Archive for March, 2012

On March 7th 2010, I visited the NEC in Birmingham to attend this years Focus on Imaging.

I was lucky enough to be the 1000th person to buy the recently released Harman Titan Pinhole Camera, there is a link to the press release below:


I received various films and papers from Ilford, (Thank you very much to the team at Ilford.) I was also lucky enough to receive two prototype lenses for the Harman Pinhole  camera from Mike Walker whom I also had the pleasure of meeting at Focus.

With these lenses I now intend to test within my practise to broaden my research into pinhole photography, I believe the Harman Titan Camera is an essential link between conceptual and process driven elements of my work.

Here is an image of the prototype lenses, which I am extremely excited to test:


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As you will see from the following images since my last trial with Collodion I am now far more prepared with equipment.

I also made a second silver bath (which I have labelled batch two),  and re cleaned all equipment with distilled water.

I am going to use an external power source to charge a full size safe light as last time I had much trouble developing my images with such a small light to guide me. Wind breakers were also used to keep the darkroom and everything inside it safe.

I again used the Harman Titan Pinhole camera to expose the plates.

It took me 50 minutes to set up everything which also was a marked improvement on my last set up time, pre mixing chemicals (fix) at home instead of in the landscape.

The set up can be seen below:

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I intend next time (Trial Three), to video record myself setting up equipment and performing the process.

Although I have an image on each plate I still have a lot to learn. I realised that the exposure time will push the boundaries of the viability of the plates sensitivity as the exposures are so long. The images I achieved I believe to be under exposed, perhaps on a brighter day I could achieve better results. However the brighter the day the temperature   in theory will be higher and therefore the exposure time will shorten. Perhaps practise and experience will hopefully expand my knowledge.

Here are the results from this trial:

8 minute exposure.

Unfortunately this image was so fragile even the wind can damage it, images as soon as the are dry should be varnish to protect them.

10 minute exposure.

15 minute exposure

18 minute exposure.

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Often within my work I engage with landscapes that are unexpected locations to take photographs, some photographers take photographs to remember a particular moment in a particular location. What interests me is the overlooked, the mistaken and the forgotten, echoed by my use of unconventional /alternative  or forgotten processes.

I experimented with ultra long pinhole photography at night in Sainsbury’s Superstore. Throughout the night with only the ‘graveyard shift’ workers singly occupying the isles the store becomes a desolate place, a non existent place where all purpose and meaning surrounding the consumer driven building has been lost.

It literally becomes a ghost town.

The Exposures I made with these camera’s were over two hours in length, so far, I have only tested Ilford Multigrade paper that has an Iso of 3. Later I wish to test film and perhaps the new Harman Ilford 5×4 Titan Pinhole Camera.

Here are the types of camera’s I used:

Here are some images of where I hid my camera’s (for as long as four hours), as I was working within the store, this is how the ghostly traces appear on the long exposure images.

Although the store looks adequately lit in this images during the night only minimal lighting is left on leading to the need to such exposures.

Here are some small documentation’s of my findings:

I also tried double exposures as way of working, as subtle movement was a key element to these works.

The results are below, I think they work conceptually to create to other world I have been looking to rediscover within a place its fleeting mystery.

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This is a back dated post from 2011, following my initial home made camera’s.

I wanted to construct a camera from something more that found materials to see the difference and use film within a dark slide to test quality.

I used Ilford b&w film iso 100.

The results were unexpected, the quality was good, much better than that of paper I have used however the flat box and the size of the pin hole gave a very flat ‘portal’ image in the centre. By this I mean the pinhole imprint on the paper was very circular and not as aesthetically pleasing as that of the circular camera’s images. This is due to the size of the pinhole and the flat film across the back within the double dark slide. Although it is not the traditional ‘look’ of the pinhole image (which I gather is supposed to fill the negative), I find the aesthetics of the circular cameras more conceptually gratifying.

However, film is something I wish to explore within the pinhole camera…

The results and documentation’s can be seen below:

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During my Artist Residency placement in Argentina I was able to further explore my techniques within pinhole photography not only did I run workshops to the pupils of St George’s College, Quilmes I spent my weekend capturing fragments of the city of Buenos Aires.

I was also using other camera’s and equipment at the time but the pinhole camera enabled me to again get a ‘hidden’ perspective of the city in locations that other cameras were forbidden.

‘Recoleta’ 2011

‘Green House’, Palermo.

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I have been experimenting with Pinhole Photography for the past 4 years, for myself the aesthetics of the wide angle of the pinhole, the freedom to experiment and the unpredictability at times has inspired a range of work revolving around this process. The unpredictability of experimenting with the fundamental elements of photography light, chemistry, emulsion and paper have all been tested and explored in a number of ways through this process, the results of which are never what I would expect, however I believe the methodology of chance is all part of the experience and the joy I get from experimenting with such techniques.

My first experience was with a film canister hand impressing the pinhole, which adds to the risk of imperfections but also the risk of something unexpected happening on the Ilford paper negative.

Here are the Initial Images:

The images I developed were like pinhole portals as if i were looking through into an other-world. This was emphasised by the aesthetic qualities a negative has, ghostly a reflection of something that appears to being in the everyday but is backwards. The circular pinhole became a motif in my work over the years, the dark portal like a rip in time captures on the resin coated paper.

The marks, spots, light leaks and occasional fingerprint all add to the feel of the image to me the negative was something hand produced and raw, unlike my experiences with digital I was captivated by the natural imperfections.

And so I experimented with larger vessels for the photographic paper, as the negative had a sort of artefact feel by itself I wanted to create 8×10 ‘negative objects’:

The image below illustrates an aspect I find helpful and unique to pinhole photography the element of secrecy. Pinhole photography allowed me to see the world from a almost hidden point of view, a view from within. Which was interesting as it lead to me hiding my camera within natural objects, and eventually using it to capture landscapes that are unavailable or non existent to most.

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