Friday, 16 October 2009

Pinhole photography...

Yes... I haven't done much with my blog lately... Sorry to all you avid readers out there...
I recently bought a pinhole camera. It's a Zero Image 45 Deluxe and is a lovely piece of craftsmanship. The 45 means that it uses 4" x 5" sheets of film which are the smallest of the "large format" film sizes... Each frame segment of the camera adds to the focal length and it roughly equates to 25mm, 50mm and 75mm focal lengths in 35mm film terms. The pinhole apertures are tiny and therefore you need exceptionally long exposure times to make things happen. The aperture for each focal length is slightly different and therefore there's some maths to do once you take a meter reading of the scene. The aperture for 75mm is f216!
Today I took a photo in my kitchen and the exposure time given the tiny aperture was 96 minutes... This was partly due to the aperture but also due to the film. The longer film is exposed to light the less receptive it is to taking in more light... Google "reciprocity failure" for and explanation better than I can give.
The next part of the learning curve comes with handling, loading and processing sheet film... All of this was a natural part of photography 40 years ago when press photographers used large format cameras routinely. I took the five unprocessed sheets to the lab today and have to wait for a week to get them back!!! Talk about delayed gratification!
Next will be scanning the negatives and working out the best way to do that. As soon as I have all of that worked out I will post some images (both good and bad).I am really looking forward to playing around with the long exposures to see what creative things can happen.
There are some awesome pinhole images out there if you Google the term.

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