In my recent review of ‘Spirits of Salts’ I talked (or should that be rapped?) about the revival of interest in historical aka alternative processes both as a way to create ‘orginal’ / ‘different’ photographic images and as a reaction against digital. Well that’s one way to do it, another is pinhole photography.
In a nutshell…as some pinhole cameras probably are…or if they aren’t, they certainly will be now…a pinhole camera is nothing more than a light tight container, with a piece, sheet or roll of film…or a sheet of photographic paper…or a CCD…inside and, instead of a lens, a hole (often made with a pin…hence the name) on the outside, that is covered by a piece of light tight material. When this material (the shutter) is removed, light passes through the pinhole, onto the film/paper/sensor and given a long enough exposure, creates an image (a long enough exposure being anything from several seconds to several hours). While there’s an optimal sized hole for every camera, as long as the hole is roughly correct, you’ll end up with a sharp or soft focussed image, with infinite depth of field. Continue reading »
Anyone whose ever read more than a couple of books about photography will know that most photographic manuals have one thing in common…they’re boring! ‘Spirits of Salts’, however, is anything but. In fact, it’s positively entertaining.
So what’s it about? ‘Old’ aka ‘historical’ aka ‘alternative’ photographic processes….let me explain. Most of you will know that prior to the advent of digital photography, everyone used good old film, which, after being exposed has first to be developed into a negative and then printed as a positive, using a chemical process. Less of you will know that this neg/pos process has been with us for approximately 170 years, since its invention in the 1830s, by William Henry Fox Talbot and probably very few of you will know that over these 170 or so years, as photography has continued to…develop (sue me), various chemical process have been experimented with, both to create different looks (much as one might nowadays with Photoshop) and to refine the technology of the medium. Continue reading »