Friday, January 21, 2011

As low-tech as you can get

With all the photo contests, magazines, and projects that have my internal wheels spinning... I probably did not need another photography toy to further blur my focus.

(pun totally intended)

However, when I came across the P-Sharan pinhole camera kit in a kitchy little shop in Port Townsend I just couldn't resist the draw.  I've always been intrigued by pinhole photography - to think that you can still put together an example of the most basic, earliest form of camera, and have it be fully functional is just entirely fascinating to me.  Strip away all the buttons and gears and glass and f-stops and you can return to the bottom line definition of photography...

...painting with light.
This kit goes a few steps beyond the basic "poke a hole in a shoebox and stick some film inside".  There is a great deal of convenience in being able to roll film through it (rather than learn how to load and develop individual sheet film, which I doubt I have the patience to attempt) But beyond that modern convenience, it is a cardboard box with a pin hole for a "lens".

The kit turned out to be slightly more involved than I thought it would be.  It is conveniently laid out - pre-punched and pieces together with tape (no messy glue necessary) and the instructions read like a model car, which I have plenty of experience in buiding.  There were a surprising amount of layers involved in the interior of the structure, but when all pieced together it is extremely precise in it's spacing.

There was the film holder section and the front of the camera, which fit nicely together (on the left)  The camera back is on the right.  That square of cardboard is to be used for shooting.
Opening the shutter causes the camera to move, so you first block the front of the camera with the cardboard to open the shutter, then pull the cardboard away while you expose the film, put the cardboard in front again, then close the shutter.  Alternately you could use your hand, but the non-reflective black cardboard would be a better light block.
Here is the completed front of the camera, shutter closed.  The black rubberbands hold the back onto the front (though it fits so snug it hardly seems necessary, it is a good precaution)

Here it is with the shutter open.

Given our weather, and my further adventures of making up for lost time at work due to being sick last week, I have not managed to load film yet.  I am hoping our rain will let up enough over the weekend for me to explore this piece of low-tech fun.

In the mean time... I do have a new Holga album I recently uploaded to my site: Holga Fall/Winter 2010

1 comment:

kr said...

This is so cool. You should totally cross-post at Keep the Geek if you guys are still running that one :).