a lot of water features around the grounds, but the most noteworthy is the large waterfall in the central courtyard. I set the camera on a little precipice that hangs out over the water and exposed for 47sec. There were people walking around up above the waterfalls, but as long as they keep moving, they do not appear in the final image. I like this photo much better. The stillness of the scene contrasts well with the movement of the water. The highlights of the sunlight filtering through the buildings and the trees gives a nice feel to the image. The contrast is high, but I like the shadowy feel of the dark parts of the scene. Let me know what you think of this image. I value any critique.

You have an entire year to plan how to celebrate WWPD 2014. So go make a camera and have fun being creative. That's what photography is all about!