World Pinhole Day: Interview with Martin Cheung, Pinhole Photography Master

38

With a series of drool-worthy exposures in a needle-thin opening, check out Lomography Hong Kong's interview with Martin Cheung, Pinhole photographer extraordinaire just in time for the much-awaited World Pinhole Day!

1. Why do you use pinhole photography as your main medium of artistic expression?

I was trained in a proper photography school where they use 4×5 large format to demonstrate most of the technical classes. You know, lighting in studio, composing the shot, tilt and shift, correct exposures…etc
We were taught that the photographer should have the technical ability to pre-visualize and predict the outcome.

However, in 1998, my second school year, I joined a pinhole workshop, ever since, my view to photography has altered. I gave up the view finder in my photography practice because I no longer believe in the “hunting” action by the romanticize photographer role anymore.

I use pinhole cameras, because I like to be in a passive role in the image making process. I’m not a hunter, I’m like a monk, mediating and receives light from the surroundings.

Gathering

2. How long have you been a Lomographer? How did you first learn about Lomography?

In year 1998, I bought my first actionsampler transparent in Melbourne. Using 3200asa black and white film with it was super fun. That’s how I knew Lomography and probably why I end up for an interview in Lomo HK in 2003.

3. What’s your first reaction when you use the Diana Multi-Pinhole Operator?

I believe most people like pinhole photography prefer to construct their own camera, but when you get to a job situation, where art directors and stylists are surrounding u, they want to see what has been taken immediately on the spot, it’s always been like that in the olden days when polaroids were used, but today is digital.

Interesting enough, I encountered a fashion shoot opportunity to use pinhole camera, and my exisiting equipment didn’t have the “instant show” ability, so the Diana multiple pinhole camera with instant back
was the perfect solution for me. By the way, I had 2, one loaded with film, one uses the instant back.

Women

4. Can you share with us the strangest, most interesting and best photographic and Lomographic experience?

I might have mentioned this many times in evey interview, but still, the pinhole duck camera work is still the most interesting experience for me. I loaded a b/w photographic paper into a Chinese roast duck, pinhole
on the duck’s tummy, did a 45 minutes exposure of Melbourne’s Chinatown. Sometimes the thinking progress Is more interesting than by just viewing the photograph.

Duck Pinhole

5. What theme do you want to photograph the most?

I m very interest in how pinhole cameras can collect a period of time, instead of just a fraction of tine (like 1/125s a normal camera does). I have been on-going photographing in long exposures, like 2-3hours kind of Length. If I must describe “my most interested subject”, I think it should be TIME itself.

Film stills

6. You shot some film stills and pinhole for local magazines (in Hong Kong), what was it like?

In many Photo jobs, I often appear as an assistant. During few photo shoots, I chatted with a film director and a magazine editor, they mentioned about pinhole photography, after I showed them my website (www.martincheung.com) and they both told me to try take some shots for them.

That’s how lucky I was to have these seldom opportunities.

In these few Photo Jobs, I use the Diana Multi Pinhole, I will keep my mouth shut about how the photo looks, you see it yourself in the link. There aren’t many chances to take photos commercially with pinhole cameras. May I take this opportunity to thank Director Heiward Mak, and Editor NOVA.

7. Why do you like making your own pinhole cameras, and where do you get all the inspirations?

I guess there is a certain geniality to the object when you DIY, right? Since 1998, I have been making cameras with wood, metal, paper. Recently, I am carrying a 35mm film can everyday, going into supermarkets or department store measuring boxes! Inspiration should come from life!

8. What are you doing now? Any future plan/s?

Another thing that I have always wanted to keep doing is the duck camera in many more cities. I mean I’d like to fly to some European or Asian countries, buy a local duck from their markets, then roast the duck in hostel and make the duck cam to photograph their chinatown. Anyone know air ticket sponsors pls hook me up.

In a month’s time, I’m learning how to make roast duck from cooking class. Hopefully I can graduate from it. :)

9. You will be hosting a Pinhole Workshop on April 25th, sharing your experience in pinhole photography, can you give us a sneak peek?

Actually, I’d rather call it ‘share my experiences’ than tips and tricks. :) Basically, i will show some works by different artists including mine, talk about how they do it and hopefully can inspire our participants. There are more in this workshop, but I’d like to keep this part for the participants on the day itself!

Hotel Rooms

10. Any tips for our aspiring pinhole Lomographers?

Oh! My theory is already in the 10 Lomo golden rules: Bring your camera everywhere you go! Forget about the rules!

I use them everyday. :)

Thank you Martin, and our friends from Lomography Asia who facilitated these great insights!

written by kazarareta on 2010-04-22 in #news #hong-kong #martin-cheung #squares #pinhole-masters-and-magic #pinhole

38 Comments

  1. lawypop
    lawypop ·

    Very inspiring! Amazing stuff from a simple pinhole..DIY somemore

  2. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    soooooooo mayn and sooooo good photos! wow! impressive!

  3. stouf
    stouf ·

    Wooo he's a master for sure ! All the shots are very impressive ! And I love this idea of seeing pinhole photography as meditation... Brilliant !

  4. panelomo
    panelomo ·

    wow - you deserve an applause, man!

    ... now i want a pinhole.

  5. elletra
    elletra ·

    great interview and photos! :D

  6. coca
    coca ·

    this pictures are amazing!! love how he use the light...like lawypop said, is very inspiring!

  7. xbalboax
    xbalboax ·

    wow amazing interview and even better shots!! what an inspiration!

  8. disdis
    disdis ·

    The pictures are so great that I had no time to read the text....

  9. kutshie
    kutshie ·

    This guy is the pinhole god! Really like his work, makes me want to go outside and pinhole everything!

  10. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    The master of Pinhole photography! Very inspiring! You're my idol! Haha!

  11. mcyc
    mcyc ·

    Dear All,
    This is Martin Cheung, I m very glad to receive such honor from you guys.
    I m not God, I m just a man in love with pinhole, please dont hesitate to try it, you will love it too. :-)
    Martin

  12. fancholland2
    fancholland2 ·

    Great article. The pinhole is really something I want to try soon. These shots are really different and have such a nice appearance. Great work. Lomo on!

  13. janiemeringuepie
    janiemeringuepie ·

    These shots are lovely - the car journey is fantastic

  14. rater
    rater ·

    Wow, this is a very inspiring read. I have to admit that I am not a lot into pinhole, but this week I decided to shoot only pinhole in honor of he pinhole day and I have to say that I am loving it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they are priceless!

  15. rodex
    rodex ·

    Loved his pictures and a great interview. Pinhole makes amazing fashion portraits!

  16. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    Still looking for my jaw. I'd wish I could come to your masterclass.

  17. ilovemydiana
    ilovemydiana ·

    very intresting

  18. paramir
    paramir ·

    no words. a master indeed.

  19. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Indeed, a pinhole master! The shots are stunning and beautiful!

  20. flashback
    flashback ·

    reading this and seeing the pics has me inspired for World Pinhole Day. great article!

  21. prettyflowers
    prettyflowers ·

    Very nice shots Martin... Amazing job.

    Now I want a pinhole camera :0)

  22. azurblue
    azurblue ·

    Gorgeous pihnoles ! I'm impressed !

  23. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    www.martincheung.com/

  24. wil6ka
    wil6ka ·

    Martin is a damn genius!

  25. tattso
    tattso ·

    What impresses me most is the quality of the photos, pinhole is seen as a primitive form of photography and Martin just demonstrates here how using simple tools can produce high-end photos which is difficult to achieve even with the the high-end cameras. Nice work man.

  26. mandi
    mandi ·

    so many amazing shots! the hotel room series is so cool!

  27. erikamentari
    erikamentari ·

    wow! i love this! diy simple photography can create stunning results! gotta get pinholing....

  28. lomodesbro
    lomodesbro ·

    A wonderful portfolio of pinholes

  29. arsenic
    arsenic ·

    im so in love!

  30. lornahaddon
    lornahaddon ·

    Very interesting article - it has inspired me to try my hand at pinhole :)

  31. lornahaddon
    lornahaddon ·

    Very interesting article - it has inspired me to try my hand at pinhole :)

  32. makeyuu
    makeyuu ·

    martin, your work is amazing. you really inspired me here.

  33. j_robert
    j_robert ·

    my mind is completely blown by a gallery that is just way too awesome! i am now speechless

  34. kylewis
    kylewis ·

    Congrats on the interview, marvelous images!

  35. maximum_b
    maximum_b ·

    Very good interview, inspiring photos!

  36. eva_eva
    eva_eva ·

    wow, martin, u are my idol!

  37. mcyc
    mcyc ·

    Thanks everyone! I will keep making pinhole images!
    May I also share with you a quote from one of my favourite photographers, Diane Arbus, "A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know."

  38. tattso
    tattso ·

    oh hey martin, that's also my favorite quote!

More Interesting Articles

  • Newcomer of the Week: haydenwilliams

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-05-24 in #world #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: haydenwilliams

    Originally from USA, biochemistry student Hayden Williams traveled halfway across the world to continue his studies in Hong Kong. Going to the Far East opened an opportunity for him to explore what he truly love the most: photography. His adventures in his current home, no matter how spontaneous, are captured in well-executed double exposure photographs. Meet our newcomer of the week, haydenwilliams.

    2
  • Petzval Video: Original Tai O in Hong Kong by YCY

    written by sanamiii on 2014-12-12 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Video: Original Tai O in Hong Kong by YCY

    Tai O is one of the most popular locations for a day trip in Hong Kong. Talented young photographer YCY shows us peaceful Tai O without tourists with an unusual Petzval Video. He also shares tips for shooting with the Petzval Lens. Check out the exclusive interview after the jump.

  • Meet our LomoGuru: sirio174

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-21 in #world #lifestyle
    Meet our LomoGuru: sirio174

    We all know him as the man behind some of the striking street photographs in the community and the inspirational "A Salute to the Masters" series in the magazine. But did you know that he is also an engineering and electronics teacher and a ham radio operator? In this interview, Davide Tambuchi opens up about his fascination with radio, bikes, Subbuteo, and of course analog photography!

    14
  • Shop News

    Colorsplash your World!

    Colorsplash your World!

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • Geoffrey Berliner On Photographic Processes, Old and New

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-06-07 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    Geoffrey Berliner On Photographic Processes, Old and New

    Geoffrey Berliner is the Executive Director of the Penumbra Foundation and the Center for Alternative Photography in New York. As the head of an organization whose goals are 'to be a comprehensive resource for photographers at any level' and 'to continue to publicize the impact photography has had and continues to have on culture, history and the arts,' his exposure to photographic materials -from 19th century gems to modern equipment- is so extensive, one cannot even begin to fathom just how much knowledge and experience this man has acquired. His collection of over 2000 vintage Petzval lenses is unparalleled, and the object of envy of both traditional and contemporary photographers. Although such lenses are reputed to require a certain level of skill to be used, Berliner seems to manage them with so much ease, producing splendid results.

    2
  • Newcomer of the Week: nickt

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-07-05 in #world #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: nickt

    Niccolò Turetta started taking photographs on film at a young age. Looking for tips on making better images, he stumbled upon the website and eventually joined the community as a motivation to further improve his craft. Let's all welcome our newcomer of the week from Torreglia, Italy, nickt!

  • Photo Stories: Old School... No School Anymore by srcardoso

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-07-05 in #world #locations
    Photo Stories: Old School... No School Anymore by srcardoso

    Soon, a school more than a century old in Switzerland will be closing its doors and transformed to house offices. Taking on the important task of documenting its hallowed halls is srcardoso, who made use of film as a way of honoring it.

  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Photo of the Day by olga_primavera

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-07-05 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by olga_primavera

    A lone man makes the most of the day of spring by taking a leisurely walk around the picturesque city.

    1
  • Taking Back Tipsters: Masks

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-07-05 in #world #tipster
    Taking Back Tipsters: Masks

    See your photographs in a whole new light with masks. We've handpicked five different tipsters for you to try!

  • Bright and Colorful Snapshots from the Community Courtesy of the Lomography Ringflash

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-07-05 in #gear #news
    Bright and Colorful Snapshots from the Community Courtesy of the Lomography Ringflash

    Illuminate your subjects with an even burst of light with the Lomography Ringflash. While you're at it, find out how you can earn piggies and have your very own Ringflash photos be featured on the Online Shop!

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Alexandradaud is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-07-05 in #world
    Alexandradaud is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to alexandradaud for winning Home of the Day!

  • A Vintage Road Trip

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-07-05 in #world #lifestyle
    A Vintage Road Trip

    Being on the road is an antidote to urban lethargy. Imagine what unbridled fun it must have been back then, with no handy gadgets to replace face-to-face interaction and new sights.

  • Jason D. Page and the Magic of Light Painting

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-07-05 in #people #lifestyle
    Jason D. Page and the Magic of Light Painting

    Having first discovered light painting by chance, Jason D. Page is now recognized as a leader in the field. He has pioneered multiple light paintings techniques and his work has been featured in many exhibitions and galleries worldwide. He's a passionate, creative artist and the founder of both Light Painting Brushes and LightPaintingPhotography.com — a website dedicated to everything surrounding light painting!