Justin Quinnell - The Pinhole Wizard

18

Justin Quinnell is a master at making weird and wondrous pinhole photographs - He recently worked as the Pinhole consultant for the movie 'The Brothers Bloom' and his cameras are featured in the film. We took the opportunity to talk to him about his Hollywood experience and fascination for pinhole photography.

Louis (Getting to know Dad)

How did you first get introduced to the world of Pinhole photography?

I’m not sure if this has much relevance but when I was 4 I had several operations on my eyes to sort out something. I remember having a patch on one eye with a small hole to see through. I also remember a fairly unsuccessful experiment when I was at school. It was well after my degree however that I got hooked. I was head of the photography department at a non-too affluent area of Bristol, the kids couldn’t afford cameras, (but could afford several cans of coke every day) so I got them to make cameras out of their drink cans and got hooked myself. It was all pre Internet, so apart from the pinhole journal and a few obscure magazines I didn’t know anyone else who was doing that kind of work.

Breakfast

What is it about Pinhole Photography which most fascinates you?

There is no view finder, it clashes art and science after a 150 year schism, a lot happens in pre-visualising the images, elements of time, astronomy, wonder etc. etc. etc. (This is what I go on about for hours in my lectures!). It’s also cheap, and it’s anti-commercial. I am involved with the Green Party and was getting disillusioned with photography and the amount of destruction it can cause – pin-holing gets around this.

It’s also delving into the unknown, a bit like riding a unicycle – It feels like you are constantly falling, I quite like that!

Seaside

We hear you worked on the recent film ‘The Brothers Bloom’ as ‘Pinhole Consultant’ – Could you tell us a little about it?

I had a phone call from Belgrade whilst on a train from University of Falmouth where I teach part time. It was from a researcher who said the writer and director of a film wanted to use my photos. My brother had just died so I didn’t really know what it was about until a few weeks later I found myself emailing with Rian Johnson. I ended up in CA with my family for a month and having a ball! The film is great but a few of the pinhole bits got edited from the UK version. Its release was also delayed for ages, which didn’t help. His next film ‘Looper’ has Bruce Willis, no pinhole though!

Two of Justin’s Pinhole cameras which feature in the film ‘The Brothers Bloom’

What’s your favourite Pinhole photo you’ve ever taken?

The Royal Crescent – Bath. It was one of my first successful colour images and taken in 1991 when you had to wait for 4 days till your film was processed! The one I’m most sorry didn’t come out was a mouth photo of my son Louis when he was being born.

Royal Crescent – Bath

Any tips for people new to Pinhole photography?

Don’t think too much, just do stuff.

What do you do when you’re not taking photos?

Family stuff (I have a beautiful wife and two equally fab kiddies), bird watching, slobbing around in a pub, mending the leaks in our motor home! (usual stuff!). Currently I am trying to get a slipped disc sorted. (The MRI scan almost messed up due to a pinhole camera I had in my pocket!)

Clifton Suspension Bridge

See more amazing Pinhole photos by Justin on his website

World Pinhole Day is on Sunday! Read more about it here

Want to learn how to make a Pinhole camera at home? Watch this video featuring Justin!

written by tomas_bates on 2011-04-19 in #lifestyle

18 Comments

  1. kneehigh85
    kneehigh85 ·

    This man is a legend!

  2. kylewis
    kylewis ·

    Video isn't showing Tomas!
    I met Justin some years ago now and he was charming amusing and did a kick ass workshop!

  3. kwakken
    kwakken ·

    I will definitely try this!

  4. nihil28
    nihil28 ·

    Amazing

  5. zynneh
    zynneh ·

    I love this guy! :)

  6. sebby
    sebby ·

    in my photography class we talk about him. He's got his own style, its awesome.

  7. reminator
    reminator ·

    love it

  8. mhgrobler
    mhgrobler ·

    This guy is amazing. I just love him

  9. lenire
    lenire ·

    i have his book. its awesome

  10. avocado-in-a-world-of-cucumbers
    avocado-in-a-world-of-cucumbers ·

    I need to get his book.
    I love pinhole photography so much! The fact that you can make a camera out of literally anything blows my mind. I've made one out of can before but I need to try out some other material.

  11. fenella
    fenella ·

    Mmmm very interesting

  12. jasiehasie
    jasiehasie ·

    Wow. I dont even read all that much but Justin Quinnell has made it worth it! He is brilliant!

  13. aizatuddinaniq
    aizatuddinaniq ·

    nicee

  14. evnka
    evnka ·

    " a bit like riding a unicycle – It feels like you are constantly falling, I quite like that!" I like that too!

  15. kitija
    kitija ·

    wow, so interesting.

  16. eyeballin
    eyeballin ·

    amaze.

    His solarography is just beaut

  17. gemmasphotos
    gemmasphotos ·

    I'm a photography student at Falmouth uni and I met him last october, he helped all of with pinholes! He's awesome XD These are some of my attempts if you're interested :D
    www.lomography.com.br/homes/gemmasphotos/albums/1897148-pin…

  18. michai8
    michai8 ·

    these are gorgeous....

More Interesting Articles

  • Pinhole master Justin Quinnell invites you to celebrate World Pinhole Day

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-04-26 in #lifestyle
    Pinhole master Justin Quinnell invites you to celebrate World  Pinhole Day

    Although already equipped with a degree in Photography, Justin Quinnell got into pinhole photography a little over a decade ago, when he became the Head of Photography while teaching in a college in Bristol, United Kingdom, a time when "one person would have a fully manual Zenith B beside another with a fully automatic camera. " We've had interviews with Justin in the Magazine through the years, and one thing hasn't changed: his enthusiasm for pinhole photography.

  • LomoAmigo:Tom Hyatt

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-07-25 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo:Tom Hyatt

    Now based in London, Tom Hyatt is a London-based singer originally from Lancashire who has been compared to folk master John Martyn. Recently, he was given the opportunity to record a live session for the BBC. We gave him a La Sardina camera and asked him to document his rise to fame. Say hello to Tom Hyatt.

  • LomoAmigo Asher Moss Tries the Lomo'Instant

    written by antoniocastello on 2014-12-10 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo Asher Moss Tries the Lomo'Instant

    We love Asher Moss' work. He's been our LomoAmigo for quite some time and is always eager to try new stuff. We recently gave him the Lomo'Instant camera to experiment with, and here are some of his shots.

  • Shop News

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Build vivid hanging LomoCurtains, robust free-standing LomoCastles, and dazzling mounted LomoMosaics! Just click them together with the Lomography Photoclips!

  • How to Make Pinhole Camera from a Soda Can

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-04-27 in #lifestyle
    How to Make Pinhole Camera from a Soda Can

    Justin Quinnell’s expertise when it comes to pinhole wizardry is unquestionable. This photographer and lecturer from Bristol, United Kingdom, has crafted the most unusual of pinhole projects, from installing cameras onto ships cruising around the Caribbean to taking photos of his kids being born from inside his mouth. One other project that he is known for is being able to make a pinhole camera from a soda can. Watch the video below and learn how!

  • Singapore's Vincent Huang Shoots with the Lomography Petzval Art Lens!

    written by edwinchau on 2015-02-27 in #people #lomoamigos
    Singapore's Vincent Huang Shoots with the Lomography Petzval Art Lens!

    Vincent Huang is a Singapore-based photographer specializing on bridal and corporate photography. In this feature, he talks about his work and experience incorporating the Petzval Art Lens into his workflow, and showcases some of the resulting romantic photographs.

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Singapore's Darren Poh

    written by edwinchau on 2014-12-19 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Singapore's Darren Poh

    Clean, moody and spontaneous are three words to describe Darren Poh’s work. The Singapore-based wedding photographer shot with the new Petzval Lens recently, and talks about his experience in this exclusive interview.

  • Shop News

    Get 20% off on the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit

    Get 20% off on the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit

    Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with this lens package made especially for Micro 4/3 digital cameras.

  • Photographer Gilbert Blecken Captures Iconic Musicians on Film

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-03-02 in #people #lifestyle
    Photographer Gilbert Blecken Captures Iconic Musicians on Film

    Back in the 1990s, Gilbert Blecken was a big music fan and wrote for his own small music fanzine. He would interview bands in between sound checks and take photographs of them. He was never a professional photographer or worked for a company; he simply did it for his fanzine. Twenty years on, Gilbert’s photographs have matured into an amazing documentation of some of the biggest music icons of that era. We caught up with Gilbert to ask him about these photographs and the fascinating story behind them.

    3
  • Petzval Artist: Thai Wedding Shoot by Arat aka Huge

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-07-11 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist: Thai Wedding Shoot by Arat aka Huge

    Arat Komsawadichai aka Huge is a photographer from Thailand who is passionate about film photography. He used to be a regular at the Lomography Soho store and would often hang out in the shop and help customers out just because he's so crazy about film! Arat recently had the opportunity to shoot his brother's wedding using the Petzval Lens and LomoChrome Purple film, yielding fascinating results.

  • Interview: Gregor Servais and His Pinhole-d Seascapes

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-09 in #lifestyle
    Interview: Gregor Servais and His Pinhole-d Seascapes

    If you've stumbled upon last month's feature on Dutch photographer Gregor Servais, then you must be curious about his impressive pinhole works. Whether you're a pinhole aficionado or someone new to this craft, read on and find out more about the pinhole master in an insightful interview!

    2
  • 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!

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Biking with Anton

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-09-26 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Biking with Anton

    ANTON is an award-winning portrait photographer based in the United Kingdom. He was a semi-finalist for Hasselblad Master in 2010 and was named ‘Photographer of the Year’ in the Southeast by the BIPP in 2012. He is a big fan of Lomography and recently photographed fans with their favourite camera in our Soho Store. We lent him a Petzval lens and crownd him out latest LomoAmigo! Read on for more

  • 4 Years in Paradise: Living and Learning in French Polynesia

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-02-04 in #world #locations
    4 Years in Paradise: Living and Learning in French Polynesia

    People seek extraordinary experiences while traveling, but not everyone gets to have an adventure of a lifetime. When lomographer Stephane Heinz (popularly known as vicuna in the Lomography community) saw the opportunity, he took the chance to travel and live miles away from his hometown in France. He and his wife, Kathi, came back home with a luggage full of valuable experiences and life lessons. Vicuna tells us about his four-year adventure in French Polynesia in this travel special.

    23
  • Lomo’Instant Quick Shots by Nils of Lomography France

    written by lomographyfrance on 2014-11-01 in #reviews
    Lomo’Instant Quick Shots by Nils of Lomography France

    Nils, our amazing new staff member from Lomography France. Aside from photography, he likes pizza, surfing, and fireworks. He recently took the Lomo'Instant for a spin in Paris. In the narrow streets, he had some funny encounters and had a great time with multiple exposures. He now shares with us his first impressions!