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My Pinhole Obsession

My love for pinhole started back in January, and I have become pinhole obsessive. I have made my pinhole cameras out of tins and I am creating some dreamy, surreal images using black and white and also color photos. Here is a personal story for you all.

It all started in January. I had some new glasses prescribed until September and my eyes got worse and worse. I was upset about this as I need my eyes for what I love to do, which is making images. The turning point for me was that I couldn’t look through the viewfinder any longer. So I went back to the optician who said, “it will get better…” repeatedly, but it didn’t, it actually got worse. So, as an obsessive image maker, I wanted to carry on making images. I decided to make pictures without a working camera and simply create my own as I love analogue photography.

I found an old tin in a charity shop brought it home. I painted the inside black, popped a dress pin through the front and voila! I had my own pinhole camera. I had some light sensitive black and white darkroom paper, which is normally used for printing, and started exposing images. The first results were fascinating. Out came patterns, light leaks, fog, and weird exposures.

Then, after I practiced over and over, I started to use 3 tins and started getting used to exposure times. After getting the hang of it I took my camera outside and starting documenting my life in these tins. Wherever I went I would take the cameras and a dark bag to load them. When I was out I would get such strange looks of people because they were so puzzled with me leaving tins and putting them back in the bag. Quite hilarious, actually! After experimenting ,the most frustrating part would be going back to the darkroom at the college where I study and then finding out that they either did not work or came out completely black from where I had exposed them for too long. But, I managed to record some of my little trips outdoors.

After starting to record my life through pinhole tins and have started to realize the relationship I have with myself. Always being angry at others or upset about my eyes, I would lock myself in my room if I was at home. These images record my life, my personal space, the feelings of being lost at my age and trying to explore myself. My emotions are trapped within the photographs and there is a real deep sense of confusion. It is a very personal project as I feel bewildered at this time of my life.

Research/Methods:

I researched the early nineteenth century methods of photography and how it was invented. I have learned about the Camera Obscura and read a lot about pinhole. I created my own pinhole tins and had some light sensitive paper and just started making images. I love analogue photography so I enjoy hiding away in the darkroom and knew a lot about that before I started making pinhole images. I use a lot of film and analogue cameras so I have a bit of knowledge. With pinhole it’s all about being experimental and learning as you go along. You got to take risks and chances. I have always been a visual person and believe I see the world in a beautiful way. I record my life and make images to show the world what I see. I am a obsessive image maker and I love analogue, it’s my absolute passion. I love experimenting and learning new things. I ooze with creativity and love the feeling of serendipity. I’m trying to make the ordinary, the extraordinary. It’s that thrill of the risk and chance. I have used black and white paper and now experiment with color paper too. I develop my images in the darkroom. My exposures are from 2 seconds to 6 minutes and looking to explore even more. I am in the middle of making even more, so lots more to come.

Color pinholes:

Blue = Positive
Red = Negative

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