Through the Pinhole

I spent a lovely afternoon at the Botanic Gardens today, spring was definitely in the air as the place was abloom with crocuses, daffodils and narcissi.  An added bonus was the Pinhole Photography Festival that is currently on there (ends Friday 16th) and the fact that everyday at 2pm they hold a beginners workshop.  As luck would have it, we arrived there at 1:45pm and there was space on the workshop!

The workshop was lead by Kenny Bean, pinhole camera photographer, who talked to us about the pinhole camera, and how it works (the sciencey bit).  He then showed us how to set the camera up and how to actually take the picture.  Then we were let loose to find our spot.

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Once back in the centre we then went through to the dark room, when Kenny talked us through how the magic happens.   A few dunks of our photo in some different solutions and voila – we had a negative!

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Whilst that was drying, and now knowing what we needed to to, we went off again looking for another photo opportunity.  Back in the dark room, this was developed and left to dry while we turned our other negative into a photo, which was done by placing the negative face down on a blank piece of photo paper and sandwiched between some glass and cardboard, and then placed under at light for approx. 12 secs.  Then back to the trays of solutions to develop our picture.

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It was such a fun and interesting afternoon, as well as a little addictive.  Looking at the images and thinking that these really came from a can with a hole in it, is pretty amazing.

The exhibition itself was fascinating, with works from the Edinburgh Lo-Fi group and other international pinhole photographers. Including one photographer who made a small pinhole camera that fitted in his mouth – so all his photos have his teeth in them!

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Kenny himself uses a wheelie bin as a pinhole camera, with some amazing pictures.  He also uses a technique where instead of soaking the photo paper in trays of solution, he paints it on, so there ends up being brush stroke effects round the edge of the photo.

Over the last year or so, I have been getting more into my photography and  I am now the proud owner of a Lomography fisheye (in fetching Watermelon design!), a polaroid and a 110mm  camera, on top of everything else. Unfortunately for Stuart, I came away today with that look in my eye of….’ I think we could turn that hall cupboard into a dark room’…. He is off now to hide all the tins!