Industrial Pinhole

September 08, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

There are a few locations that are photographic treasure troves. Today, I'll share some photographs from one such location. Sometimes I return there with a specific new idea in mind, other times to try our a new camera or a new technique, and sometimes just to break out of photographic funk when no other ideas spring to mind.

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On this occasion, I wanted to exercise my Lensless 4x5 pinhole camera more after a bit of a break. It's my one analog camera I really like to use without the intermediate medium of film. Instead, I load the film holders with direct positive paper. I like the simplicity. It's almost like instant photography. Sure, it's not that instant and does not happen on location but after returning home, it just takes a few minutes to run the batch of photos through the developer, water, and fixer to see what I got.

Buldozer, Lensless 4x5 pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive PaperBulldozerLensless 4x5 pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper

Bulldozer
Lensless 4x5 Pinhole Camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper

Since it's a fiber based paper, drying and flattening takes a bit of time too but it's easy and comes after I see what I got and whether or not it's worth any additional effort. Only rarely is it not.

The other challenge with the Ilford Harman direct positive paper is that it is very contrasty. There are several techniques to tame the contrast and end up with better balanced highlights and shadows, like pre-flashing (or post-flashing). I tried it but was not happy with the flat results I got then. Sure, maybe I took it too far but I still did not like it.

Engine, Lensless 4x5 wooden pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive PaperEngineLensless 4x5 wooden pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper

Engine
Lensless 4x5 Pinhole Camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper

So instead, I do one of two things. I either wait for a cloudy low contrast day. Then the paper contrast comes handy for bautiful punchy photographs despite the surrounding grayness. Or, I embrace the dontrast and look for subjects that I believe will benefit from the contrast and some nice deep black shadows. Either way, this further helps with the simplicity rather than the extra steps.

Cadillac Double, Lensless 4x5 wooden pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive PaperCadillac DoubleLensless 4x5 wooden pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper

Cadillac Double
Lensless 4x5 Pinhole Camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper

A pinhole camera without a lens, without a need to focus, and without a viewfinder to accurately frame one's shot further contributes to the simplicity even at the time of shooting. And that just might be why I love heading out with a pinhole camera once in a while. It's all a combination of past experience and guesswork resulting in surprises at the end. And when they're good, it's magic!

Vintage Truck, Lensless 4x5 wooden pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive PaperVintage TruckLensless 4x5 wooden pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper

Vintage Truck
Lensless 4x5 Pinhole Camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper

Enjoy the Beauty that Surrounds You! (#etbtsy)

Would you like to see more pinhole photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my pinhole gallery on timelessbuffalo.com and enjoy!  Please, let me know if you have any questions about any photo products offered, or not offered, I will be happy to help! For a quick reference to all photo galleries and collections as well as all photo products currently offered through my site, please, visit the Products page.

Do you like my free content but are not ready to buy a photograph for your walls yet? Using my links to do your shopping helps me share more photographs and write the stories behind them. And it costs you nothing. You just need to start your shopping by clicking on an advertised product or use the Amazon search box in bottom left. It does not matter what you eventually buy as long as you start here. I truly appreciate each purchase, no matter how small. Thank you!

Custard Lite Ice Cream Stand, Large Format Pinhole Photograph on 4x5" Direct Positive Paper Stained in Coffee for a Vintage LookIce Cream StandLensless 4x5 wooden pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper Roots of an Old Tree, Large Format Pinhole Photograph on 4x5" Direct Positive PaperRoots of an Old TreeLensless 4x5 wooden pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper Train Tracks by the Orchard Park Train Depot, Large Format Pinhole Photograph on 4x5" Direct Positive Paper Stained in Coffee for a Vintage LookBy the Train DepotLensless 4x5 wooden pinhole camera, Ilford Harman Direct Positive Paper One Truck, Large Format Pinhole Photograph on 4x5" Direct Positive PaperOne TruckPinhole Photography    Tram, Large Format Pinhole Photograph on 4x5" Direct Positive PaperTramPinhole Photography

 


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