for the "who knew" files

During my lunch time reading of the current issue of The Georgia Straight, (and under the Travel section for some reason..) I came across an article on pinhole cameras.

Within the last little while, this odd, old little form of photography has been creeping around the fringes of my day to day and this last bit of info has pushed me over the edge. So now I blog it.

As I understand it, and, seriously, I don’t claim to even begin to grasp the half of it, a box (up to the size of a large shed) is constructed and a teeny tiny hole or slit is made facing the object that is to be photographed. Film (and I use that term loosely) is placed on the side opposite the slit and left there to expose for a significant length of time. And you cross your fingers. The image appears on the film as it does on the back of your eye: inverted.

It began with my random discovery of the Cariboo Thoughts and Images blog. Not all of her posts are from a pinhole camera, but many are and they are very cool. I also recently visited the Vancouver Art Gallery (something I constantly mean to do, but very rarely get around to) and saw an exhibit of Rodney Graham’s work that included, of course, pinhole camera photography: giant photos of up-side-down trees that were (of course) the literal translation of the pinhole camera. Then, today, I came across the article in the Straight by Andrew Scott referencing, not only pinhole cameras, but the fact that there is an entire day dedicated to the art.

As someone from the point-and-click school of photography, the work and time that seems necessary to devote to this method is mind boggling but also makes the end result that much more intriguing – not intriguing enough to really want to try and spend much time trying it out, but to, perhaps, find more photographs/photographers.

It certainly makes my digital camera look overpriced, but I’m thinking the sheer difference in size, time and delete-capacity make it well worth the initial expense. None of my pics may land in any galleries but that’s a sacrifice I’ll just have to live with for the sake of my point-and-click sanity.

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