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Justin Quinnell: The Wonders of Pinhole Photography

We have featured pinhole photographer Justin Quinnell a couple of times here on the Magazine. This time, we'll be looking at the results on one of his projects wherein he taught kids about pinhole photography. See the images and what the pinhole wizard has to say after the break.

Justin Quinnell is considered one of the modern masters in pinhole photography. He has come up with cool and interesting images with his pinhole cameras and he also shares his knowledge through workshops and pinhole photography events. For one of his most recent projects, he worked with some students from University College Falmouth and taught primary school kids about pinhole photography. We asked him a few questions and here’s what he had to say.

Tell us more about this project. What prompted you to take part in this activity?

The project has evolved over several years and is collaboration between: University college Falmouth, (where I am a part time lecturer), the National Trust UK, and local primary schools in Cornwall. The idea is to get kids to encounter 200 years of photography, from pinhole to digital. Humphrey Davey, one of the inventors of photography came from Penzance in Cornwall and its good to let kids in Cornwall know more about the man.

What was it like to teach children about pinhole photography?

I spend much of my life teaching pinhole photography to kids and its always the same – Brilliant! As well encountering the wonder of forming an image through a small hole in a used beer can, the kids begin to understand the processes involved with chemistry, light, time and astronomy. They also all leave with a 6 month duration exposure camera to install in their homes which involves many more members of their family in the wonder.

What was the most unforgettable experience that you had during this project?

It’s all terrific, whether it be the look on their faces when the images appear in a tray of chemicals or looking at their negatives in inverse on a mobile phone. Other recent wonders have included, “Where does the memory card go” and the very wonderful “But what if something happens!”

Are there any other upcoming projects on pinhole photography that you are currently working on?

There’s a 4 year commission I’m in the middle of for the rebuilding of Southmead Hospital in Bristol which would have included 4 year duration exposures but the security team threw the cameras away as they may have been a security risk! I’ve done loads of year and 6 month images though. I am trying to do alternative 6 month duration exposures, (some of which might work!) and was due to be putting camera onto a cruise ship which was off on a round the world cruise but due to maritime accidents that’s on hold!

What tips can you give our readers regarding pinhole photography?

Embrace accidents and play!

For more information, visit Pinhole Photography.

written by jeanmendoza

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