Paper Pinhole Camera Photos

After sitting in a drawer for a year, I finally built the paper-pinhole camera I bought at The MoMA Design Store in Omotesando.

 The camera is made from thick cardstock and comes with double sided tape instead of glue. The instructions were in Japanese but the diagrams were enough to go on.

 It’s pretty basic. The exposure “setting” written on the back of the camera is 2-3 seconds with ISO100 on a day suitable for the sunny 16 rule. But who has time for that? I threw in a roll of Fuji 1600 to deal with the cloudy days and to make the camera easier to shoot hand-held. I like the idea of tripods, I don’t like the weight. Plus you can toss a camera in your bag for the day, but a tripod requires planning.

I got my first roll of film back. It actually worked better than I expected. That bar was quite low actually. I thought the film would all be blank or light leak city. Here are the images unedited, except for the addition of lots of dust from my scanner. I only realised now how much it needs a cleaning.

When building the camera, I didn’t put in the frame part on the film. I don’t get a crisp, classic 35 mm frame. Instead I get a longer image with a lot of vignetting. Advancing the film is an art. It’s not a simple turn the knob twice as the instructions say. I ended up wasting a lot of film.

I didn’t really get any amazing images this go-round. I pretty much just took photos when I remembered the camera was in my bag. The camera works and I like it well enough that I might actually plan for a day of tripod carrying. I can see some potential for better photos with a more thoughtful approach to subject matter.

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2014: Interview with Dai Oinuma

The sixth interview in the Art Byte Critique Group series for Tokyo Art Book Fair 2014 is with Dai Oinuma. Dai studied at Rhode Island School of Design.

grave
“Grave.” Photo courtesy of Dai Oinuma

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m from Japan. I usually work in photography and video – both analogue and digital. My work is an exploration of the persistence, growth, decay, and rebirth of the environment and all living creatures.

What kind of book/s will you have at the Tokyo Art Book Fair?
I will have middle-end photoboks and postcards. I’m trying to make my book as affordable as possible while maintaining a certain quality.

kate
“Kate”. Photo courtesy of Dai Oinuma

Are these books mass produced or is each one unique?
My books are mass-produced, but they are hand-made.

What kind of materials do you use?
Washi and cellophane.

What are two points you want people to know about your books?
In addition to photographs, the book includes a couple of poems and texts inspired by headstone inscriptions at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Dorchester, MA.

Is there a website where we can learn more about you and your work?
daioinuma.com

How the Tate Modern’s Artist Timeline is Inspiring My Photography

The Tate Modern is great for a lot of things. One of them is the Artist Timeline that graces one of the walls. I adored the graffiti feel of the timeline and love all that information available to my greedy eyes.

A nifty piece of paper to get your Modern Art basics. The image links to the Tate Modern Shop.

And you can buy a small copy for yourself at the gift shop. Which I promptly did. If you can’t make it to The Tate, you can buy it online for £7.95

Attending a Robert Doisneau exhibit yesterday has lead to thinking about my favorite photographers. Today, in a fit of list mania, I started listing their names, and the dates the lived, died (unless they are happily still alive!) and worked. It occurred to me that this would be awesome as a Tate-style timeline. It also occurred to me that I am developing a rather… over-keen interest in infographics.

The last thing, the LAST thing I need is another project. But continuing to learn more about photography is one of my on-going goals. I spend a lot more time researching gear (some people do shoes, I do camera gear), techniques and editing than I do history and context. I know what I like, but I often struggle to put a name to the image and I want to change that. The thing about making my own time-line is that I can tailor it to my own interests rather than obsessing over someone else’s who’s who of photography. I understand the concept of canon (that elusive list of standards that is always in flux, not the camera company… hmmm… photography pun?) but I feel a personally tailored list will help me grow and be more compelling.

So, over the next bit, I’ll continue to compile my list. If anyone out there has their recommendations about who to check out I’d love to hear about it. I might not agree with you or want to put them on my personal list, but I always love to hear what other people like or what has influenced other shooters.

Banff and my Spendy Pencil the Fuji GW690III

It’s been a great summer of travel, but one of the tough things about traveling a lot is catching up with everything when you get back and getting time to get the pictures done. The store where I get my film developed takes a bit of effort to get to so I waited to develop my film until I had other errands in the same area. Despite the wait, I was excited to see the results because this was the first time I used the Fuji GW690III in the field. I’d taken it to Canada.

I bought the Fuji GW690III in April this year. I’ve only used a couple times and never far from home because that sucker is HEAVY even though it is a doll. For a range-finder, I find the focus really easy to use. Even complex images like sakura or pine trees seem manageable through this view finder. I also love, love, love the dimensions of this film.

I went hiking with a friend to Johnston Canyon. I was determined to take the Fuji and I’m glad I did even though I only got two rolls of film done. I choose relatively fast film because I wasn’t bringing a tripod. I expected I’d have just enough energy  to go up the trails never mind a tripod.

Photo of waterfall at Johnston Canyon Trail, Banff, Alberta

The first roll was black and white the ever-faithful Ilford 400 Delta.

The second was a film I’ve had good luck with in the past: Lomo redscale ISo 50-200. Despite my wish to shoot fast film, I ended up trying to shoot ISO 25-50. I was lucky that it was a really bright, sunny day. With my exposures, I think I should have got more blue in my photos than the hot red. I adjusted the redness in these photos using Photoshop after scanning the film. Not such a fan of the hot red of some of the photos so I’m not posting them.

 

I had a small accident with the film when dropping it off at the photo store. The glue had dried and come loose ruining the last photo and a bit of light leak on the above right.

I’d like to use this camera more often and carrying it around might be the inspiration I need to get back into the weight room.

Cheers!

L.

The light leak pattern is kind of interesting, but honestly, I’m more fascinated with where the numbers came from.

p.s.  This is what it looks like when the glue tab keeping your 120 film spool sealed gets loose.

%d bloggers like this: