An avid photography enthusiast myself, I found my work and hobby becoming one and I had this urge to start a side project to get away from my emails and excel. I started doing this little personal project called “Life Suction” in which I document my daily life with the Diana Multi-Pinhole Operator…
Upon setting up the project, I gave myself some limitations – the project should not take any of my personal and work time; I could do it daily; I could do it anywhere, anytime I want; I should get an objective perspective of my life. Under this guideline, I came up “Life Suction” in which I document the moments (Eat, Play, Rest, Work, Transport) of the routine life using the Diana Multi-Pinhole Operator which is picked for its particular characteristics. I mean, why are we so obsessed about capturing that short vacation or party which is perhaps just 1% of our lifetime (at least that’s my case)? Why is nobody documenting the routines, the borings hence dignifying these essential and large portion of our life? That’s the intention of this little pet project.
Basically I would take long exposure pinhole shots, usually from 30 minutes to 1 hour and more, with the Diana camera during dinners, karaokes, company meetings, sleeping, taking a bus, etc. The camera just hangs there, watching us, and voila, there’s my photo.
I attach a big chunk of blu-tack on the back of the camera, which enables me to attach the camera on any smooth surface. And after comparing different cameras, the Diana Multi-Pinhole works best with me because:
- It has a very wide view angle, allowing me to maximizing the viewpoint in the interior spaces.
- It is so light, I can basically stick it around for hours, and it won’t move or fall.
- It has a sturdy build, so in case my blu-tack tactic fails and the camera falls, the camera will not not bare serious damage.
- It does not look intimidating. I could stick it even in the airport and nobody, not even the security guard, would think it’s a bomb.
- It shoots 120, I can blow up my photos for any exhibition opportunity.
- It shoots square format, it gives my photos a neutral perspective.
How long should you expose your photos to get a clear image? There isn’t a simple formula to that. The F-stop of the Diana Mult-Pinhole is roughly equivalent to F128, you can get an exposure with your lightmeter. However, due to reciprocity the read exposures will not work correctly with your films in long exposure. My suggestion is, go ahead and shoot long exposure in different situations, and you will develop a sense of timing. From my experience:
- ISO 200-400
- Indoor bright light: 30 minutes to 2 hours
- Indoor dim light: 2 hours to just go wild
- Outdoor bright sunlight: 1-5 seconds
- Outdoor cloudy: 15 seconds to 1 minute
If you feel curious enough, go ahead and document every aspect of your life with this technique. You will find unbelievable beauty and meaning in the most mundane moments which you constantly overlook.