Timos Lytras

Hi Pinholista, please introduce yourself.

Hello, I’m Timos and I live in Athens, Greece. I shoot pictures for more than three decades, and I still shoot a roll of film now and then, although the vast majority of my pictures are digital.

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

I shoot pinhole images with the “Wanderlust pinwide” lens, attached to a m43 camera. I never happened to shoot pinhole in film. Admin’s note, it might just be me but this seems a little unusual. I know lots of pinhole photographers who have never shot digital pinhole but very few where this works the other way. Read on, as Timos was kind enough to answer a few extra questions about this.

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Do you ever shoot anything a little more unusual? 

The “Unusual” type of shooting I do is film photography with two lomography cameras, the “Sprocket Rocket”, a wide angle camera and the “Spinner 360”, a film camera that takes a 360 degree shot (including the photographer’s face). Admin’s note…thinks…360 degree pinhole…mmmm.

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

Unfortunately I don’t use any homemade camera, only off the shelf ones.

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What’s your favourite camera to use and why?

The Panasonic G6 that I use now. The m43 format is the perfect balance between size and quality for me and it allows also to try other creative points of view, such as the digital pinhole and the cctv lenses. Admin’s note, as an aside, I wonder if there are CCTV lenses available that are pinhole? This is for another project, of which there may be more some time in the future…anyway, back to Timos (but let me know if you know).

How long have you shot pinhole?

Since three years more or less.

Why did you start shooting pinhole?

I like the ethereal feel that a pinhole image gives. The result of a pinhole image is completely different than the images we are used to see everyday, it takes the eye away of the details and more into the overall mood of the image.

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

I travel often and I like to capture with my camera everything new that I see, especially the feeling of a place that I haven’t seen before. These photos are from many different places, from Greece which is my home country to other European countries and even from the Middle East. Admin’s note, for me there’s a great thread that runs through these images which is the atmosphere. The darker tones work really well with the subject matter, this is a great set of images IMHO.

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

I shoot individual images. My pinhole images are mostly landscapes (even urban ones) but I have tried some street photography, too. My digital camera allows normal speeds when using high iso, if there is enough light, of course. Admin’s note, I’ve often wondered about the ISO advantage. It could be really useful on the one hand, but you would lose the long exposure. I guess its all about the result you want.

Have you ever exhibited your work?

Unfortunately not (so far, at least). I happen to be very busy in real life so I never had the chance to think about an exhibition and organize it.

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Tell us about a great pinhole photographer.

Zeb Andrews is a photographer who’s work I enjoy a lot.

Do you shoot other styles of photography?

Yes, mostly street photography and landscapes.

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

I wouldn’t say that I prefer pinhole, I see it as something special, something different from my main shooting style, that gives me an opportunity to express myself in an alternative way.

You shoot digital pinhole images rather than film or paper, did you make that decision because of convenience or for another reason?

Actually it is a matter of conveniance for me, because shooting on film would mean to carry another camera with me. I try to eliminate as much as possible the gear I carry with me (this is one of the reasons I use m4/3 cameras) so in this time of my life I prefer using one additional small lens instead of another camera and some rolls of film (let alone a tripod), in order to shoot pinhole images. Admin’s note, I travel a lot as well and that’s a constant battle for me as well. I always end up taking all the cameras :-).

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What advantages and disadvantages do you think there are shooting digitally?

As i mentioned above, the main advantage is that no additional gear is needed. There is also the usual advantage of digital photography that the result is immediatly shown and no additional cost is needed to purchase film rolls, develop and scan them. Finally, the specific lens I use for my photos, the “Wanderlust pinwide”, is very wide, equivalent to 22mm on 35mm camera, which I like because I mostly shoot landscapes when I am in “Pinhole mode”. One final advantage is the ability to shoot in “Normal” shooting speeds, without the need of a tripod, because digital gives the opportunity of high ISO and stabilization. Admin’s note, I think this is a really interesting insight into the choices Timos has made. It makes perfect sense to me, and its great to hear this articulated so well.

The disadvantages are that with film one can always work with the large format film, from 35mm to larger, which gives a very special pinhole look and  all the relative benefits of depth of field and resolution.

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

Unfortunately I don’t have a website of my own but my work can be seen in my Flickr photostream.

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

Thank you too for giving me the opportunity to present my work.

So, I hope you all enjoyed this interview as much as I did. Its great to have someone who regularly shoots digital on here. I guess next I need to find someone who uses paper. As per usual, please respect Timos’ copyright. All images are copyright Timos Lytras and should not be used in any form without prior permission.

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