Shutterings and Mutterings - photography blog

Pinhole image of toy footballers taken by Beowulf Mayfield

Playing along with the world

Since 2001, the last Sunday in April has been Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. The idea is that pinhole photographers across the world take a photograph on the day and upload it to a huge online gallery.

For some reason, the weather in London usually tends to be pretty dismal and Sunday, April 29, 2018, was no exception. Grey days generally do not inspire photography outings so I've tended to fall back on tabletop subjects set up by a bay window to get the maximum, albeit pretty flat, daylight.

By chance, I'd been on an outing to Spitalfields Market a few days earlier and picked up a mixed set of football figurines, perfect for long exposure set-ups. I had the subjects, some film and chemicals handy and the time to spare so I joined the worldwide party for 2018.

Pinhole image of toy footballers taken by Beowulf Mayfield

For the camera, I chose a trusty wooden medium format camera made by Cezary Bartczak which has given me good results on tabletop set-ups in the past. I used black and white Fomopan film which I find is easy to process myself.

Exposure time was calculated by counting "one thousand, two thousand..." up to ten thousand. In theory I was aiming at an exposure time of about ten seconds, although it was probably closer to seven or eight seconds.

Two reasonably good scans emerged and they appear above.

Here's the top picture in the Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2018 gallery.

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Where did you get the camera? I bought the camera from Cezary Bartczak's Etsy shop Vermeer Cameras.

Where sort of film do you normally use? It depends. When it comes to 120 format if I'm working in colour I prefer to use Kodak Ektar 100 which provides strong saturation and works well for long exposures. If I'm working in black and white I like to use Ilford Delta 100 which produces strong contrast and is robust enough to survive my inexpert attempts at home processing. If I'm strapped for cash I use Fomopan. I'll discuss 35mm film for pinhole in another blog entry soon.

Do you do all your own film processing? No. I only do black and white processing at home. Colour requires more chemicals, which pushes the cost up, and the temperatures have to be spot on. I prefer to leave it to a commercial lab. For my black and white processing I use a Patterson developing tank and a changing bag. Once the films are processed I scan the negatives and edit the results in Adobe Photoshop.

Where did you get the figures? I found them on a stall at the Thursday antiques market at Spitalfields.

You can see more by visiting my Flickr photo stream.