1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Poll - Is pinhole photography still relevant?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    The Pinhole is the seed from which all photography has grown. This microscopic germ, this black hole, is the origin and passage for our understanding of light, the way it travels and how it can be harnessed for art and science. Photography was born the moment it was noted that an inverted image is created as light passes from outside to inside through a hole in a wall. For focus we made pinholes smaller, before discovering water and then glass lenses. Finally, to methods for making permanent those fleeting shapes drawn where the light fell – with charcoal then pencil, silver then diodes.

    We use the pinhole still, but a variable aperture fed with light channelled by glass. Returning to the genesis of our love might seem a backward step, but Doug Chinnery shows this week the value in doing so. Progress doesn’t have to be built on a series of disposable developments. If you can look back and see only a train of potentials ripe for revisiting, your experience and outlook will be enriched. With digital photography risk is removed and success assured. With film the old anticipation still beats. You might just find heaven through the point of a needle, rather than its eye.

    Take part in our poll, Is pinhole photographry still relevant? by heading to the homepage.

    Thanks all


  2. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Pinhole may only have a small following, but it's relevant for those people for as long as they enjoy it. The big corporations might not like it because they can't make any money from it... after all, all you need is a body cap, something to make a hole in it and a bit of silver paper or similar to mount behind the hole which you then stick a pin through. :)
  3. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member


    You just as easily ask is drawing and painting relevant with photography now being easier than ever before.

    Pinhole is just another form of creative expression, you work within the liimits of the medium. Just like using a fix focal length camera or deciding to stick with film because you like the results of a particular brand of film with camera.
  4. turbulentwheat

    turbulentwheat Well-Known Member

    It's relevant for those who like it. I don't.:)
  5. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    It was fun when I was a child... but we grow up.

    I was surprised the article did not mention that pinhole photography is diffraction limited as a reason for the softness of the image.
  6. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Well, some of us do, partially.

    Pinhole photography has a magic that is simply lost with the increasing sophistication of modern technology. If there's not enough of the child left in you to recognise that magic, I'm sorry for you.

    Sure, this is a limitation of the technology - but then you're completely freed from focusing considerations, depth of field etc. Liberation always goes hand in hand with limitations. In any case, diffraction effects need not be distracting - just use a larger format so that there is no magnification required (contact printing removes the need for an enlarger) and you can get away with working at f/180 ...
  7. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Pin hole photography, coupled with film, is a great way of introducing children to photography. They get to make their own camera and use it, then they can develop the film, assuming modern schools have the necessary facilities.

    The relevance is that, using film, pinhole cameras are cheap but effective.
  8. gollum

    gollum Well-Known Member

    Guess it must be, my first year had a small unit devoted to it, including building your own camera :)
  9. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

  10. zx9

    zx9 Well-Known Member

    You don't even need film, both my children have made and used pinhole cameras using Pringles and Peanut cans, we used RC paper, scanned the 'negatives' and reversed the image and tones in Photoshop. They enjoyed seeing the images appear in the developer, something that can be done with film but it is not so easy to develop panchromatic material by inspection.
  11. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    About as relevant as Lomography....overpriced and crap results
  12. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Re: Why is AP against brevity?

    I tried to enter a reply of less than five characters and it was rejected.
    Why is AP against brevity?
  13. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    At 76 I am well into my second childhood. But messing with chemicals has lost its attraction after 66 years, and digital pinhole stuff leaves me cold.

    Diffraction increases in inverse proportion to the size of the aperture. It can not be escaped at any size with a pinhole.
  14. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Geoff, have you not met anyone born this century? They have attentions spans measuring less than the exposure time of a pin-hole image! By the time you'd exposed, developed, process and printed the film they'd be on to the thing after the thing after the thing after the thing after the thing after the thing after the next thing. :D
  15. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    The very young and the not so young, possibly. Between the ages of about 7 and 10 there is a window in which many (if not most) children are naturally interested in science and haven't yet acquired teenage attention deficit disorder.
  16. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    I went for 'fun and creative', though would have the caveat that I have an aversion to arty farty types who try and pass off such things as genius interpretations....
    I think pinhole along with the whole retro thing that seems currently in vogue, are great to play with and part of the fun (a large part) is the unpredictability of the whole thing.
    I liken it to me having my weekend car to play with, with it's 4 pot carburrated engine - you can see lots of the bits actually working, engine management is to do with managing to start it (or not!) and I built large parts of it (eek!)- my day to day car needs to do a different job and the Panda (steady now) is better at that, but it can't match the fun and back to basics of the Caterham!
  17. m.rignall

    m.rignall Active Member

    The problem with most simple pinhole cameras is that all that appears to be required is a Coke can, a needle and and a sheet of very slow photographic paper. For those that have tried serious pinhole photography a completely different range of tools is available, since one step up from the Coke can approach is a camera using FP4 etc. This can produce not only a superior image, but the pinhole technique can easily be applied to make curved film cameras for superb panoramas and shift panels designs for architectural work, both without the expense of complex and expensive optics.
  18. Rushfan

    Rushfan Well-Known Member

    Can you please enlighten us as to what formats / media AP would have us believe are "relevant"?

    Once our perceptions and desires have been corrected, we can ditch all of our film cameras, Ilford, Kodak, Fuji, Foma, Agfa and Adox film plants can close (they were just a nuisance anyway, I know) and we can all trot down to a Jessops "Centre of Excellence" and by another digital camera, like good little consumers....

Share This Page