7 Pinhole Photographers to Inspire You for World Pinhole Day

Lead photo by Kenneth Leishman. All images used with permission in our interviews.

Pinhole photography: it’s arguably one of the oldest forms of photography and the art that’s been available. These days, it’s used in digital variations but by far many of the best pinhole photographers these days shoot film. So in celebration of the upcoming World Pinhole Day this year, we’ve rounded up a number of our favorite pinhole photographers we’ve interviewed.

Alan Thoburn

Excerpt from our feature:

“I always used a tripod and an exposure calculator (I think it came with the camera, and was based on the size of the pin hole) Basically, it allowed you to take a conventional lightmeter reading, and adjust it using a special chart.” says Thoburn. “I’ve always been strict about technique, and wanted my exposures to be correct, sad I know! I used a slow black & white film, either Ilford Pan F or Ilford FP4, processed at home.”

Check out Alan’s website.

Benjamin Postwalt

Excerpt from our interview:

“Pinhole photography means slowing down.  It means achieving a personal peace when there’s nothing left to do but lose myself in the horizon and the changing tide of a coastal scene as I wait for the camera to finish an eight-minute exposure at dusk. It means maybe making only two or three frames of film count for an entire day. It’s beautifully primitive and simplistically pure.  I feel unbridled.  I no longer fret about battery life or memory cards or spend a minute debating what lens to use next.  It’s just a little wooden box, unfiltered, absorbing the world. And I’m by its side doing the same.”

Check out Ben’s website.

Matthew Pringle

Excerpt from our interview:

“There is certainly a degree of guess work and unpredictability with regards to pinhole photography and that is part of its charm for me. You’re never entirely sure how things will turn out and that can sometimes work in your favour. Understanding exposure times and metering is vital if you want to obtain an image with a good balanced exposure. However, there have been times when I’ve horribly under-exposed a pinhole shot and the resulting darkness of the image has added greatly to its atmosphere and feeling.”

Check out Matt’s website.

Marcio Faustino

Excerpt from our interview:

“When I got into photographing as much as possible with my pinhole camera, I saw the long exposure portraits had a kind of movement on it. For some reason this little movement that the body has, while posing for the long exposure, makes my images look more alive and subtle to my eyes. This is why I don’t see the need or reason to trying make everything sharp with a pinhole camera (or long exposures), because with portraits it always will have some small motion anyway, which I think is much more appealing and interesting than trying motion effects.”

Check out Marcio’s website.

Kenneth Leishman

Excerpt from our interview:

“I was burned out from the digital world. Don’t get me wrong I still shoot with them as well, but in the landscape photography world, everything was vibrant and sharp and I wasn’t really drawn to that anymore. I came across some great pinhole work online and right away fell for it. loved how it gives a dreamy soft feel to it. I said to myself ok I’m going to learn this. That was in December of 2014.”

Check out Ken’s website.

Steven Dempsey

Excerpt from our interview:

“I knew about pinhole photography for years but never thought of trying it on a digital camera. Part of my resistance was the less than inspiring digital pinhole imagery I saw online. The analog/film pinholes I saw, on the other hand, were really impressive but I didn’t want to get into buying and processing my own film. I was determined to try digital pinholing for myself and squeeze everything I could out of the format.”

Check out Steven’s website.

Tomasz Cuncvir

Excerpt from our feature:

“I wanted to present you some of my work I did back in 2010/2011 with a similar design. I have updated it since to make it a SLIT SCAN MATCHBOX PINHOLE CAMERA! (world’s first, perhaps) 🙂”

Check out Tomasz’s website.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.