For this week’s post, I am going to talk a bit about pinhole photography, something I first experimented with this past semester and, despite the frustrations that may come along with it, a style I had a good deal of fun learning about.
For any potential readers who may not already be familiar with the concept of pinhole photography, basically what it all boils down to is punching a very very small hole, typically in a thin brass sheet although plastic and other materials are sometimes used, to form a fixed aperture that, if done properly, can yield an exceptional depth of field. If done improperly (the hole is too big, too jagged, or clogged with debris) the results are less pristine, but can still be rather interesting nonetheless. A good example of such a pinhole, at least in my own opinion, is the image attached below; ordinarily, exposing while facing a light source such as I had would yield a generally blown out image that wouldn’t really be considered “usable,” however, the imperfect nature of my pinhole (despite my own best efforts) caused the light to enter the camera at an uneven rate, and expose the film with varying levels of intensity, rather unlike a traditional lens, allowing for the strange and somewhat sporadic quality that the light seems to have.
Another distinctly pinhole quality is extended, or almost draped, motion. As one familiar with photography may know, as the lens’ aperture increases, slower and slower shutter speeds are necessary to achieve adequate exposure; such is the case with pinhole that, the aperture being so small, shutter speeds are dramatically slower than what would be typically conducive to the conditions, even in broad daylight. As a result, any moving objects will tend to trail. The veiling effect that is sometimes used when shooting flowing water also more naturally applies to pinhole, as is shown in the featured image above. Although I went into the project attempting to do my very best to have the smallest and sharpest pinhole I could, I am still satisfied nonetheless with the less than perfect one that I crafted, to my eyes it is sharp enough that images taken with it remain coherent but it has an ethereal, almost dreamy quality that lends itself to the creation of some cool stuff.