Welcome to the fourth issue of my photography newsletter, Black & White, Film, and Pinhole Photography

Pinhole Photography in Hawaii

Travelling to the lush island of Kauai one definitely expects a colorful scene. The lush green slopes of the volcanic mountain ranges full of waterfalls, the bright warm color of the beach sand, the often dramatic clouds surrounded with deep blue sky, the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, the list goes on and on. Indeed, I was constantly breathless enjoying the wonders of nature. This time, I enjoyed two types of photography though. I had my DSLR with a wide angle zoom with me along with an array of filters to capture the colorful wonders. I also brought my Zero Image 35mm pinhole camera, loaded with Ilford PAN F Plus 50 black and white film.

Shipwreck Beach, Zero Image 35mm Pinhole Camera, Black and White Ilford PANF Plus FilmShipwreck BeachPinhole Black and White

Shipwreck Beach, Zero Image 35mm Pinhole Camera, Black and White Ilford PANF Plus 50 Film

I find the two methods of photography so beautifully different, each with its merits, each satisfying in its own way. It was the film that held the higher dose of mystery though. With digital, one gets some immediate feedback about the imagery. The image on the LCD, the color histograms confirming exposure, ability to magnify and confirm sharpness, and so on. With film, it is more about imagination, execution, and patience.

Bringing film on a flight was interesting on its own. While you can in theory ask for the film to be carried around the X-rays, in practice, it met with a moderate resistance. The security personnel are trained that only film of ISO 800 and above needs this service (TSA rules). However, since one needs to return the film would go through scanning at least twice and I preferred not taking chances. Politeness can go a long way.

I only brought three films along, an ISO 50 Ilford PANF Plus, an ISO 100 Fuji Neopan, and an ISO 400 Kodak Tri-X. However, I failed to pack the empty spool that the Zero Image camera needs as an intake spool. And try buying film on location! Without an intake spool, there would be no pinhole photography for me. Very reluctantly, I decided to sacrifice one of the films I brought. Hoping for sunny days and some nice long exposures, I chose to sacrifice the Tri-X and load the PANF into the camera.

To make things further more interesting, I failed to remember this decision or to take a note or to set my light meter app right away, and since my previous film was an ISO 100, I proceeded to shoot the whole role as an ISO 100 film, only realizing my mistake upon return looking at the boxes from the films and the spools once I unloaded the film from the camera. I decided to push process the film but knowing all of my exposures were counted off without a timer (yes, one Mississippi, two Mississippi, etc) and most likely on the long side, I did not want to push by a whole stop. After a bit of staring at the development charts I decided to keep the development time normal and raised the developer temperature by one degree Fahrenheit.

Bottom line? The pictures came out and scanned beautifully without the need for any significant adjustments. Only two were immediate deletes as the subject matter or lighting was not suitable for pinhole photography. Lots of fun start to finish!

Makawehi Lithified Cliffs, Zero Image 35mm Pinhole Camera, Ilford PANF Plus 50 Black & White FilmMakawehi Lithified CliffsZero Image 35mm Pinhole Camera, Ilford PANF Plus 50 Black & White Film
Hanalei Bay, Zero Image 35mm Pinhole Camera, Ilford PANF Plus 50 Black & White FilmHanalei BayZero Image 35mm Pinhole Camera, Ilford PANF Plus 50 Black & White Film
Ke'e Beach, Zero Image 35mm Pinhole Camera, Ilford PANF Plus 50 Black & White FilmKe'e BeachZero Image 35mm Pinhole Camera, Ilford PANF Plus 50 Black & White Film

Photo Products Offered:

There are so many ways photographs can be displayed these days and the various photo labs keep increasing the number of products offered. I try to keep a more traditional offering but determining what is available requires clicking through the ordering process and opening each of the categories. To make things simpler, please, visit my Photo Products Page. On a single page, you will find all photo galleries, special collections, and photo products offered through my site. Do you see a photograph you like but not the product you had in mind? Please, let me know and I will see if I can make it happen for you.

From the Outdoors:

A cloudy fall day in Western New York with dramatic dark clouds rolling in over Lake Erie all afternoon. It could rain and storm any moment But then there are the random brief gaps in the clouds when the sunshine makes it through and everything looks very different. As the day comes close to its end, the clouds thicken and the land darkens. Then, before night settles in, the sun finds a tiny gap on the horizon and hits the shoreline cliffs with rays of gold. And then it is over as quick as it happened and everything goes to sleep.

The Very Last Light over Hamburg Beach, Hamburg, NYThe Very Last LightHamburg Beach, Hamburg, NY

The Very Last Light over Hamburg Beach, Hamburg, NY

From the City:

Ever since I finished reading Lauren Belfer's City of Light set in the 1900s Buffalo I wanted to photograph the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, or the Richardson Olmsted Complex, a name it goes by these days, or Hotel Henry, a name that may become a reality in Spring 2017.

Haunting Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, Richardson Olmsted Complex, Buffalo, NYHaunting Buffalo State Asylum for the InsaneRichardson Olmsted Complex, Buffalo, NY

Haunting Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane - 
- Richardson Olmsted Complex, Buffalo, NY

Towers of Richardson Olmsted Complex Through an Old Tree, Buffalo, NYTowers of Richardson Olmsted ComplexThrough an Old Tree Starring at the cages for quite a while I could feel the chill in my bones imagining people standing on the balconies with their hands against the screens only fingers getting through as if reaching out to be free. How many were truly insane? How many ended up here because it was more convenient for the society? Human cages!

I found the black and white to be more fitting for this topic, to reinforce the haunting feeling of the place, to drive one's imagination in that direction.

I look forward to the ongoing construction being complete and the fences disappearing. It will be great to soak the whole complex in without disruption.

From the Road:

Pecos, a beautiful stop on a summer road trip passing through New Mexico on the way to join Route 66 on its way heading north-east. A stop beautiful on many fronts. A great museum to learn about the history, and a nice outdoors trail to see it all in person. The Pueblo remains, the Spanish Mission ruins, the deep blue sky, the warm desert light on the bricks!

Spanish Mission Ruins, Pecos, NMSpanish Mission RuinsPecos, NM

Spanish Mission Ruins, Pecos, NM

Thank you for your support,


© danielnovakphoto.com

Unsubscribe info: If you prefer not to receive this quarterly newsletter, please, click here to reply back and I will remove you from my list.