Dave's Pinhole Camera World Tour 2021. Leg 1 (Part 2)
This week was my final week with the amazing pinhole camera that is embarking on a journey to many different photographers. Unfortunately time was a little short for me this week but I did manage to develop the second batch of 6 sheets, this time 6 sheets of Ilford Delta 100. Initially I thought there were maybe 3 or 4 from this batch that I could show but ultimately 2 is all I really managed, but the images did reinforce some of the lessons I should have learnt from last week ....and include the first ever film photograph made by my 8 year old son !
Last Sunday I went for a walk to a very familiar location which is near the ruins of a castle in town. I made 2 images in a copse of trees, the first of which was reactionary in that "the light made me do it" ! The image is shown below and the lesson, is reinforced by my thought when I first looked at the negative....."I thought I was closer to that tree?"
I had set the camera up within the area of trees and to be honest they are not very far apart from one another, but the image shows a feeling of space that wasn't there and with no ground glass or viewfinder, I just didn't get close enough again !
I do like the image as the light and the dreamy feel are really becoming the hallmark of this camera for me.
F250 @ 72 seconds - developed in Ilford DDX
After making this image, I moved very close to a tree just out of the shot to the
right of this image and pointed up into the sun . Hoping for some of that amazing flare I had seen before in previous images. I stopped the exposure (covered the hole) about half way through this next one as I had noticed the direct sunlight creeping across the front of the camera and wanted some sun direct on the "lens".
Mid-exposure and about to take the lens cap off again.
There was a lot of light in this second image in the background and for the second half of the exposure, the sun shining directly through the small pinhole. I had many questions about the camera and strange looks about what I was trying to do and that in effect, I was hoping for "defects" in the image. That the image would be soft and ethereal ...and that I really had no idea what it would look like beyond that, let alone what would actually be in the frame!
F250 @ 173 seconds (with a gap in the middle)
I made 3 more images that all suffered from "I thought I was closeritis" and although these are not what I expected, they are in a file to be revisited in the future as I do love all the things that this camera did.
The One my Son Did
I took my son with me last Sunday and I had promised he could have a go and he said he had a place in mind that he wanted to make his image. On arrival I gave him the tripod and he moved it around looking at the scene like a seasoned pro and decided on the location and height of the tripod (eye height for him). After attaching the camera, I gave him the spot meter and asked him to take some readings of the darkest and lightest areas and call them out. I calculated an exposure of 13 seconds and he corrected me, in that he thought 15 seconds would be better, so 15 seconds it would be. He inserted the film holder, unscrewed the cap and timed a 15 second exposure and the put it all back together. All I have done is developed it for him , scanned and made marginal adjustments from the scan. This is his image.
F250 @ 15 seconds and the sharpest of the 12 by far !
I don't know if photography will become a thing for him I will be proud if it does and I will be proud if it doesn't but one thing for sure is that in the not too distant future, there will be a print of this hanging in his room with the negative framed underneath. It was his own work and it's brilliant !
The camera is packaged up and ready to go to the next photographer in its "round the world tour". I have learned a lot and really don't want to let it go !
I guess the most important lesson for me is to be free and curious and experimental with it. What you get out of it may surprise you or may not be to your taste but you never know.
Today, knowing the camera is going and discussing it with my son, one of us had a complete meltdown and a tantrum of epic proportions, while the other started planning for the next opportunity......
Certainly the youngest member of the DPCWT2021 collaboration to date and a very successful image made!
The 3 remaining sheets of film from this batch of 6 , and the 6 I made this week, with lessons learned will be parked for a while I think, and maybe in a week or 2 I will process the remaining sheets and have a proper look, so there might be a part 3 of this theme to come.
Look at #DPCWT2021 on twitter in the following months to see this project continue. And please feel free to comment or ask questions either here or on Twitter about this project.
Dave Whenham has written a really good piece on the project in his blog at:
Which is well worth a look at !
I am sad to see the camera go and still trying to think of a way to stall it, but it is boxed up now and ready to ship to the South Coast of England .....I suppose I could get up really early, unbox it ...shoot a 73 minute exposure and then send it on its way?
The more I think about leaving the 6 I have exposed in holders for a while ...the more I remember the reaction in the woods at Henllan Bridge yesterday , when the woodland was alive with light and all I could say was "wow wow wow" and place it for another exposure.
Good Luck James, you are going to love it !