A few weeks ago, while in London, I wrote about my frustrations with the tube (underground). I was trying to get to a tour of Brompton Cemetery and everywhere I turned I was blocked, first by a marathon and then by delays in public transportation. A reader took offense to my post. They didn’t like what I said and what I didn’t say. I think this is funny because I write for myself. My blog is just my journal about my life….where I have gone and what I might be doing. It gives me a chance to post photos that tell a story which I can’t really do on Flickr. It’s for fun.
On that day of frustration I was in a hurry. I had a time constraint. I couldn’t get where I needed to go. This got me to thinking about how we all spend so much of our time running around. We need to slow down.
So today, it’s not about slowing down because of physical limits or age but slowing down with photography. No, I’m not quitting my hobby. You must be kidding. It’s about using a pinhole camera.
I own two pinhole cameras, both made by Zero Image. I have a 6×6 and a 6×9. Once I started shooting with a Hasselblad I found I enjoy the square format better and am using it more often than the 6×9. The 6×9 covers a wide area and I find it a bit more challenging to compose. I’m making it a priority to use my pinhole cameras more than I did this past year. Most often I use it for landscapes especially those with water because I like how it slows down the movement of the water.
And there you have it…..slowing down. It slows down the whole process. The exposures can be as quick as one or two seconds or hours long. At Halloween I made some hour-long exposures (film still in the camera) and today I did some 3-minute exposures in my house. Nothing special, just daily life….in slow motion. When you take pictures of people with a long exposure they either don’t show up at all or they may appear ghostly. What appears in focus are items that are staying still for most of the exposure time. This is just another reason why I like the camera. Some photos are a bit eerie and others, like the one of me, appear out of focus which I think is perfect because I don’t like photos of myself.
That’s why I like the pinhole. The exposures are long and I have to slow down. I have to wait. I took the camera on my trip to England but hardly used it and I regret this now. But not everyone wants to wait for you when you are making a 30-minute exposure. I understand this and so sent the camera home…big mistake. I saw some pinhole photos of London by another Flickrite and now wish I had used mine. Next time I will.
If you don’t know what to do while you are waiting for an exposure then how about taking photos with another camera during that time? I usually carry more than one camera so while my camera sits under a tree for 15 minutes I pull out my dSLR or my Holga and make other photos. No time wasted, but that doesn’t fit into the whole ‘slowing down thing’. So maybe just sit and wait. Look around and take in your surroundings. Look at the details…at your feet and up above your head. I also find that when I set up my pinhole that it attracts other photographers who come by and want to know what I am doing. It’s a perfect time to educate people to this great little camera and what it can do……gives you lovely photos and slows you down. Something I need to keep working on.