Today’s a special day for all pinhole photographers out there! We will share with you our takeaways from this day and the best online resources to enjoy it.

Happy World Pinhole Day!
Hello from us! – World Pinhole Photography Day 2020

We hope that you had enjoyed our very first article here and have also checked out our alternative photography images and recent Instagram posts. If not, we have prepared a little recap for you, so keep reading…

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day is like a birthday, maybe it is even more than that, for us. Why? Because this technique is so simple, yet so meaningful that are delighted to share it at anytime and in every means.

The basic concept of this kind of photography is the one of Camera obscura but if you believe that you have to be a physicist to be able to grasp it, we are happy to explain it using a few elements:

  • opaque, dark, lightproof box
  • needle or pin
  • light
  • light sensitive paper, film or emulsion on material
  • Chemicals

With these elements, you will be able to create astonishing images, sharp or blurry, in and out of focus, distorted, doubled…the possibilities are as endless as endless is human’s creativity.

If you would like to be inspired and know the best Pinhole Photographers of our time, follow this link. These photographers have a lot of experience and it takes many attempts to perfect the technique, so do not be discouraged if the first images do not look exactly like theirs.

Who is a pinhole photographer?

Nowadays, many amateur and professional photographers experiment with pinhole softwares, adaptive systems of lenses or backs for their phones or digital cameras. See hereare you one of them?

If anything else, pinhole photography is inclusive of every means and tool. However, we learnt that an old-school pinhole photographer is a rare species.

What does a pinhole photographer do?

They will carry around their many boxes or cans, a tripod (sometimes) with preloaded papers or films and will just wait.

They will measure the exposure times using scribbled formulas, look at the sun orientation, stare at the clouds diffusing the lights and shadows, make a mental map of all available buildings, silently chasing or shying away from passers-by.

Very organised pinhole photographers carry their lab around with them, modifying their car as needed, pack picnics and come with an extra changing bag and cameras.

Pinhole photographers have always been around, since the beginning of photography and lately, they are expanding their latitudes, connecting globally, sharing festivals, galleries, and most importantly, practices.

Unlike the typical photography type (alert: ironic post!), the pinhole photographer does not like to be recognised as such! They are mostly makers, experimenters, chemists even that stay behind the image and their cameras.

They love to share tips and to invite other people to such wonderful technique. They can hold free events, gift their handmade cameras, invite you for a photowalk (which contrary to its name, is indeed very static).

How did we end up into pinhole photography?

For us it all started in Buenos Aires at the meetings of EstenoBaires group which we casually met to purchase an old 35 mm camera (my first camera indeed, a MEIKAI L).

Little did we know that it would be a pivotal point in our life. Shooting images, developing in the car-lab, analysing, making more cans. Recycling. Teaching in children hospitals and in humble neighbourhoods.

We did not lose the knack for this art form, upon returning to Europe, we strengthened it thanks to the inspiring Zilvinas Glusinskas whom generously and quietly shared his knowledge during our long walks.

This journey never ended, as everything can be reused, redefined, shared.

Why Pinhole photography?

So, now that it is clear how we got to this point:

  • Why carrying around heavy boxes and cans instead of a lightweight camera?
  • Why standing in on single place for long exposures?
  • Why collecting and recycling any otherwise trash in order to make a camera out of it?
  • Why setting up a lab in the back of the car or in the toilet?
  • Why enduring working under a red light with chemicals smell and total seclusion for hours?

Because pinhole photography is what gets us close to time, the only thing human beings have no control on. You may object, that photography in general is capturing a moment in time.

But you see, we do not want to only capture a moment in time.

We want to record all the time where people are alive and become ghosts, where water flows and becomes silk, where light leaks burst in every direction regardless of the laws of optics, where we can follow the sun trails for a whole year!

We want to stand still waiting for the exposure to be made, blinking our eyes through the red light to discover the image formed in the paper coming to life, giving our time to something liberating and creative.

If you want more reasons why, here there is more:

What do you think of this technique?