Sunday, 10 May 2015

Pinhole Photography

Back in 1999, when I was studying National Diploma in photography, I got really  fascinated with pin-hole photography and decided to make this as my Major project. This was something that I was not sure how I was going to achieve and as far I know there weren't many books on pin-hole especially one for a film camera converted into a pin-hole camera.

I was not going to give up easily, I decided to use my brain power, read a lot about the 'camera obscura', my film camera and lots of technical books on photography, especially by Michael Langford. After understanding the principals of photography, I was prepared to accept this new challenge that I had set for myself.

My basic photography equipment was my Cannon film camera, camera body cap, an aluminium strip (taken from a coke can) and lots of film to use and experiment as all this was a trial and error. It took a few weeks to do all the calculations, determining the aperture made from the pin-hole and working out the reciprocity law (the relationship between the intensity and duration of light which determines the exposure. Exposure = Intensity x Time)

Once I had all the technical notes, I started to take photographs with my home-made pin-hole camera; I still have the camera and the the pin-hole cap for it.

It took a few more practical experiments to get a consistent exposure all the time. This was a case of using rolls of film with 24 or 36 frames, developing the film, making a contact sheet and hand printing all the final prints in the darkroom - the traditional way.

Till today I am really pleased with the final results that I achieved. Below are the scans from the original prints.



The Ghost Train



Moving on to digital cameras from film cameras, I still love pin-hole photography. In my view, it never gets out dated. This has been one of my favorite photography projects that I have really enjoyed working on.