Saturday, 17 January 2015


I was given a beautiful wooden pinhole camera just over a year ago - a Zero Image 69. Made from teak and surprisingly light to carry around, it's a versatile multi-format film camera which can be adjusted by a pair of interior dividers to give a range of formats: 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7 and 6x9. Although I had coveted it for quite some time, it took me a while to bite the bullet and try it out! My only previous pinhole experience was with one made out of an old biscuit tin and the results had not been a success so it was with a fair amount of trepidation that I shot my first roll of film.

It's fair to say that even with a precision made camera like this one, it takes a bit of practice and I'm only just beginning to get the hang of it. The main problem is getting the correct framing and timing - most of the time I seem to have over-estimated the exposure time a little and the framing is a bit hit or miss. I think the trick is to move in closer as it gives a very wide-angled result so it's easy to get in unwanted detail at the edges of the frame. I had imagined that the images would be a bit sharper - I have seen examples where the detail is pin-sharp but mine seem to be rather soft, though the depth of field is there. This combination of softness and depth of field creates an unwordly, ethereal effect which I rather like. The magic of photography in its purest form - produced by what is little more than a box with a hole and some film! 

I haven't printed any of the negatives yet so it will be interesting to see how they compare with the scans. I have plans to take my pinhole camera on an outing soon but in the meantime, here are some examples I took last year......

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