Pinhole photography has to be one of the most beautiful forms of the art. It forces a photographer to rely on great composition, exposure timing, and creative ideas to yield a beautiful image. But fair warning: you won’t be doing any pixel peeping or anything else technical aside from figuring out your exposure in the first place.
This post by Jana Uyeda originally appeared on Jana-Obscura.com on March 17, 2014, and is being syndicated at The Phoblographer with the author’s permission.
My friends in the art world often use the expression, “Restrictions breed creativity,” a phrase which certainly applies to the imaginative and often inventive world of pinhole photography. While the basic concept of pinhole remains the same – a light-tight box with a tiny aperture – it’s how you manipulate light to capture an image that really empowers your creativity. From DIY projects to local craftsmen to 3D printed cameras, interest in pinhole cameras is on the rise. If you have never experimented with pinhole photography or left your Holga 120WPC on the bottom shelf for too long, it’s time get shooting again. Here are five reasons why this is the best time to be shooting pinhole.
Holy lion of Zion, have you seen this? It’s the world’s largest pinhole photograph, and it’s literally as large as an airplane hangar. And that’s because it was taken inside an airplane hangar. Yes, that’s true. The people that created it converted an abandoned F-18 jet fighter hangar into one ginormous pinhole camera by hanging a cloth of photosensitive material from its ceiling, drilling a hole less than 1/4″ into the front and letting time and photons do the rest.
The project was executed in 2006, and The Great Picture first went on public display in 2007. But before they could actually do it, they’d have to go through long negotiations with authorities. In the end, they were rewarded for their efforts not only with the world’s largest pinhole picture, but also with an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. You can find the whole story over at Alternative Photography.
Matt Bigwood hails from the UK and has been a photographer since 1986, and recently showed us a photo from a long term project that he worked on. The photo above is a six month long exposure using a beer can converted into a pinhole camera. Pinhole photography is amongst the earliest forms of the craft, and it is practiced by many still even today. We’ve reviewed pinhole adapters for mirrorless cameras before and we’ve even taken part of World Pinhole Day: a once a year festival that celebrates all things pinhole.
To learn more about his project and pinhole photography, we briefly talked with Matt about his vision, calculations, etc.