Pinhole Experiments by @rocket_fries0036 and @macasaett

Lomography Magazine writers @rocket_fries0036 (Javier) and @macasaett (Therese) recently set out to explore different aspects of the 120 realm — going lens-less with cameras from the Diana line and trying out pinhole photography for the first time.

Pinhole photography offers a "break" in one’s usual practice of film photography. With an aperture of f/126, photographs shot on a pinhole camera are interesting, to say the least. In the literal sense, it offers a slower pace from the usual muscle memory of snapping away and capturing the “perfect millisecond moment” on film. It could even be considered low-maintenance since it demands you to step away from the camera for a while due to the long-exposure shots. In the figurative sense, it challenges what we think we know about the relationship between light and time.

Using the Diana F+ and Diana Multi Pinhole Operator paired with the Lomography Color Negative 120 ISO 800, see the results from Javier and Therese’s first foray into pinhole photography.

Therese (@macasaett) & the Diana F+

Photos 1-3: 10 min. exposed

For my first try at pinhole photography, I took the Diana F+ with me to document one morning I went bouldering. The entire area was lit up with natural light and so I was curious to see how the motion could be captured within a 10 minute time frame per photo.

Photo-wise, the candy-colored likeness from the images surprised me considering that I left the shutter on for a longer period of time than I had initially planned.

Camera-wise, I was genuinely surprised with the number of features the Diana F+ has within its portable build. Simply unscrew the lens, set it on bulb mode, switch on the pinhole function, and lock the shutter latch down with the attached lock (exactly built for pinhole photography) to explore a new way of shooting on film à la medium format. The pin lock makes it convenient for us to shoot pinhole photographs hands-free.

My one takeaway from the morning of capturing sports-related (or any activity, really!) pinhole photographs would be to ensure the camera is placed on a steady surface or on solid ground so as to limit the unnecessary motion caused by little bumps — since that’s exactly what happened in my case (see photo 3).

Photos 4-6: 15 min. exposed, Photo 7: 5 sec. exposed

In the last half of my pinhole experiment, I captured a few moments from my first try at wheel throwing. The pottery studio welcomed in a lot of natural light so I was keen on taking more pinhole photos knowing that a couple “properly exposed” images would surely be reflected.

Compared to the first set of pinhole photos shot in the bouldering gym, these new photos hold more figures in frame as almost everyone in the pottery studio was seated for longer periods of time. With that, the pinhole photographs captured more noticeable remnants of each person within the frame.

For the final photo from this set (see above right), I wanted to see how a pinhole image would look when shot for 5 seconds. So I steered away from the minutes-long exposures and hoped for the best. Fortunately enough, a semi “well exposed” image came through with prominent motion blur and vignettes.

This experience showed me how the passage of time is at the forefront of pinhole photography; highlighting movement, time, and space, and how they all converge to bring out the softer and dreamy elements of an image.

Javier (@rocket_fries0036) & the Diana Multi Pinhole Operator

Credits: rocket_fries0036

For my roll, I used the Diana Multi Pinhole Operator which is the dedicated Diana camera for pinhole photography. It has features such as multiple pinhole openings, an option to add color gels to create psychedelic colors, and even an option to shoot either 12 classic square shots, 16 small squares, or endless panoramas. The first two shots were test shots so I decided to take a pinhole photograph of the Manila Lomography office and my bedroom.

Credits: rocket_fries0036

During the rest of my time with the camera, I took it to different parties where I usually shoot and perform, such as Sado Maso Disco and Jasphonica. I thought it would be interesting to try pinhole photography in these settings, as they provide a mix of crowd movement, lighting, and other random elements that occur during raves.

The next four photos were taken during the Sado series of parties, where I placed the pinhole behind and in front of the DJ booth. Although I did not use a pinhole calculator for this experiment, I gave the camera at least a 40-minute exposure to hopefully capture something. Luckily, these photos have a surreal quality that mimics the freedom and dreaminess of these long, drawn-out nights.

Credits: rocket_fries0036

For the latest set of pictures, I attended Jasphonica, a party that had a much more light than the last one. In comparison to the previous photos, I was able to place the camera on a ledge to get a better view of the party. Although the lighting at this place was much better, I wanted to experiment with each photo having an exposure of 1 hour in sync with the different DJ sets happening during the event. The shots turned out exactly how I imagined a pinhole rave photo would look, with glimpses of people captured through the blurry movement at the bottom, mixed in with the chaotic lights from above.

Final Takeaways

Overall, the experience required three things from us: (1) patience, (2) stable surfaces, and (3) willingness to explore this format. Pinhole photography commands one to embrace the motion-focused frame and multi-layered image, making it worth trying at least once in one’s film photography life.

For future pinhole experiments, we hope to try out shooting with multiple exposures along with the colored gels.

Load up on 120 film rolls through the Lomography online shop and take advantage of our significant price reductions on our medium format film!

And take a look at LomoSchool to learn more about pinhole photography and everything else related to the analogue practice!

written by macasaett on 2023-12-12 #gear #night #pinhole #medium-format #120 #indoors #day

Mentioned Product

Lomography Diana F+

Lomography Diana F+

Take timeless and dramatic photos on 120 film with the Diana F+. Create stunning soft-focused images and customize it with sweet lenses or even an instant back for additional effects and flexibility.

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