Nigel Breadman

Hi Pinholista, please introduce yourself.

I’m Nigel Breadman and I live in Broadstairs on the East Kent coast. I work at the Canterbury Christ Church University campus as a photo technician and part time archivist for the South East Archive of Seaside Photography

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

My involvement with pinhole photography began when I started teaching photography at the local FE (Further Education) College. It had a large darkroom in which I found a stash of old 5×4 Kodak orthochromatic sheet film so I made a pinhole camera built around a dark slide. It was constructed out of old Ilford paper boxes with an ingenious spring back made out of washing up sponges which allowed the darkslide to be pulled in whilst remaining lightproof. It worked a treat and I still have it after 20 years. I have making my own pinhole cameras ever since.


I’m not a great fan of commercially manufactured pinhole cameras. I like the temporary nature of that making your own offers and I often make cameras then destroy them so that the images are unique one offs. Sometimes I combine bits of existing cameras to make Frankencamera such as a medium format back on an old converted Polaroid 104.

Nowadays I aim for simplicity wherever possible which led me to my favourite camera the Origami Pinhole which I have been experimenting with this year. The Origami Pinhole Camera is constructed from one square sheet of photographic paper origami folded to make a box with the emulsion on the inside. The box is then made lightproof with a covering of tin foil, much like an OXO cube, and the aperture made by piercing the foil when in position ready to take a shot. In the darkroom the camera is unwrapped and unfolded and tray developed, the camera becomes the image with a distinctive cross pattern.

This is as about as simple a photographic image can be constructed and the whole image can even be processed by maintaining the box in the darkroom and pouring the chemicals in and out then unfolding the paper at the end for a tantalising reveal. Admin’s note, I love this idea – it’s a great approach to making unique images that are unlike those you’ll see from other photographers. Just brilliant!


Do you ever shoot anything a little more unusual?

I have shot solargraphs. Very long pinhole exposures that track the sun from solstice to solstice and equinox to equinox over a six month period.

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

Broadstairs Betty on the Jetty.

Taken with my hand made pinhole camera accommodating a 5×4 darkslide. Kodak Orthochromatic film. I’m sitting inches away from this lady’s husband and she is somewhat curious about the contraption I’m pointing towards her. Bleak House (residency of Charles Dickens) and the Old Lookout in the background


Same camera and film as 1. Double exposure of concrete beach chalets at Broadstairs.

Big Wheel at Margate.

Image taken on 120 Kodak Portra using medium format back fixed onto a pinhole converted Polaroid Land Camera 104. Taken in Dreamland amusement park with the big wheel and Arlington Flats in the background.


Origami Pinhole Camera image. Taken on Ilfospeed glossy paper 12×12 inch folded to make a three inch cube camera. Beach cleaning tractor on Viking Bay Broadstairs.


Origami Pinhole Camera image. Taken on Fuji Crystal Archive colour paper 12×12 inch image. RA4 processed and scanned. Dreamland cinema in Margate.

Steps up to the Old Lookout.

Origami Pinhole Image taken on Fomatone paper  20x20cm.


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

As I live by the seaside the coast does have a huge influence on my work, I like to look at the local architecture adjacent to the seafront the natural beauty of the coastline and my new work with the Origami Pinhole may be based around  the historic monuments  of East Kent.

Have you ever exhibited your work?

I have exhibited in my home town at a gallery the University used to have on the Jetty at Broadstairs called The Old Lookout; you will see it in many of my photos. I have also exhibited on Folkestone’s’ Harbour arm as part of the  2015 SALT festival and most recently was selected to exhibit at the London Alt Pinhole festival in April 2016.

Do you shoot other styles of photography?

I have produced Polaroid transfer and lifts and I do some large scale Cyanotype work from time to time and have recently started experimenting with Salt printing. Admin’s note, perhaps the next step is Origami Pinhole with cyanotypes…just a thought.

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

I have a digital camera and a Olympus trip 35mm which I use from time to time but I prefer pinhole, especially in the development of the style that the Origami camera has to offer and I am looking forward to see how much scope it has to offer both as an artistic medium and as a potential educational tool in promoting analogue photography. 

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

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

As usual, this work is the copyright of the photographer, in this case Nigel Breadman. Please don’t use or reproduce in any form without prior permission. Finally…if you’d like to be featured, please do get in touch here.

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