Pinhole Panoramas from Buffalo's Outer Harbor

March 21, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Most of my pinhole photography is in black and white. However, I do enjoy seeing other photographers' pinhole photography in color and that challenges me to try it myself once in a while. On this specific outing to Buffalo's Outer Harbor I loaded up the Holga Wide Pinhole Camera (WPC) with Lomography 100 color negative film and tried to take advantage of the panoramic format to capture a favorite location differently.

The camera can be adjusted to capture either 6x9cm or 6x12cm images. Since 6x9 would turn it into the same 2x3 aspect ratio as 35mm film I always use it in its full 6x12 mode.

Gallagher Beach & Cargill Pool Grain Elevator, pinhole photography with Holga Wide Pinhole WPC on Lomography 100 color negative film.Gallagher Beach & Cargill Pool Grain ElevatorPinhole Photography

Gallagher Beach & Cargill Pool Grain Elevator,
Pinhole photography with Holga Wide Pinhole WPC on Lomography 100 color negative film, C-41

I usually scan my medium format (120) film using an Epson flatbed scanner. However, for these two photos, I went the route of "scanning" the frames with my digital camera. Color negative film poses a special challenge as most of them have an orange mask. That does not seem to effectively use the RGB image sensor plus inversion and color correction is tricky. Yes, there are some apps available for this purpose but since I do not capture the "scans" on my phone the workflow seems unintuitive to me.

Thus, I wanted to try something closer to what one would do printing color in the darkroom. In that case, the enlarger features color sliders for cyan, magenta, and yellow to allow for color correction. In my case, I bought several Rosco color correction gel filters (4415, 3204 1/2 CTB, 3202 CTB), laid those on my white backlight, overlaid the color negative over those, and photographed with a digital camera. The goal was to counteract the orange mask with the gels and later simply invert the negative image into a positive without the use of any specialized software.

Gallagher Pier & Cargill Pool Grain Elevator, pinhole photography with Holga Wide Pinhole WPC on Lomography 100 color negative film.Gallagher Pier & Cargill Pool Grain ElevatorPinhole Photography

Gallagher Pier & Cargill Pool Grain Elevator
Pinhole photography with Holga Wide Pinhole WPC on Lomography 100 color negative film, C-41

The result? The concept worked and getting an initial usable positive image was rather straightforward. However, accomplishing an accurate color correction was a whole different story. In the end, I was getting photos as if special color effects were applied and instead of trying to correct them out, I leaned into them. You see two sample results above. I have not used this technique since and I suspect today's post will motivate me to try again.

Introducing unpredictable and hard to repeat steps into a workflow can either be very frustrating, or very rewarding depending on ones expectations. And in my photography, I am growing more and more fond of the concepts behind lomography. In fact, I may have to lean into this even more. Who is to say that the various sheets of color gel have to fully overlap? Why not arrange them into stripes of different color, or triangles of different color, or just plain color chaos? But more on that another day.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

More of my Pinhole Photography ...

Rocky Banks of Niagara River, Photographed with a 35mm ZeroImage pinhole camera on expired Kodak Max color negative film..Rocky Banks of Niagara RiverPinhole Photography in Color The Kill Zone, Lower Niagara River Rapids. Photographed with a 35mm ZeroImage pinhole camera on expired Kodak Max color negative film.The Kill ZonePinhole Photography in Color Water Zooming By, Lower Niagara River Rapids. Photographed with a 35mm ZeroImage pinhole camera on expired Kodak Max color negative film.Water Zooming ByPinhole Photography in Color


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