pinhole ponderings

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Sunday, April 26, 2009

Today is pinhole day, an international event created to promote and celebrate the art of pinhole photography. Photographers around the world are encouraged to participate in the simple act of making a pinhole photograph and show the unusual beauty of this historical photographic process.

Birdcage, polaroid pinhole photograph, Rowena Dugdale, 120 sec exposure on instant Fufifilm

This year I took some photos and contributed the above image to the gallery. I'm glad I got involved - Pinhole photography is a passion of mine but I don't get to create as many images as I used to - especially since Polaroid went belly-up. I use an assortment of cameras (including a repurposed Pringles-can) but my favourite is a camera from a kit that Polaroid used to make. It was never available in Europe but I ordered it from B&H in New York and it's been a trusty simple camera.

Here are a couple of other shots. It was a cloudy day and the Fujifilm struggled to capture the colour with the longer exposures. I really miss Polaroid film. Fuji is like a polite party-guest, very well behaved but a little dull, whereas Polaroid was like the unreliable drunken friend who was life and soul of the party. The saturation of Polaroid film on longer exposures was divine - it often had a strong blue cast and gorgeous contrast.

Looking around the International pinhole day gallery I found some wonderful images. Here's a sample of three photographs that stood out for me.

Alistair Scott Laid up
Alistair Scott showed quite some initiative today. Stuck in bed with a broken leg, he did a self-portrait using a Nikon D3 adapted with pinhole cover and using a remote release. Sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery Alistair.

Massimo Vaccaro dreaming
I love the atmosphere in this image - classic pinhole styling and very beautiful.

Tarja Trygg In the Sunshine
Tarja says that this image was exposed for one day with a lensless can using b&w photo paper. She has a fantastic website which I plan on spending more time on, exploring Solargraphy and tracking different the paths of the Sun are around the world through pinhole photography.


  1. Chris Kidd Says:
  2. Hi Row.
    Nice selection. I like the polite v drunken guest description of films types. that ones gonna stick around for a while!
    hmmm shall I load up with polite or drunken?
    My drunken guest is still at the lab. who knows what state he come back in!

  3. Chris Kidd Says:

    The drunken uncle is back from the lab. (see blog). The jug image wasnt all that good and the luminous dinasour exposed for hours didnt work at all. Maybe luminous things dont register on colour neg.
    The landscapes are from Brean and kilve and somewhere i dont recognise. prob Weston.
    hope the paint fumes arent too much.