When I was a student at the Fine Arts Academy in Perugia, I fell in love with stenopeic photography and started gathering every kind of document I could about it and its technical evolution. I asked for some information from my photography teacher, Antonio Todini – He suggested that I search “Pinhole Photography” on the internet and as a way of remembering things said: “Pinhole, it sounds like pinolo (pine nut, in Italian), but with the ‘H’ after the ‘N’ and the final ’E’”. Since that moment the little nut planted itself in my mind and grew in the form of a challenge to make my very own pine nut pinhole camera!
After eating the pine nut fruit, I used the sides of the shell as a “camera obscura”. I needed the inside to be black, so I painted it. Then, I made a hole in the center of one side and applied on it a plate with a pinhole in the center. I also made two little metal rings, whose function was to keep shut the nut and keep off the light.
In a dark room I snipped some photographic paper paper as big as the pinenut size and put them into the little camera, that I called Pinholo. I used my thumb as shutter.
Removing the thumb from the hole and pointing the nut at my face then pointed a flash light right on my face (and going blind for a while).
Back in the dark room, I opened the Pinholo and put the photographic paper bit in the developing bowl. At the center of the paper started to appear something, somehow similar to a portrait… the Pinholo functioned!
With the scanner I enlarged the little negatives and restored them in positive. Eureka! The portraits were real!
So, I was able to turn a pine nut into a functioning stenopeic camera. I was so enthusiast that I based my graduation thesis on the pinholo. And it was a winning choice!
Born as a wordplay, soon the pinholo became a challenge and, years later, it still is intriguing, while I still play and take on new challenges…
Alessandro Casagrande is a film photographer based in Milan where he gained a BA at the Italian Institute of Photography. He was fascinated with photography from an early age and it became a way of communicating his vision and capturing dreams and desires along the way.
Alberto Ros is a Spanish photographer who grew up surrounded by photography. He became a part of the photography world early on, and he has been fascinated with it ever since. His project Hidden Humanity will take your breath away and raise many questions regarding the society we live in.
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Grab the latest instax films and share your creativity in an instant! Make it classic and formal with the Fuji Instax Mini Monochrome or Fuji Instax Mini Black Frame, or light and bright with the Fuji Instax Mini Sky Blue available in the shop now!
Photographer and art director Luca-Mercedes Stemer is one of the founders of HONEST., a magazine dedicated to preserving the tangible aspect of film photography. In this interview, she looks back on her early days as a young photographer and dishes out some tips on how to make it in the industry.
By far the oddest-looking camera I own, the Electric Eye is an auto-exposure viewfinder camera made by Bell & Howell in the late 1950s. I picked one up online and ended up with another one, that came with a very cool, retro looking carrying case, from my grandfather. It took a little while to try these two out but after running some film I found that this camera is a lot of fun to shoot with.
This travel story re-imagines my brief stop at the Frontier Bar in Dunkirk, Montana in 1957. I photographed images found on the internet to reconstruct a visual context of our road trip, as all the negatives and color slides are lost.