Chris Hight

Hi Pinholista, please introduce yourself.

My Name is Chris Hight and I live near Carmarthen in West Wales

Tell us a little about the type of pinhole photography you enjoy.

My passion for photography started back when I was in school so I started photographic experience with film and only started using a digital camera but never really gave up film. I only use either medium format or large format film for pinhole photography and then only Black and White. In fact I have not used colour whether film or digital photography for over 10 years. Admin’s note, in contrast I very rarely shoot black and white, mainly because I am rubbish at it.

Y Capel 3

Do you ever shoot anything a little more unusual?

I am planning a series of one off photographs using direct positive paper. The idea of one image on one piece of paper as a counter point to multiple views on the internet appealing.

Do you use off the shelf cameras, home-made or a mix?

I am not practical enough to build my own( just ask my partner how good I am at hanging doors) so I use off the shelf and have a Zero 2000 for 120 film and a RealitySoSubtle 4×5 .

maen mawr in the mist

What’s your favourite camera to use and why?

I still feel I am learning with the 4×5 but I do love the Zero 2000 with its glossy wood and brass knobs. Admin’s note, ah the Zero…a wonderful piece of kit and something every pinhole photographer should try. 

How long have you shot pinhole?

I have been shooting pinhole photographs for about 4 years now.

Why did you start shooting pinhole and why?

I read an article about pinhole photography in a photography magazine and I was drawn to the subtlety of the images as compared to the crystal clear images of digital photography and I still enjoy using film so for me it was a winning combination.

Llyn y Fan Fach

You’ve given us a few images to share, tell us about them.

All the images I have shared are taken within South Wales some are from projects and some are individual photographs but all are connected by a Spirit of Place and an  interaction between the natural landscape and the people that create a cultural landscape.

Do you shoot individual images or do you work within themes or on projects?

I shot both individual images and I enjoy project. I enjoy the planning of a project but am still drawn to a scene or idea that does not fit into a project I am working on, though an individual image can be the starting point for a project

Have you ever exhibited your work?

I have shown some of my work in a local open art exhibition and this year I shall be entering 2 pinhole photographs in the Pwerdy Powerhouse Open Art Exhibition in the west Wales town of Llandysul  during August and I can be heard talking about 0ne of my photographs on the Ffoton Wales website in their one image gallery. Admin’s note, good luck to Chris, it would be great to think that pinhole images could be recognised amongst the other entrants…all fingers are crossed in this house.

Castle

Tell us about a great pinhole photographer.

There are so many but I particularly like Alastair Ross especially his Ties to the Land series.

Do you shoot other styles of photography?

I like to shoot other styles of photography and if you where to look in my camera bag when I am out and about you are likely to find a pinhole, a DSLR and an old TLR camera in there. Admin’s note, I’m happy to hear this, I also carry many different cameras and am increasingly drawn to mixing different styles in my projects (like The Edge of the World).

Assuming you do shoot other styles, do you prefer pinhole and if so, why?

I thoroughly enjoy the process of shooting pinhole photographs where the results are not always guaranteed.

llanfihangel Cowin

Finally, where can people see your work, do you have a website?

My pinhole and other photography can be seen on my website www.christophermhightphotography.co.uk.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to share your work with pinholista.com

As always, all work is the copyright of the interviewee, in this case Chris Hight, and must not be used without prior permission. If you’d like to be featured on Pinholista please get in touch via the contact page.

Balint Pfliegel

Hi Pinholista, please introduce yourself.

My name is Bálint Pfliegel, I’m from Budapest, Hungary, a software engineer and DSP/AI researcher by profession. I picked up photography and 3d printing in the last years and enjoying very much to create 3d printed pinhole/slit/etc cameras and photographic equipment – and images.

Tell us a little about the type of pinhole photography you enjoy.

Content is what matters, pinhole should contribute as a method to express what’s on one’s mind visually. Also, it’s a lot of fun that the subject demands a camera design and not the camera limits on how one could capture a specific subject.

I’m very much enjoying the work of pinholers that capture real life like Andrej Karamuska or Denys Maksymov – or artistically expressed emotions and moods like Michael Weitzman, Nadir Kayacan or Martin Kos. I am struggling to get the precision of my engineer-self out of the pictures with its love of geometry and precision, and focus on the content instead.

Pinhole for me is analog and B/W for the time being, before extending my lab for C-41 and E-6 processing.

instax___portrait

Do you ever shoot anything a little more unusual?

Shooting swings and seesaws is wonderful! It is an exquisite moment when the police arrives at the seventeenth minute of the exposure in case you put your camera on a swing in the middle of a block of flats and tenderly rock the swing under the strict supervision of senior citizens peeping out of their window. Admin’s note, the same is true in the UK…folks don’t like photographs being made at playgrounds, I’ve been asked what I am doing when there were no kids around. I certainly wouldn’t take pictures of someone’s kids (unless they asked me too) but the camera does seem to inspire fear these days.

Seriously: I love any in-camera magic when the image plane is not flat or not perpendicular to the hole, multiholes, in-camera blends – and especially enjoying instant film cameras, it is a lot of fun at festivals.

fivehole___in_the_woods

Do you use off the shelf cameras, home-made or a mix?

So far I only used home-made ones.

What’s your favourite camera to use and why?

Didn’t try any so far, but RealitySoSubtle and MO cameras seem to rock hard! Not to mention Schlem’s arsenal of superweapons. Admin’s note, take a look at my camera guide for more ideas…but remember the camera is just a tool, your imagination is the arsenal.

How long have you shot pinhole?

For around a year.

Why did you start shooting pinhole and why?

I bought a 3d printer two years ago and found an article about 3d printed cameras. Not long thereafter I asked Todd Schlemmer if he plans to do a cylindrical anamorph someday, and he wrote about two fundamental design puzzles one needs to solve first. I wondered if I can crack them and it seemed I could. It was far from easy, but I enjoyed much the road leading there. Always the engineer! Admin’s note, given that the Schlem is an evil genius this is really impressive!

fivehole___one___crop

I’ve curated a few of your images to share, please tell us a little about the cameras used to make these images.

There is a curved 4×5 format – yes, it is a curved 4×5 holder with a curved shield (and a camera body)! And there is a cylindrical anamorph, which was my first design – the selected images are taken with an early design with screws and a lot of leaking, but I like these images much. Then, there is a five-hole camera, which is based on a design of my friend Péter Laczkó, the travelling photographer, with several refinements. One of my other designs was originally a Lomo Belair Instax Wide back with a 3d printed adapter to accommodate a Kodak Pocket No1 folder from the 30s, but I ended up ripping out the Kodak and replacing the front part with a pinhole.

Do you shoot individual images or do you work within themes or on projects?

I’m still working on being more patient in order to shoot an essay using pinhole techniques. Just made a lightweight 35mm camera from a perfume box (my first non 3d printed one) which I’m carrying around lately to document my life – that prepares me to be more relaxed when working with pinhole in the future.

cyl_anamorph___hello_neighbours

I guess now is the time for me to tell everyone the reason for the images I’ve selected.

When Balint e-mailed a selection of images to possibly be used for his profile it gave me an opportunity I have not had before, which is to curate someone else’s work. I’m not a great curator of my own work so this really represented a new challenge for me. This is a good thing!

I was immediately struck by the technical quality of Balint’s work but these images I have selected go beyond that. For one, I think they hang together as an interesting narrative. There’s a thread of melancholy that runs through each, which I find really beguiling. This is kind of interesting as they are made with different cameras at different times. Nonetheless, I think there’s a story being told here. I’d love to know what you think, perhaps I’m seeing something that isn’t there, please comment below.

Have you ever exhibited your work?

Not yet, not much time currently. We did a slit camera from some enlarger components and bicycle parts in the summer with my friend Péter Laczkó, which will be exhibited from tomorrow! Admin’s note, early May 2016!

curved_4x5___i_m_just_a_lonely_boy_would_you_be_my_enemy

Tell us about a great pinhole photographer.

I could say Howard Arthur Moiser, Ramunas Danisevicius or Scott Speck, who are really legends when it comes to pinhole – but I will say: Balázs Telek. Balázs was the master of anamorphs, working with both pinholes and lenses and passing on his knowledge holding camera obscura workshops. He passed away last summer at the age of 41, tragically young. His lab, ArtBázis was flooded at the same time on a day with heavy rain – when we renovated the lab afterwards, we found cameras and designs that were really hard to decrypt – and shockingly genial. Balázs was an unselfish, wholehearted man with a unique talent and I don’t think I know any pinholers in Hungary who was not inspired by his person and work. There is a decent article about Balázs from two years ago (in Hungarian).

Do you shoot other styles of photography?

I like to shoot street, documentary and trash (if there is any such style) – depends on the mood.

Assuming you do shoot other styles, do you prefer pinhole and if so, why?

There are weapons that kill zombies, but not really useful against vampires. With pinhole this is a similar case, so it depends on what one is shooting. It would be interesting to shoot a documentary with pinhole similarly to Nick Dvoracek’s work.

fivehole___selfie

Finally, where can people see your work, do you have a website?

I plan to do a Facebook page of my works and maybe a website when I will have some spare time. As we are also setting up a camera manufacturing company right now with Péter that will produce unique pinhole and other experimental cameras, I am looking forward that people will hold our works in their hands and shoot wonderful images. Stay tuned!

Thanks a lot for taking the time to share your work with pinholista.com.

As usual, this work is the copyright of the contributing photography, in this case Balint. Please respect this. If you’d like to be featured on Pinholista please get in touch via the contact page.

Johanna Moore

Hi Pinholista, please introduce yourself.

My name is Johanna Moore. I have lived in many states in New England (US) and, while I have lived most of my life in Maine, I have spent some important times in Lancaster and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Tell us a little about the type of pinhole photography you enjoy.

When it comes to pinhole photography, I am an analogue purist. I use film and paper negatives. Holgas, Polaroid/Fujiroids. Altoid tin cameras. I have a Sharan cardboard camera that I use, as well as tin can cameras I have built. I love using Harman Direct Positive paper because of the slow speed of the paper. I use a foam core pinhole camera I built for some 8 x 10 film holders I found at an antique shop. With pinhole photography the possibilities are endless.

Do you ever shoot anything a little more unusual?

I recently completed a major project along the length of the Kennebec River in Maine where I installed 120 pinhole cameras for long exposure solargraphs.

Dresden Bridge

Dresden Bridge

Do you use off the shelf cameras, home-made or a mix?

I totally use a mix. Some people get excited about a new App they buy, I get excited about a new camera to build or buy. Admin’s note, yet another sufferer of Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S). It’s a terrible affliction that can strike even the most hard-hearted at the most unexpected time.

What’s your favourite camera to use and why?

I love using my Pinholaroid. I have to admit that I borrowed it from my sister and never gave it back. The body she made for it is more for close-ups, and I made some beautiful long exposure images of flowers with it. I am working on an interchangeable “lens” to do more wide angle shots with it because I find myself taking it with me into the field more often than I did in the past. It helps that I rigged up a wooden form that I can slip the camera into and have it screwed down to my tripod. Admin’s note, there is something really stunning about Pinholaroid images…I think it is the way the film reacts to longer exposure, tending towards a blue cast in my experience (which works perfectly with Johanna’s flower images).

Bergamot

Bergamot

How long have you shot pinhole?

I took my first pinhole images back in 1988. I had seen a body of work an acquaintance produced in Boston using SX-70 film and a pinhole camera. I produced a series of failed images with the first camera I built for the SX-70 film and then I gave up on Pinhole cameras for about 12 years.

Why did you start shooting pinhole and why?

In photography I am not interested in creating the perfect clear, in-focus, well-planned image that some photographers seek to achieve. I am interested in capturing moments of light, ethereal images, and something which allows the viewer to draw from their own personal experiences to make their own conclusions about what they are looking at. Pinhole photography gives me that opportunity to produce that imagery. I gave up on the medium in 1988, then, in 2000, after I used my sister’s Polaroid pinhole camera, I got hooked once again and have never looked back.

Greenpoint Ferns

Greenpoint Ferns

You’ve given us a few images to share, tell us about them.

Hewnoaks 2- When I embarked on my Kennebec River solargraph project in 2014, I left the success and failure of the 120 cameras up to chance. I had no idea if the project would work, or if any of the pinholes I made were accurate. It took two months to install the cameras along the river. I was accepted into an artist residency program on Kezar Lake in Lovell. I stayed there two weeks to work and took advantage of being there to test some of the cameras I built. This image is a two week exposure and was made using Oriental Seagull photo paper.

Bergamot- one of my early experiments with the Pinholaroid. I produced this series of botanicals indoors on bright overcast days. The exposure times were any where from 20 minutes to an hour. Admin’s note, I simply love this image, the tones are stunning…I must make another Pinholaroid.

Dresden Bridge- 134 day pinhole exposure along the Kennebec River.

Bog 2014- The first experiment I made using Solargraphy. Six week exposure

The Great Carrying Place- 129 day Solargraph. The Carrying Place is along the Kennebec River where Benedict Arnold and his soldiers left the river to carry their bateaux over the mountains during their march on Quebec during the American Revolutionary War. This portage site may be significant for the Europeans who used it for their own ill-conceived ideas. It is more significant to the Native Americans who used it for centuries before the arrival of the foreigners who would forever change their way of life.

Greenpoint Ferns- I also like using my 120 Holga pinhole camera. I first used a Holga that I retrofitted with a pinhole then upgraded to a ready-made pinhole from Holga. When I go into the field I often photograph favourite places. Greenpoint is a Maine Wildlife Management Area along the Kennebec River at Merrymeeting Bay. Even in the heat of summer I can go here to find respite in the cool shade among the ferns.

Do you shoot individual images or do you work within themes or on projects?

All of the above. While I may load a bunch of paper into my film holders and go out to shoot for a day, I won’t hesitate to work on a single idea based on a theme or project. The Kennebec River project is the perfect case in point. I experimented with Solargraphy in the beaver bog in my back yard, then expanded the experiment to an historic site in the neighbouring town. When I got some successful imagery from that, I ended up expanding the idea to the entire stretch of the Kennebec River. It was a moving experience. I explored places that I would never have seen had I not embarked on the project. I learned so much about a major force of nature in my own back yard.

Hewn Oaks 2

Hewnoaks 2

Have you ever exhibited your work?

I have exhibited my pinhole work through a Pop-up exhibit with Portland Pinhole and Plastic Camera group back in 2009 and then most recently I exhibited the body of solargraphs I produced along the Kennebec River through the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts in Portland.

Tell us about a great pinhole photographer.

In full disclosure this artist is my friend. That said, I love everything that Massachusetts photographer Dennis Stein produces. Pinhole and Digital.  Admin’s note, Dennis’ work is wonderful, although he seems to be focussing on iPhoneography at the moment (http://djsteinphotography.com/home/).

Do you shoot other styles of photography?

I use my iPhone to shoot everyday images and work I post on social media.

Bog

Bog

Assuming you do shoot other styles, do you prefer pinhole and if so, why?

I prefer pinhole photography because it is about time. Taking time, experiencing time. Looking at scenery and taking the time to examine what you are about to shoot. With digital you can take a zillion shots an edit later. That’s not the same with pinhole photography. Admin’s note, this is a philosophy close to my own. Although I do use digital (actually increasingly so) for my lens-based work there is something magical about the time it takes to make a pinhole image.

Finally, where can people see your work, do you have a website?

http://lonepineprojects.com/

Thanks a lot for taking the time to share your work with pinholista.com.

As usual, this work is the copyright of the contributing photography, in this case Johanna. Please respect this.

Miru Cameras 35mm – First Impressions

I guess one of the advantages of having a presence on the internet is the kindness of strangers, and this post is the result of just such an instance. Through Instagram, I was contacted by David creator of Miru cameras asking if I’d like to test his 35mm camera. Of course, I jumped at the chance, after all who wouldn’t. The camera arrived with me over Christmas, and I took advantage of the break to throw a roll through the camera.

Before I get on to the results though, a word about the camera itself, I posted a couple of pictures on Instagram of me unboxing the camera and of the camera in action (making the featured image for this post). For ease, I have embedded them below so you can see the camera itself.

Unboxing the @mirucameras pinhole camera #pinhole #believeinfilm #filmisnotdead #mirucameras

A photo posted by Alex Yates (@pinholista) on

Coffee and pinhole @thedandyhorse

A photo posted by Alex Yates (@pinholista) on

As you can see, the camera is really nicely packaged, and I have to say the written materials that are provided put many more commercial cameras to same – well done David. The camera itself is lightweight, I’m not sure of the wood used, and nicely finished with wax. The design makes loading and unloading film relatively simple as well. There is no tripod mount (more of that later).

I was a little concerned about light leaks so used some blue masking tape to minimise the risk, which unfortunately removed some of the wax when I unloaded the film (I hadn’t really thought that through). I didn’t see any signs of light leaks with this first roll, for my next roll I won’t add any tape and we’ll see how things go.

www.alexyates-photography.com

David also marks both the top of the camera and the supplied 35mm take-up cassette to allow you to easily count the number of turns when you wind on. Rather then the recommended 1 turn, I wound on for 1.5 turns after each shot, which resulted in me wasting film. Next time I’ll try one turn and see how that works out, it should be pretty good I think. Winding on can be a little stiff, at least it was for me, but nothing insurmountable.

www.alexyates-photography.com

So, how about the actual shooting? Well, I have to confess that I generally don’t like using 35mm film for pinhole photography. First off, I think the images are not as good as medium format, and in my experience are not as sharp (although why that should be I don’t know). I also find using a whole roll a little challenging, at least in any kind of reasonable time. So much is my aversion that I recently sold my Ondu 35mm panoramic camera due to lack of use. You know what though, this little camera surprised me and I really enjoyed using it…much more than I thought I would.

www.alexyates-photography.com

The reason for my enjoyment? Quite simply the size of the camera made it the perfect companion to throw into my bag and have with me. As someone once said, the best camera is the one with you, and this little camera came everywhere with me for a week or so. So much so that by the end of the roll I was excited to get the film developed ASAP, which led to me scanning myself, which in turn led to the really poor scans with this post. This means that you probably shouldn’t use the images to judge the quality of the camera as they certainly reflect my rush and scanning skill.

www.alexyates-photography.com

As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed using this camera. There are, however, a couple of things to consider as we close this post. As already mentioned, and not surprising given the size of the camera, there is no tripod mount. This means you have to be careful what and how you shoot. On a solid surface and with a long exposure you’ll have no problems. However, if you wobble like me then hand holding is not going to work well, the image above shows this well.

In conclusion, a lovely little camera and I really think David should be pleased with what he has created. There are lots of 35mm pinhole cameras out there and the Miru definitely deserves some consideration. This is particularly the case if you are looking for a camera you can take anywhere with you. I’ll be making more pictures with mine, and next time I’ll get some proper scans.

Finally, if you want to find out more about Miru cameras then have a look at their Instagram and Facebook page, as well as the website linked above. Happy shooting!

If you’re in Berlin – do this!

This is just a quick post to draw your attention to an awesome exhibition opening shortly in Berlin. The exhibition is called “Atmosphère – Intuition formt Stemming” and features four photographers, including friend of Pinholista Larissa Honsek (Novemberkind). More details can be found here.

Details of the exhibition are in German, to save you the trouble I have Google translated below. Oh, and the image used here is from the linked website and is copyright Larissa Honsek, please respect that.

***UPDATE***

There’s is now a proper English translation, the text below is taken straight from the site (and can also be found by following the link).

To the translation:

“The 4 photographers from Germany, France and Italy show each in their individual way highly aesthetical analogue works, mainly pinhole photography. Without a viewfinder intuition – the premonition of how the image might turn out – plays a central role. Another focus is on photography as a craft. In contrast to quick selfies, all images are the result of a careful manual preparation and production – slow photography.

Laura Fiorio (Italy) creates images of Liquid Cities by portraying medieval towns like Venice, Verona or Valencia applying extremely long exposure with her self-constructed pinhole cameras. The outcome reminds of the early years of photography and contrasts the time-consuming practise of pinhole photography and the increasing pace of modern society that serves as a metaphor for the endless flood of digital images.

Jeanne Fredac (France) travelled to Burkina Faso to portray wild animals in the steppe as well as mine workers in one of the poorest areas of the country with her pinhole camera. Thanks to the physical presence and extraordinary shape and technology of the camera, she managed to raise the interest of people and gain their confidence. Curiously, she was rumoured to be a voodoo priestess with her black box and within days everyone knew who she was and what she was doing. It was important for her to show the locals that one does not need to buy an expensive camera to take pictures but it can be easily built with little resources.

Larissa Honsek (Berlin) loves to experiment with light and so she goes all the way to discover interesting sources of light that she can capture with her pinhole camera. For Atmosphere, she used objects like fireworks, sparklers, bicycle lamps, LED-chains, mobile phones and light swords. In one series, these objects illuminate a whole forest with magical energy; in another series light is captured in a black box and forced into predetermined shapes.

Laure Gilquin (France) went on a nightly expedition across the Senegalese capital Dakar for her series Dox rek – just go. Attracted by the dark and guided by scarce flickers of light like a glowing cigarette, a flickering television or a ray of light falling through a slightly open door. The light opens passages, it transforms facades of buildings into huge projection screens. The view enters these spaces and wanders around.

In addition to the exhibition, Fotogalerie Friedrichshain will host a series of pinhole photography workshops for different age groups in March. For more info and registration please contact fotogalerie@kulturring.org