If most digital photographs represent 1/60-1/100 of a second in a person's life, then pinhole photography consumes the most time. Over the course of the spring semester I have conducted an independent study of alternative photography, exploring processes such as Polaroids, cyanotypes, and pinhole cameras. The self-portrait above is one of the first images I made in the study, and it is one of my most successful photographs from that experimentation. There are a variety of other subjects as well, such as buildings, abstractions, and a few somewhat successful attempts at overnight exposures. I also lent the camera to a few of my friends, and with minimal instruction they were able to create images.
Overall I would say letting go of my control over the camera was the biggest challenge, but in the end it taught me a lesson in patience. Part of that lesson involved realizing that I do not need to spend every second guarding the camera (which is somewhat anxiety-inducing). As I sequestered myself in Goodyear for a large portion of the semester while I worked on both of my theses I had the opportunity to be in close proximity to my camera but not have it on my mind at all times. That is where the mobile app Pinhole Assist became quite useful. Not only does it tell you what exposure time you need based on aperture, ISO, and the sensitivity of the paper, but it also acts as a timer for the exposure, allowing one to go about their other assignments, chores, etc. until the photograph has been fully exposed.
The independent study was also a good chance to reestablish a darkroom practice, which acts as a closed off creative spaced that has been sometimes likened to a womb (I'm unsure as to how I feel about that, but let's roll with it for now). While this means my practice at Dickinson is coming to a close I am fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to explore a variety of photographic processes. I've moved beyond my college career, so I'll be somewhat lacking in terms of a studio space, and while that may mean mediums such as pinhole and analog photography will be a bit more difficult to come by, but I can still take photographs every day. Art is a lifelong career and I don't plan to stop any time soon.
You can see more of my photography from the independent series here.
Until next time!
Open your mind, be brave, and be kind.
To See With One's Body and Soul
This blog documents all of my adventures, as well as my development into an artist, writer, and a better person.