Getting back on track

The last Sunday in April is the annual event know as Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. I have participated for several years. In short, pinhole photographers from around the world are invited to make a photo on that day and upload it to their gallery. No contest, no prizes, just an amazing showcase. As I write this, there have been, 2,255 images uploaded to the gallery. Only one entry per person.

Last year was an epic fail. I spent the entire day trying to find a photo, traveling west to some nature preserves along Lake Erie. I made a few exposures, but they just weren’t very good.

This year I knew I wanted to go to the Flats section of Cleveland. I have a show this summer and wanted to include some fresh Cleveland images. In the end, I uploaded a photo that broke every rule of composition, but something just felt right about it (below). The photo above was the last I made that day, but thought it a bit cliche.

Since our BW lab in town closed over a year ago, I’ve had to return to processing my own film. This is a good thing. The results were good, although it took me way too long to load the 4x5 sheets into the tank holder in a changing bag, and my environment was less than dust free. Glad to get back on track with this camera.

Geek speak: I use a Robert Rigby pinhole camera which accepts 4x5 film carriers. The focal length is approximately a 21mm view. The aperture is approximately f 256. Exposure approximately six seconds on Kodak TMax 100 film, processed in Ilford Ilfosol 3. Negatives were scanned on an Epson V750 flatbed scanner, then cleaned up and toned in Photoshop CC.

A lensless day

The film is back. After a 10-month hiatus from by pinhole camera, I finally had a look at what I photographed on April 29, the annual Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day.

In the end, I decided to enter the one shown above, a close pick over the one shown below. You can only enter one. And there are no prizes.

I like both of them but they project very different thoughts. The top image follows one of the basic tenets of composition, the line. Specifically, converging diagonal lines. It forces you eye to the center, in this case, the Cleveland skyline. Alternating black and medium gray areas create triangles. It's very direct and simple, a lot like my previous work.

The alternative image, at left (click to view larger) is full of tension, full of crossing lines and angles with a curve thrown in. The skyline is barely visible. It shows at least three bridges, a trademark of the Flats. It's gritty, but to me it's more Cleveland.

I would appreciate your comments. And to see more pinhole photos, go to the gallery for the 2012 Worldwide Pinhole Day.