Fay Henexson | On creative pins and needles

On creative pins and needles

May 27, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

cayucos, pier, pinholeCayucos pierPinhole camera effect

Pinhole takes photography back to the absolute basics - just a box with a tiny hole to let the light in.  A portable camera obscura.  Since there’s no lens, you can’t focus or change the aperture.  And if it’s a true pinhole box camera, the shutter is just a little flap (lift it and start counting) and there’s probably no viewfinder.

I say all this, of course, having never used one, so hopefully my description is accurate.  But I’ve been thinking about pinhole photography lately, and decided to experiment with processing techniques that convey the dreamy qualities that come to mind when you think of pinhole camera images.  They often show dramatic vignetting, a pleasing grain and blur.  

"Morro Bay", dock, pinholeWaitingMorro Bay. Pinhole camera effect.

Choosing the subject matter is important, and I think these images capture the emotional impact that pinhole photographs can have.  There are two images taken on piers that give a sense of loneliness (the tattered chair and long shadows) and open space (the long pier with human figures barely visible in the distance).  And then the hood ornament of an old truck, shot with a dramatic wide angle.

Of course experimenting with creative techniques that evoke this retro technology makes me long for the real thing.  There are some nifty wooden pinholes being made now - a wooden camera!  Hmmm….  More to come?

California, Campo, "Motor Transport Museum", pinhole, truckFigureheadPinhole camera effect. Motor Transport Museum, Campo.


No comments posted.

  In the Moment: Michael Frye's Landscape Photography Blog

 Carol Leigh photography blog

 David du Chemin photography blog

 Fine Art Landscape Photography of Seung Kye Lee 

 My Modern Met "where art enthusiasts and trend spotters connect over creative ideas"

 Ian Plant Dreamscapes photography blog

 William Neill's Light on the Landscape photoblog

 Art Wolfe blog

Recently read, and highly recommended:

The creative habit (Twyla Tharp)

The museum of extraordinary things (Alice Hoffman)

Jane Gardam's "Old Filth" trilogy: Old Filth, The man in the wooden hat, and Last Friends

The good Lord bird (James McBride)

Snow hunters (Paul Yoon)