Saturday, April 28, 2012

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2012

Tomorrow, Sunday the 29th is Worldwide Pinhole day.  Held the last day of April every year, it's a day to promote the fact that you don't need a fancy camera to take photos.  

A pinhole camera is basically a light tight box, with a small hole in the front to act as a lens.  While there are the usual scientific formulas to compute what size hole to use for the sharpest image, pretty much any size hole can be fun to try.  A pinhole is so small in relation to the film size, that for all practical purposes, the whole image is sharp.  Well as sharp as a pinhole can get.  They do have a delightful softness to them.

While people have use hotel rooms or vans for pinhole cameras, and even an airplane hanger, I've decided that I would purchase a camera this year to try.  I've been looking at this Holga panoramic pinhole for a couple of years now, and decided to break down and buy it.
I've run one roll of film through it just to try it out, and I'm planning on getting out early tomorrow morn and go through a couple of more rolls.  Hopefully I can get the results out early next week.

If you're interested in trying this, there is still time to participate.  There are plans on the internet for taking a DSLR body cap and putting a pinhole in it, or for creating a pinhole camera out of a oatmeal box.  Barnes and Noble also has a book/kit in their projects section with a cutout 35mm camera.

It's fun, you should give it a try.

Friday, April 27, 2012


I'm still, slowly, trying to get may alt process workflow calibrated at home.  While I primarily want to do Cyanotypes or Platinum/Palladium prints, there are other processes I would like to try.

One of those is Van Dyke Brown.  It produces a warm brown tone on the paper, and it's relatively easy to do.  A bit time consuming, because there are multiple washes of the paper in water, as well as fixer.

I'm participating in a class at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts that is doing Alt Process.  I worked on a VDB print and liked what I finally got.  I did scan it in Black and White mode, so you really can't see the true color of it.  There are a couple of things I would like to change.  This is a hand coated process, where you have to mix the chemistry and then coat the paper.  I think I spent too long coating and raised the nap of the paper a bit.  There are some white spots that lead me to believe this, and I want to get rid of them.  Second, it needs to be a little darker, which I hope is just a simple exposure change.

Besides this process, I want to try one of the original methods used called Salt Printing, as well as Gum Bichromate.  The gum process would give me a color image.  The few I've seen of these in person, I really like.