Long-exposure pinhole shots can be great fun – people become a blur, depth of field is near infinite, but how do you get shots that work when you need to stand still for twenty minutes at a time?
The arrival of my Diana F+ キラメキpretty much coincided with International Pinhole day, so I decided to take my new camera out and shoot my first roll of medium format film with the Diana’s F150 pinhole setting. At first this meant I was holding my camera up for a minute to an hour at a time (to be honest I gave up before an hour had passed…) but then I remembered Golden Rules 4 and 8 – shoot from the hip, and you don’t have to know what you’ll capture beforehand. I put my viewfinder down, used the handy little thingamjig that hangs off the side of the Diana to hold the shutter open, and let the light in!
Of course, you’ve got to have an idea about how long you need to shoot for, which is where your latest smartphone comes in handy. The app store has a few free light metre apps, which will tell you how long to leave your shutter open, and your phone even has a stopwatch so you can keep track of how long you’ve had your shutter open! Unfortunately, the app I have doesn’t have the Diana’s pinhole aperture setting (F150) but does have F128 and F181. A little bit of guesswork somewhere in the middle will get you a good result most times. With pinhole photography, the margin for error is pretty wide – a minute or two either side won’t ruin your shot.
So set your timer, set your camera down on a relatively stable surface and watch people watching you in confusion. You’re not taking a photo! You’re not even touching your camera!