Sunday, December 14, 2008

pinhole. pinhawk. (pinheck?)

maybe my post about shooting digital vs. film angered the digital gods who, in turn, ensured that i will never take a pinhole image that isn't "soft" or blurry. . .

with the help, support and advice of two (most generous) people on flickr (i.e., look here and here) i set about modifying one of my brownie hawkeye flash cameras. i had debated buying another zero image but can't currently justify the cost. bottom line, i wanted to try a medium format pinhole.

at the risk of sounding like a one trick (or one move) pony, this was the kind of sharpness and detail i was going for but i ended up getting much softer, blurrier results (see below. . . and then sigh with me).

soft, blurry and funky is usually fine with me--as are scratched, watermarked and/or dusty negatives. as a matter of fact, as far as the funky goes, i often find myself trying to ensure that every camera i work with produces holga-esque images. which begs the question: why not just shoot always and everything with the holga? answer: cause that would be too easy--it's more fun to produce images that might have been taken with a holga but were not.

if anything, it could be my experience with digital cameras (and their results) that informs my goals when it comes to working with pinhole cameras. i was bummed that my matchbook images were much, much softer than others i had seen online (i.e., those that made me want to try pinhole photography in the first place), same goes for the images i took with the zero image and now the pinhawk. and i swear, i'm not spinning around with the camera, not shaking it, etc. while taking these shots. i'm working with a tripod and/or setting the camera on a stable surface but i do think that i might introduce some disruption at the start and end of each exposure (i.e., in the process of uncovering and covering the pinhole). in this way, i figured that the shorter exposures would be blurrier than the 1/2 hour or longer exposures. though not the most patient of folks, i'm not against practicing in order to achieve better--or just different--results. it's just been frustrating to try so many different things--size of pinhole, type of camera, distance from pinhole to film, etc.--and to end up feeling like i'm not making any kind of progress toward my goal.

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