Let's get to know each other and how we came to be pinhole enthusiasts.
I started with serious photography in 2001. I took courses on developing, dark room, composition, architecture, fashion, journalism, etc. Although digital was already a serious option, I liked the 'old school' more. I bought a Bronica SQ-B (6x6), a used Nikon F5, Leica M7 and many other stuff. Later I also bought a digital Nikon D1X to explore digital photography (now replaced by a Nikon D200). My favorite lens size is a 40 mm lens (on a 35 mm film camera). My favorite 'standard' camera is a Nikon F4s and an old Leica M4-2 with a Voigtländer 15 mm lens. My favorite pinhole camera is a converted Agfa Clack and my home build wooden LF camera (panorama size).
Shooting digital is no problem for me, but I still like film more. So I bought an old Russian wooden large format camera (FKD 18x24) which needs 1/2 hour to set up and make one photo: using photographic paper as film and my hat as a shutter. A perfect way to live Now and Mindfulness.....
I also took some courses in the alternate photographic procedures (over 130 years old) like Cyanotype, Albumen printing, Carbon printing and gum printing. For these processes are pinhole negatives ideal (= contact printing). Somehow I came in contact with pinhole photography in 2003. I was surprised by the simplicity and ability to control the whole process. I started to build my own cameras by converting old box cameras and later by making wooden cameras (larger and larger).
I moved a few years ago into a new house with a garage. The garage is going to be my studio, where I can built cameras, develop film and photos and practice the alternate photographic procedures. I bought an old DeVere enlarger (10"x8"), that will fit well in my garage
Since the most fun (for me) in photography is sharing experiences with others, I started a pinhole group on LinkedIn: http://tinyurl.com/pinholegroup. I used to have a website about pinhole photography, but it's offline now. I hope I can find the time to build a new one to share information and to show my cameras & photographs.
My motto in photography:"... avoiding the common illusion that creative work depends on equipment alone ..."(quote from Anzel Adams from his book "The Camera")
"Have fun and catch that light beam!"
Bert from Holland
I tend to experiment in my photography work, most particularly in the use of Caffenol as a paper developer. I had built/used a few rudimentary pinhole cameras over the years, but never really took it seriously until I was packing for a vacation to Arizona and was bemoaning the fact that I could not shoot LF in the desert. $2.00 in parts and a couple of hours work resulted in a camera that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing... until I took it out in the unrelenting sun of the Southwest desert. Read my blog post on the camera here: http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com...le-camera.html One of the key features to this camera, I thought, was that I could store a box of 4x5 film right inside the camera. Clever as that may be, as it turns out, my lovely (to the eye) camera was no match for actual sunlight, and I came back with a bunch of negatives that were fogged beyond use. A few re-designs later, I have a camera that provides beautiful negatives that are easy to print in the darkroom.
Hi, this all sounds very familiar, it could be me telling the story.
I was bought my first camera when I was 8 years old, I am now 64 (just) and still enjoy my hobby. I am retired now and have been indulging myself with cameras that i used to drool over, I have 16mm miniature cameras, 110 cassette cameras, 35 mm cameras of all persuasions and 120 SLR cameras and my most recent a Nikon F4 which I love using.
I have also bought two pinholes a 0.2 mm and a 0.3 mm in brass, i was going to build my own camera but have a Mamiya lens that is rat sht, so I am toying with the idea of putting the pin hole in that lens body, IE no glass just the brass with pin hole.
I need to work out the best distance to place the brass from the film plane, but I figure it's a quick way to see what happens.
Although I have been retired for a few years now it's amazing how little time I seem to have !!
I mostly use lenses, but in 2005 I became intrigued with the idea of participating in Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. To that end, I dug out an old B&J Press 4x5 camera I have had since the 1960s and made a new lensboard for it with a pinhole plate (homemade) and flap shutter.
In 2007 I went nuts and built a pinhole body cap to use on my Bronica SQ-A and used that in 2007, 2008 & 2010, slipping back to the 4x5 in 2009. I have since sold the sheet metal working machinery that was clogging my garage, so I probably won't get quite that carried away again.
In 2011, I went off the deep end and built a fancy wooden box from scraps around the workshop. It is set up for a rather wide angle of view, and I think is my best effort so far. I used it in 2011 and 2012. I have been less than enthralled with the results from paper negatives, but intend to try again this year. Meanwhile, I find the Arista Ultra 100 film works decently for a lot less cost than the big names.
I am feeling some temptation to try an 8x10, but i really want to stick with paper negatives for that and don't want to deal with paying for 8x10 filmholders either. So I will probably hold off on 8x10 until I develop more reliable use of paper instead of film. I have enjoyed loading up a half dozen holders and wandering off to some historical site in the past, but that seems prohibitively expensive to do with 8x10. Maybe a changing bag would be a lot cheaper than three or four 8x10 holders!
Backing up one level in the PBase hierarchy where those camera pictures are will get you to all my pinhole endeavors thus far in the 21st century.
I stumbled across a solargraph on the internet about 2 years ago. I thought that was pretty neat so I ordered a box of photo paper and made some pinhole can-cameras, and at some point along the way I knew I was going to try "regular" pinhole photography too. When I happened across a coffee can that is perfect for 5x7 paper, I put it aside.
Then something interesting happened that kicked me into a higher gear. We had an annular eclipse in California last year, and on a whim I grabbed a couple of solargraphy cans. They exposed for about 6 hours. I was expecting to see suntrails, but when I got home I was surprised and happy to see that detail was visible, a lake and hills and trees in this 6 hour exposure. I think that was the day when pinhole photography became something I do rather than just think about.
[IMG] Solargraphic Eclipse by Ned Lewis, on Flickr[/IMG]
Since then, I've started a "pinhole trees" project with that coffee can, and I've converted an old polaroid camera to pinhole.
I think taking a picture with my coffee can is one of the funnest things I do in photography. I still have a little bit of that "little kid wonder" that you can actually make a picture with just a pinhole and a piece of photo paper. Watching the image come out in the darkroom is still thrilling. Also I have a tendency to get too serious about things and it is a great way to keep things fun and loose.
Some of my solargraphs are here:
Some of my pinhole trees are here:
I also really like paper negatives and want to build some cameras that can use either pinhole or lenses with them. Right now as Bert knows, I'm working on a fixed focus 5x7 camera. I also just got an old Kodak 3A that is beat up but has an excellent Bausch and Lomb rapid rectilinear lens which I'm hoping to use for my next project, which will be an 8x10 camera. I'll bet 8x10 paper negatives will look amazing and it will be fun to try to contact print them.