I remember how mesmerized I was when my teacher made a pinhole camera one day at junior school. A large cutout was made into the back of a shoebox, and tracing paper was then used to cover this gap. I was already playing around with compact cameras by this age, but to see a live image being focused onto a screen in real time was fascinating. No doubt these five photographers below experienced a similar moment at some point in their lives. They went on to hone their skills in pinhole photography to produce ethereal results with pinhole cameras, both analog and digital. Here are the best pinhole photographers shooting black and white photos that we’ve interviewed over the years.
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Pinhole photography doesn’t produce the sharpest results. But is it possible to correct this when using a film stock known for rendering details well? That’s what Alex Galmeanu set out to discover when he used 400 ASA Kodak T-Max 400 with a homemade pinhole camera. If you want to know what his approximation of the fascinating aperture value was, read about it in our interview.
Seascapes look great in long exposures, and what better camera to use for ultra-long exposures than pinhole types. Using a wooden pinhole camera, David has taken dreamy photos of the beachside in Barcelona. It’s all about the misty waves, as you can see in our feature on his pinhole work.
Proving that good photography doesn’t have to be about gear is photographer Matthew Pringle. As many pinhole photographers do, he trains his cameras toward the seaside. Creating dreamy scenes, Matthew tells us why he loves doing this in our interview.
Atmosphere and feeling are of fundamental importance to me and I hope to convey this though my photographyMatthew Pringle
While pinhole photography isn’t the mainstay of Alan Thoburn’s work, he’s certainly built an impressive portfolio of it. He’s got a special exposure calculation chart that he uses to work out the exposure times. Most of these photos are devoid of human subjects. More haunting photos from this talented photographer can be seen here.
Embracing the unpredictability of the nature of pinhole photography and also making a variety of her own cameras is Sharon Harris. She has over 20 cameras that she handmade by herself, and she produces surreal photos that cause the viewer to pause and reflect.
I enjoy participating in this art form from start to finish. The making of cameras, loading cameras, and watching images develop in the darkroom all bring me joy.Sharon Harris, on pinhole photography
All images are used with permission and are copyrighted by the respective pinhole photographers. The lead image is by Sharon Harris.