Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Going really low tech.

So, after spending thousands of pounds on camera, lenses and lighting it seems a little strange to go all the way back to doing things in a very old fashioned way.
I got the bug for this a while back when I went for a pre-dawn wander and took some landscapes. I couldn't get an accurate light reading so I just plugged in the cable release and timed the exposures with my watch. Some of the resulting photographs worked, others didn't but the feeling it gave me was quite different to what I was used to.
Most of my photography is about precision (of focus, of lighting, of composition...) so to start guessing at how things were going to work was both exciting and a little nerve wracking.
I took it one step further and started to experiment with a pinhole lens.

There are various ways to make them, but I went with drilling a bodycap for my camera, putting a pinhole through a piece of coke can and then using duct tape to hold it in position.
The result is that I can't look through the viewfinder to see the subject (well I can, but there's nothing to see) and I have to guess what the light will do.
I've used it for landscapes.

I've used it for photographing a bonfire.

I've now even used it for taking portraits.

The effect is soft and imprecise but I like it.
The pictures don't feel like anything else I do, they force me to be more creative and they're satisfying in a way that's actually quite hard to describe.

I'm not saying I'm going to abandon my lenses completely, or that this is going to be the end of chasing after the extra bits of photography gear that are tempting me, but I do feel the need to push myself and find different ways of representing what I see.

Isn't that what a photographer is supposed to do?

See more of my work on my website here: RobG Photography
Get involved with World Pinhole Day

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