Monday, April 29, 2013

Pinhole Day has come and gone...

Pinhole Day has come and gone.  It's kind of a big deal for pinhole artists as there is a site where everyone on the planet can upload one photo as long as it was made with a pinhole camera.  It's fun to see the images and the cameras.
It's also great to see the number of workshops and galleries around the globe that make the day extra special.

It's like a global family reunion of sorts where everyone just shows up with a pinhole device and then adds their photo to the mix.  And just like any other family reunion, the family gets bigger and bigger!

Check out the gallery page at

And if you didn't play this year, there's plenty of time to get ready for next year!
I'll see you there!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Pier to the End of the World

If I manage to make a couple of photos each year that I like, I feel very lucky!
Seriously.  I have ideas in my head and then when I try to get them onto photo paper out in the field I usually come up short.

Sure I can go make loads of pinhole images of things that I run into, but I've gotten to where I want to create more and shoot less...if that makes any sense.

A few weeks ago I'm happy to say one of my mind's eye images came into reality and this is it.

This was made with the little "Galiceno" pinhole camera that I made a month or so ago.  Expired photo paper exposed for around 2 minutes and then marinated in fresh brewed caffenol for 4 minutes.
Aransas Pass, Texas  April 2013

P.S. this image was selected for the pinhole show at Rayko this year.  Thrilled!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And the Sun did shine

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day is just a few days away so I did a test with the trusty "Palomino" pinhole camera just to make sure everything is cool.

You know, no light leaks or mis-loaded 4 x 5 film holders.  Things you don't want to run into when you're out and about making magic with a pinhole camera.

The subject matter today isn't anything to get too excited about, except that it was a fine clear day in sunny New Mexico and the wind wasn't howling!

Considering that it was 18 F degrees early this morning and the hummingbird nectar was frozen in the feeders, it turned out to be a very nice day.  Electric Blue sky, subtle breeze and enough Sun to make the birds sing!

This is Ilford FP 4 black and white sheet film exposed for 3 seconds then dunked in freshly brewed caffenol for 8 minutes.

I use caffenol exclusively now and really like how the negatives turn out.

The homebuilt "Palomino" is still my favorite camera out of all the boxes I've built, so it's going to be my prime box on pinhole day. I've got about 6 film holders loaded with Ilford FP4 125 speed film and some uber slow Harman Direct Positive paper that shoots at a speed of about 3.

Yeah, that's pretty slow, but with pinhole there's just no sense in getting in a hurry and I like that!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Light leaks and all that goes with pinhole....

I discovered that my homebuilt "Galiceno" pinhole camera has light leaks.  Big gaping holes of light leaking in through the seams around the front of the camera no less!

It's kind of weird too because I just decided to test it for leaks after using it today for no reason.
It wasn't that I was suspicious.  It was just because I felt the urge to check.  Psychic powers at work?  Nah!

Anyway, here's a shot I made with the leaky little critter today.

This was a 90~ second shot on expired photo paper and marinated in 3 day old caffenol for about 4 minutes.
Looking at the development, I'd say the caffenol is expired!!

You really can't tell that the camera leaks, but what the heck.  I think some things are just mysterious that way, and that's okay with me.

BTW- For the folks that have asked, I don't pre-flash my paper.  Never have, never will.  I'm a "what will be, will be" type and like to let most things have their own karma without me controlling it.  It's probably why I love pinhole so much.  A lot happens that I don't control and I don't want to alter that magic.

Sure I'm trapping light in a box, but the subtleties of how that light changes and if I'm really on my game of "being" the emulsion that day are going well, then sure I'm in control.

I just don't hold the reins very tight.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

There be Rattler's here!

An old abandoned Ranch house in Winters, Texas.
There is a den of rattlesnakes living under the front porch, so this is considered a close-up!
Homemade 4 x 5 Palomino pinhole camera.
2 minute exposure on Harman Direct Positive Photo Paper
Marinated in caffenol for about 4 minutes.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

the sky is broken...

A 2 minutes shot with the 5 inch "dicey" pinhole camera..
Dunked in home brew caffenol.

Monday, April 1, 2013

a look inside...

As promised, here's a look at the liner I made for the "dicey" pinhole camera in the post earlier today.
This is the view as you begin to slide the two halves of the camera apart.  The liner is made with black foam-core glued and taped together for a snug fit.  I cut the foam-core with the table saw.  It's much easier and I can make quicker and more accurate cuts than trying to do it with an Exacto knife.  Besides, I cut myself really bad once while using a box cutter type thing and had to have stitches, so I'm kinda reluctant to use them.

Below, you can see the two halves completely apart.  The foam-core liner was glued into the top or lid of the box to make it easier to slide the 2 pieces back together.

Here is the front with an enlarged hole for the pinhole shown.  This cuts down on the harsh vignetting that I don't particularly care for.  I used a round over bit on the router...I'm really scared silly of that thing, so I usually get my husband to help me with this part.  In other words I just let him do it.

Here's another view of the two halves.  You can see where I removed the hinges that used to close the box.  They no longer fit due to the liner being in the way and I don't need them to keep the box closed any longer.
Oh, and the brown cardboard that you see in the box half on the right hand side is just a spacer to keep the paper flat when the box is loaded.

The box works great!  It's one of my favorite conversions so far.

recycle, reuse, repinhole!

Todays offering is a look at the box that made the photo for the prior post.

I have had this box for some time and even converted it to a pinhole shorty after purchasing it, but I just never got in the groove of using it....mainly because I didn't like it too much.
Excuse me?!  Me NOT liking a pinhole box?  Impossible you think?!

Sad but true.  The poor box sat on top of a shelf gathering dust and spider webs until yesterday when I whisked it out to the shed for a quick, (okay, it took an hour or so) makeover.

The first thing I did was removed the hinges and then removed the sticky black felt I had put around the inside edges to make it light tight.

Oh wait, back up, I wiped off the dust and spider goo first....
Then I made the hole to hold the pinhole a wee bit larger and rounded over the edges to cut down on any vignette.  I like vignette if it looks subtle, but a harsh round shadowy vignette is not my preference so to the router table we went.

Next I made a nice liner out of black foam-core to keep it light tight and to help hold the paper negatives I'll be using in place when it's closed.  The foam-core is like a sleeve inside the box and also serves as a stabilizer to keep the box closed since I removed the hinges.
The sleeve is glued to the front/lid so when I slide the two halves apart, the sleeve/liner comes out of the back half but remains fixed to the front...
I know this might sound confusing, so I'll try to post a photo of the two halves pulled apart so you can see the insides after I  shoot the paper negative I have loaded in it today.

It works great!

BTW- the box came from Hobby Lobby, is about 5 inches square and last time I looked they still had a few in stock.  The box is made of mdf, so it's very dense and not flimsy and light tight!

It's about 5 inches square, so I made it into an f/ 270 camera.