Well…it actually happened, I travelled to Amsterdam and met a bunch of people that I have only ever been in touch with on the internet. Fortunately this is not a story of financial ruin and exploitation…this is a story of just how awesome WPPD can be. To find out more read on, and maybe (just maybe) get inspired for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD) 2015. Many thanks to (from the top right) Moni, Brendan, Danny, Jesus, Jeff, Lorraine, Inge, Remko, Lisa-Marie, Todd and Markus… you all made this day unforgettable.
Thinking back, its incredible that what started as a joke on Twitter quickly snowballed into a serious plan, and suddenly Inge from Pinhole Obscura and I were organising an event for WPPD. We selected Amsterdam as the venue of choice and planned some routes. Both of us were, I think absolutely petrified on the day…after all people had travelled from the US, Spain, Ireland and Germany for this one day. Fortunately it was an incredible day. I’ve said this many times but pinhole photographers are amongst the nicest people you will meet. I think that a shared passion for an obscure, old, unwieldy and unpredictable (at least to a degree) photographic process ties us together.
Starting off from Dam Square we meandered a route through the city. I have to say it was both odd and inspiring to see a large number of tripods being set up for the first shoot. We wended our happy way through the city, picking our steps carefully through the detritus left after the King’s Day celebrations from the day and night before. Near Waterlooplein we stopped for coffee and bagels and much examination of cameras ensued (and of course some pinholes were made).
More meandering through the streets took us to a spot for noodles for lunch…and more pinholes were made, after which we headed to the Vondelpark. As you might be able to tell from this portrait of Jesus and Danny, it was wet, really wet. Spirits were not dampened as we split to enjoy the sites of the Vondelpark. I even managed to buttonhole a few of the participants with my digital recorded for a future episode of the Pinhole Podcast (and thank you to you all).
We then carried on through the city, stopping in at a photography exhibition…where more pinholes were made. We eventually made our way to a Jenever bar near the red light district. Markus split to scope out some modern architecture and then returned to join the party and to find…more pinholes being made. Finally, the group called time of the jenever (boy that stuff is good) and headed back to the south side of the city (or to the station) passing by a funfair that was going full steam in Dam Square…more pinholes were made.
Overall the day was awesome, I’ve summarised about 8-9h of fun in a few short paragraphs. I wish I’d been able to spend time with everyone. It was great to organise something for WPPD and if you are even slightly contemplating this I’d encourage you to do so. Its great, a little stressful at time when you get near to the day, but the sense of achievement and satisfaction seeing everyone having a good time and shooting pinholes is just brilliant. I’m sure that the group will organise something next year, and of course I’ll post that here. In the meantime you can see the groups images in the WPPD gallery, including my own meagre effort (also shown below). Incidentally, as these things matter, I was shooting with both my Zero 69 on Reala (as for the shot of Jesus and Danny) and with my Ondu 35mm Panoramic on Velvia 50 (as in the shot below). I metered using the Lumu and am happy to report it worked perfectly.
Happy shooting to you all, and a belated happy WPPD.