the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

24
April

World Pinhole Photography Day

Posted by Brittany

Earlier this week Chris and I began constructing our pinhole cameras from two tins just a little smaller than a typical gallon paint can. Actually, I have to give Chris the credit here — I helped with researching the camera construction, but he did 99% of the actual work. After spray painting the insides of the cans black so they were “light-tight,” he used a needle and small pieces cut from a coke can to create the actual pinhole. Finally, he made a sliding shutter to cover the hole. This construction took a few days and, in the meantime, we stopped at our local camera store to get an idea of what sorts of supplies were available for traditional darkroom processing. This is where things got sad — apparently there is such small demand for the materials needed for traditional processing that they’re getting increasingly difficult to find. We were able to purchase the chemicals to create our own photo developer and fixer, the photographic paper, and some tongs but that was it. Without enough time to order a safelight online, we chanced using a $5 red LED wand (for use during vehicle emergences) in the darkroom we setup in one of our bathrooms.

This morning we woke up extra early so we would have plenty of time to take and develop our pinhole photographs while the pie and biscuits for our Easter family gathering were baking. It was already quite hot and sunny with perfect photo weather, so we loaded the paper in our cameras in the red light of our make-shift darkroom and headed outside. After we both took one photo of each other with a 30-second exposure time we hurried inside, excited to see the results. Chris had already mixed the chemicals so it only took a couple of minutes for us to unload our paper and develop it in the chemical basins we’d setup on our shower floor. We booth said “oooo” as the inverted image began to appear and, honestly, I was quite surprised that the red LED substitute safelight hadn’t ruined our photos! After that first round of pictures we repeated the process twice (with longer exposure times), including a simultaneous shot where we took a pinhole photograph of each other at the same time! After scanning these “negatives” we used Photoshop to invert the images and evaluate our photography skills.

Today was a lot of fun and now that we know how easy it is to create a temporary darkroom I think we’ll both be dabbling in developing some of our own photos here and there. If you took a pinhole photograph for World Pinhole Photography Day make sure to upload it to www.pinholeday.org. We’ll each be adding our favorite selection tonight!

Check out our pictures on the next page!!!

Check back with us tomorrow as we observe World Malaria Day.

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