A New Chapter, a New Book - Pinhole Photography

December 28, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Pinhole Photo #001 - Cloudy Beach at Dawn, Black and WhiteCloudy Beach at DawnPinhole Photo #001 A whole different post today as 2015 is winding down. It does not really have anything to do with the fact that one year is approaching its end of life and another one is about to start. It just so happened and that is fine with me.

Right now, I have two completely new projects that I have just started and plan on dedicating quite a bit of effort to in 2016. One I will not reveal just yet, and the other one is pinhole photography that you can see some initial attempts for in this post.

If a passionate pinhole photographer happens upon this post, I apologize for the way I have started - with a DSLR and a body cap. I know that is not the true pinhole photography and certainly plan to do something about it. I just wanted a quick way to start while I learn more about the field and plan my next course of action.

If you visit my blog somewhat regularly you know I love simplicity. I love minimalism, I love black and white photography, and I love combining the two together believing that removing color is one way to simplify the scene in front of my camera.

Pinhole Photo #002 - Buffalo Main Street at Shea'sBuffalo Main Street at Shea'sPinhole Photo #002 Last year, I first tried refractography (Indoor Photo Project: Flying through a Black Hole, or Discovering RefractographsIndoor Photo Project: The Teleport, Continued Fun with RefractographyIndoor Photo Project: Lanterns, Back to RefractographyIndoor Photo Project: Imaginary SailboatsA New Collection: Refractography, Abstracts by Light), another way of simplifying photography. Just a camera, no lens, and light reflected onto the sensor. So I guess my lensless journey started back then. Just here, instead of the lens mount bing left wide exposed a lens cap covers most of it except for a tiny pinhole, thus the name.

After some minimal research I acquired my first pinhole body cap and headed out to try it out. Hey, look, another reason to head out and look for either new photographic subjects, or to capture some familiar ones in a whole new light.

While my very first photo is of a natural landscape, the cliffs at Hamburg Beach (that is Hamburg, NY), out of my few attempts so far I like the urban photographs the most. I really like the old-style soft focus look despite the almost infinite depth of field with pinhole photography. It also resembles my world when I take the glasses off. Therefore, I suspect you will see more of those in the future.

I've also learned more about pinhole photography in the meantime, including the SLR body caps. I suspect the one I started with and that these photos were taken with has a hole a bit too large. By comparing exposure to my normal lens photography at f/22 I have calculated the pinhole to be approximately f/128. And that is about 1 stop slower than many other pinhole caps being sold as f/192 or thereabout. Needless to say, I have already bought one of those and look forward to comparing the looks. It should appear sharper and more contrasty. I will report back.

Pinhole Photo #003 - One Way off Main StreetOne Way off Main StreetPinhole Photo #003 So what are we looking at in my first series of pinhole photographs? Buffalo Main Street shortly after sunrise. Time selected mostly based on my color urban photography that usually provides nice colors over the architectural landmarks. However, the contrast of the light and shadows at that time works well for black and white photographs too and that is what I intended to do with my pinhole photography from the very beginning. Who knows, maybe color will find its place at some future point but right now, I plan on sticking with the simplicity of photographing with no lens and no color.

If you want to enjoy the pinhole blur, feel free to click on any of these photos to go into a slideshow mode, then move left and right to slide through them all.

So what is next? I've shared one thing already, the second pinhole cap to compare. Then, more experience, more urban photos of Buffalo, possibly a natural landscape or two. And of course, I am not planning to stay with digital pinhole. I feel limited by the approx. 48mm angle of view I can get that way and would love to go wide, really wide. I gather that most pinhole photographers use 6 x 6 cm film or larger but I may have my own reasons to try 35 mm first before heading the medium format and possibly large format route. Why? That's a story for another day, a story that is tied to the other project. And the other project? Stay tuned and I will figure out a way to introduce it. I am very excited about it and hope you'll share that excitement when it's out too.

Pinhole Photo #004 - City Hall Down Court St.Buffalo City Hall Down Court StreetPinhole Photo #004

Pinhole Photo #004 - Buffalo City Hall Down Court Street

Thanks for reading, enjoy the beauty that surrounds you (#etbtsy)!

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