Participating in Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

I was reading Photo Life Magazine and there was an article by Jenny Montgomery about Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. I decided to participate using my Pinhole Can Screen & Camera Obscura Boxes (link).

Pinhole Can & Box 1

I created a number of these boxes when I was teaching the Media Literacy classes. I have more time to use the boxes now that I am retired. Some boxes are more effective than others. I had trouble finding them; my wife wanted to tidy up/toss the trash. They were put away in odd corners.

Pinhole Boxes Antq1

Using a dark plastic bag to cover the box and hood the box’s eye/camera lens slot, you can better understand the early photographers. That was the reaction my students had. They were also startled by such a simple set-up creating this amazing image – no software, electronics or chemistry. Just the power & properties of light.

Pinhole Can & Box 2

Here are some of the results. The only modifications include rotating & cropping the images and re-sizing adjustments. The pinhole image is projected on a wax-paper screen that is part of a tin can. I used both my regular camera and cell-phone camera to capture those pinhole images. The first two are were captured with the cell-phone camera.

Pinhole Cellphone Shot1

You can see in these images some of the interior of the cardboard box and the wax-paper screen’s rough edges and ripples .

Pinhole Cellphone Shot2

The blend of the pinhole image characteristics and the wax-paper screens creates a luminescent water colour quality. There is also a harsh element that suggests older photographic processing/aging.

Pinhole Street Vista1

Street scenes and house fronts are bent with a ghostly glow within the cardboard Obscura box.

Pinhole Street Vista2

Pinhole Front Yard

Vehicles and buildings are both familiar colourful shadows and vague distant dreams.

PinholeHouse & Car 1

Pinhole Trailer1

The view of the backyard from the window reveals a faerie world that can only be reached through the light in the magic of the cardboard box.

Pinhole Window1

Pinhole Garden Doorway1

Pinhole Vista1

This 700th post is done. All that is left is to decide which one to submit for World Pinhole Day. Which one should I choose? What do you think?


18 thoughts on “Participating in Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

  1. wow Joseph, how I like the dreamlike feel in this series ànd the way the cardboard box and the wax paper still show. There is an interesting contrast between them. Hard to choose just one of them. I think I’d go for the first or second.

    1. elmediat

      Thanks very much. It is hard to choose. They each have unique qualities. Will have to make up my mind eventually.

  2. leecleland

    Beautiful graininess to the images, my pick is the third image (first large one), mainly because it doesn’t have any recognisable man-made structure in it and so could have been taken at any time in history (pin-hole camera history that is).

    1. elmediat

      Thanks. I have been trying to decide whether to go for the timeless feel or for a shot that will be most recognizable to a viewer. 🙂

  3. NICE!!! I love pinhole photographs! Of course it goes without saying I like all of your images! And you probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear me say I would really struggle to pick one over the others! Awesome! 🙂
    Back when I had access to a darkroom and photo chemistry I built several simple ones that used photo paper to capture images. At one point I built one or two that held 35mm film, too (but the images they produced were a bit less to my liking).
    I am very, very impressed by the success of your obscura box! I tried to build one last spring, but I never really got that to work and became frustrated enough to put that project aside for a time (I don’t think I had it quite light-tight – the plastic bag is a good idea… that might have helped my contraption).

    1. elmediat

      Thanks very much. I drove my wife nuts using up material making these things. Lots of black tape and spray paint.. A heavy dark blanket/towel can help, but it is awkward. Many of the shots were poor. Some would be better used in some sort of digital composition.

  4. I’d have difficulty choosing between the haunting image of the house, and the last image of the bridge. But these images are stunning they make me want to go out and do it – perhaps this is a new line for me to explore! Wow, what great work, inspiring. Tony

    1. elmediat

      Thanks very much Tony. The last image is not a bridge. 😀 That is part of the beauty of these images the vague ghostly quality allows the viewer to full in the image with their imagination. Knowing what they are is colouring my evaluation of their qualities.

      1. That’s what turns me on (artistically speaking) the ambiguity in an image, it means one thing to you and another to me. It’s like those jokes that have multiple layers. Great stuff. It makes me even more determined to try it out – perhaps this weekend… Tony

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