Saturday, March 28, 2009

Low-Tech Thrills: Fun with a Pinhole Camera

I was graciously invited by a former professor of mine, Rosita Gonzales, to help assist in a special workshop for high school kids on photography. My great good fortune continued to unfold as one of the kids didn't show up, thereby offering me the opportunity to participate in the workshop as well. We made pinhole cameras out of old Ovaltine boxes (if it's round, is it still a box?), electrical tape and black felt to line the inside.

Rosita then provided us with some photo paper, which we curled up and stuffed inside and then went off to make our picture. While not very predictable or precise, the results are still pretty cool. Photos come out hazy, grainy, distorted and spooky. The curl of the paper creates a kind of fish-eye effect on wider shots, while my own camera added a strange almond shaped-vignette.

The only down-side (apart from the fact that half of the high school kids ended up taking better photos than me) would be that in order to continue experimenting with my pinhole camera, I'd have to invest in some basic darkroom supplies. Who knows? Maybe I'll give it a go sometime. Until then I think these will make for some interesting textures for some digital art...

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