Further Ondu Experience

After my initial experience with the Ondu 35mm pano pinhole camera led to me mistakenly shooting standard 35mm format I wanted to do what the camera was designed for…panoramas.

Salthouse 2

Shooting panoramic format is effectively the same as shooting standard 35mm frames. When loading the camera you remove the “Blinds” which normally delineate the standard frame. I put these in a small baggie and keep them in my camera bag for fear of them being lost. You then, need to ensure you make the correct number of turns to ensure no overlap of the frames. Regarding the number of turns, I suspect the instructions Ondu provides are a little conservative and you could reduce the number of turns, particularly for later frames, but I don’t have enough experience to make a recommendation as yet.

Salthouse 3

So, as you can see, the panoramic format is really nice, and comes with some vignetting which is typical of many pinhole cameras and which I personally believe add to the resulting image. These shots were taken on the North Norfolk Coast at Salthouse. This part of the coast was protected by a shingle (pebble) bank. I say was as in the storm surge at the end of 2013 the shingle bank was breached and effectively flattened by the sea, leading to the salt marshes and part of the village to be flooded. A local group of photographers has recently auctioned some shots to raise money for the flood appeal, more details here.

Salthouse 4

I’m pretty happy with the results of these shots! notwithstanding my usual challenges “Seeing” in black and white (I suck at that). For those who are interested, these were shot on Fuji Neopan Acros 100 and developed in Rodinal (R09) 1:100 semi-stand.

The eagled eyed among you will notice the negatives are scratched. I’m not massively surprised by this and actually am really kicking myself for not doing what I usually do with all wooden cameras. As you’ll see in the shots below, I have now taped the internals of the camera with black insulating (electricians) tape, and I’d recommend you do the same. When loading you should then wipe each taped area down to remove any possible grit, even the tiniest piece can cause a scratch. You need to tape anywhere the film might drag when it is being wound on. Finally, when loading the camera be very careful to try and remove any grit from the felt of the reusable film can. The reason for this is that, again, any grit can scratch the film. Don’t use your fingers for this as you don’t want things to get greasy.


Tape - close up

So, there ends today’s Ondu update, I’m still really enjoying using this camera and will post more images as I make them.

EDIT: I’ve since been contacted by Ondu (who are great guys) who’ve let me know that all cameras are now taped so this might only be something you need to think about with the first generation of cameras.

2013 Solargraphs

Finally, the results of my 2013 solargraphs are in, and I’m pretty happy with them. Before I present the shots though, here’s another quick plug for the great pinhole shirt from  Lucia Joglar…you know you want one!  The exposures were started at the end of February 2013, and collected at the end of December, approximately a 10 month exposure.

2013 Solargraph 1All of the images were exposed at my mum’s house in the middle of Norfolk. The first (above) was taken overlooking the meadow behind the house.

2013 Solargraph 2

At this point I guess I should talk a little about the technique. The images are made by exposing standard black and white paper in a pinhole camera (made from a can, and old film canister or similar). At the end of the exposure the paper is scanned and then inverted in an image processing software (Photoshop or similar). No processing of the paper is required and yes, you do get a colour image from black and white paper (these were all Ilford RC Multigrade). You can find more on the technique on Diego Calvin’s excellent site.

2013 Solargraph 3The second two images in the post were taken in the garden. I kind of like the variation in colour, but I couldn’t explain how that happened. Just one of those things.

The last image however is a little different. This is an anamorphic exposure, in that the pinhole is perpendicular (or the other plane) to the paper. A little like Jana’s camera but as a solargraph. I really like this last image, particularly the way the sun trails seem to march away from the viewer…this is something I shall do again. Again this was shot in mum’s garden, you can see the trees.

2013 Solargraph 4 (Anamorphic)

HIP Project

A very quick post today to draw your attention to the HIP Project, being set up by the very talented Barend (Ben) Mossing Holsteijn.


The main aim of this project is to show the differences and similarities between people around the world, through the medium of pinhole photography (and we all love pinhole, right). This will be a controlled yet collaborative work. Each photographer (up to 24 – myself included) will be given a camera to use (and will then send the camera to another photographer in the same or a nearby country), and will take photographs of about 30 items. Each shot must be set up in the same way by each photographer…and that is what makes this project really interesting to me. It will be exciting to see the differences in the photographs when there is such technical control, how much input can each photographer have? This, and the other questions you may have, will only be answered through the execution of the project.



The discussion of the execution of the project brings us on to the final point…funding. The aim is for this project to be crowdfunded, as you’ll see from the page. The funding target is ambitious, but hopefully achievable, and I’ll update this post (or add a new one) when the call for funding starts. I’m a little ambivalent about crowdfunding, when it seems to just be a request for a new camera or a holiday, but I believe this is a very worthwhile project, with a tangible product at the end of it. Hopefully you’ll agree and head over the Ben’s site to check this out further.

All images on this page appear with the kind permission of Barend Mossing Holsteijn and are subject to copyright and should not be used in any form with prior permission. Thanks as always for respecting that.