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Pinhole photography trial

Having worked with lumen prints and cyanotype for some time now, and being unable to access the print studios at uni, I decided to branch out and try some pinhole photography. The analogue process of pinhole photography would allow me to continue to trace the Tamaki Estuary site in a direct and immersive way without transitioning into a lens-based practice.


I made the camera using an old Milo tin and turned my bathroom into a darkroom, and took my first few test shots in the garden to figure out the ideal exposure times. The first shot I took had an exposure time of 1:30 mins, and was severely underexposed. The next three were exposed for 2:30 mins and came out nicely. The only issue I had was what looks like a lens flare appearing in the middle of the images, which I suspect was caused by the light bouncing off a tiny piece of foil around the pinhole that I had missed with the black paint. I didn’t really mind this occurrence in a couple of the shots - it almost looks like a shaft of sunlight and gives the images a magical quality. However in one of them it was too much and overexposed the centre of the photo.






The next step will be to take the camera down to the estuary and document the site, potentially even creating some lumen prints at the same time so it will be like a documentation of the documentation. I am also looking into how to do long exposure pinhole photography, similar to Tim Knowles’ work ‘Glacial Creep’.


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