Friday, November 16, 2012

Pinhole Photography

A classy wooden pinhole camera
Some of my credits come from weekend workshops: last weekend we had 'Studio Flash Photography' (very interesting, but not my favorite - we had to persuade random people from the street to come into the studio to be our models...I tripped all over myself physically and verbally) and today we had 'Intro to Pinhole.' This is my new favorite thing. It even tops pistachio gelato, which is saying a lot.

We started by making our own cameras from Illy espresso tins. No big deal. Spray paint the inside black (dark room/camera obscura), cut a hole in the middle of the tin, then cover it with a piece of aluminum with a needle size hole (lens) in the middle, cover the needle hole with a piece of black tape (shutter). We also covered the top of our cameras with black plastic hats so that light couldn't get into the crack where the lid screws on.

We lined the inside of the can with photo paper in the dark room, and then we took our little cameras on their first outing to Santa Croce.

We taped the can to a tripod and took a light reading. I'm not going to bore you with the f-stop numbers and exposure times, so in layman's terms we took the photo by removing the piece of tape covering the needle hole, waiting 20 seconds, and then covering the hole back up. We trotted back to the dark room and developed the photo paper similar to how you develop a film negative, hanging them up to dry when we were done.

I must live in a cave. Before today I was completely unaware of pinhole photography, and now I want to do it all the time...last step was exposing our negatives on another piece of photo paper for the final result:

What's this, you ask? Oh, just a photo that I took with my Illy camera. Who says that photography has to be an expensive hobby? My life is changed. And the above isn't even the real deal yet (it still has water drops on it because it's still on the drying rack), but I was too excited to wait until next week to scan it properly.

I'm so grateful for the many different shifts of perspective that my time here in Florence has gifted to me, and I have a dizzy amount of project ideas floating around in my head. If you're looking for me this weekend, I'll be around town with my new tin camera.