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2011 pinhole

Photo by Matt Bigwood

All images by their respective owners. Originally featured in our initial blog posts with permission.

Pinhole cameras: they’re such an incredible thing of mystery. They can be large, small, unconventional, or totally fair-looking. Something that they all share in common is the fact that they’re bound to shoot a very long exposure and the image will usually look incredible with the right creative knowledge.

We’ve featured lots of cool pinhole work here on the site, but a couple of cameras really stand out at us. Here they are.

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Chris Gampat 20x24 Polaroid camera studios (16 of 17)

While 35mm full frame digital cameras are very much the standard amongst many professionals and enthusiasts, the format was originally created to satisfy the everyday man. Many moons ago (and some even today) professional photographers shot with large and medium format cameras. These cameras were capable of taking photos that the smaller formats weren’t able to.

Some of these cameras are still in use today by folks all across the world. Here are just a few.

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All images by Roger Cline. Used with permission.

Large format pinhole cameras create some of the most beautiful and haunting images of our time with little post-production work. When you hear about a pinhole camera, you usually think about a beer can, or an enlarger, or some other cool contraption. Usually, these images are small to medium format and sometimes you’ll spot the occasional large format. But rarely do you find something as large as 16×20 pinhole camera? Roger Cline has created one, and when using in conjunction with his design background, they create beautiful, ethereal, and mind blowing images together.

The camera was hand-built and uses paper negatives at ISO 6 or 8. And trust us, there is a lot of work that goes into a single image.

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Instant film pinhole photos are really, really cool and incredibly fun to shoot. That’s partially why we’re so excited about the new Supersense 66/6 Pinhole Polaroid Camera that uses IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT square instant film (600 and SX-70 Type).That means that it’s shooting medium format to large format images. It’s a limited edition camera that is handcrafted and only 500 will be made.

The concept and design of the camera was brought to life by the Impossible Project’s founder, Fabian Kapa and Achim Heine. And the overall design is quite unique. To start, it’s a folding camera that closes up for easier portability.

It features an extending lens bellows that gives the user a bunch of setting to work with. The choice between a 0,12 mm pinhole and a 0,24 mm pinhole is one of them, but the bellows allows the camera to shoot in five different positions and alters the focal length (which means that it isn’t a constant zoom “lens”).  It’s a first of any sort with a pinhole camera that has a type of zoom (or multiple focal lengths) and that is collapsible.

More images and details are after the jump. If you want one, get ready to hand over a couple of your pretty pennies.

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The Phoblographer Solargraph (2 of 2)

All images by Oli Stevens. Used with permission.

We’ve featured long solargraphs shot with beer cans before, but every time we run across new ones we find something incredibly fascinating. Take this 10 week Solargraph shot by photographer Oli Stevens. Oli is a Biochemistry Masters student, splitting his time between London and Oxford. He’s primarily a 35mm analog photographer who enjoys pushing the technical limits of film photography. What other way to push them than to play with a super long exposure and to work with the most experimental form of the craft: pinhole photography.

To create the image above, Oli created his very own camera from a beer can and used Ilford sheet film to shoot the image. We talked to him more about the setup, the camera, and his photography.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer's Introduction to Pinhole Photography (1 of 1)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

Pinhole cameras are interesting in that they force the photographer to look at a scene and envision is in a long exposure with a certain softness. But those amongst the pinhole community know that all you generally need is a container to hold the film with no light leaks, a small hole in said container with a cover to act as a shutter, and that’s about it. The cool thing is that you can make pinhole cameras from almost anything: like a beer can for example.

In fact, many photographers try to custom make their own pinhole cameras for creativity purposes.

The video below is a simple step by step tutorial on how to create a pinhole camera of your own and tells you how they work. Indeed, they can create very beautiful and haunting images in the hands of the right person and many folks opt for using black and white film over anything else.

Check out the video after the jump.

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