Shutterings and Mutterings: A Creative Blog

The Pinhole Story

In April 2024 I organised a pinhole camera workshop for some of my students. It was the first time I'd ever tried teaching the pinhole process and I was nervous as hell beforehand. However, despite wet weather and poor light, the students enjoyed it and keep asking me when I'm going to organise another one.

A couple of weeks later I did a huge digital clean-up and tried to get my general "digital dump" into some kind of order. The process meant I revisited a lot of pinhole images dating back to 2010 and my first pinhole experiments.

That's two strands to the story - the third strand goes back to February 2024 when I got hold of a copy of Book of the Road by Daniel Meadows, which in turn prompted me to look at Daniel Meadows' website that includes a fascinating collection of short videos based on photographic work. His distinctive photo-based video storytelling style inspired me to create something of my own and my pinhole photography story seemed like a good subject.

I've focussed on my first cardboard 35mm pinhole cameras and some of the images I coaxed out of them. My experiments with multiple exposure on medium format film using craftsman-made cameras may become the subject of a sequel...

Further reading: If you are not already aware of Daniel Meadows and his remarkable 1973-74 Free Photographic Omnibus project, visit his website: www.danielmeadows.co.uk.

Blog home

Blog Extras

What's a pinhole camera? A pinhole camera is a lensless camera that captures light passing through a tiny aperture to form an image on film, photographic paper or a digital sensor. It's been around since the 1850s but the process has become particularly popular in the experimental photography world since the launch of www.pinholeday.org

What's so great about it? Pinhole photography is unpredictable and takes time. It forces you to slow down a bit, wait for results and be prepared to be surprised and be patient. If you've made the camera yourself, it can be very satisfying.

What was the Free Photographic Omnibus project? In September 1973 freshly-graduated documentary photographer Daniel Meadows set off in a converted double-decker bus on photographic road trip around England. He took free photographs of anyone who was interested and recorded a number of his subjects on tape or in his journal. He told his subjects they were making history. He's done many more exciting projects and did some pioneering work in digital storytelling. Look at his website: www.danielmeadows.co.uk

There seems to be a lot about Daniel Meadows in this post... There is - I'm very interested in his work right now...

You might enjoy my You Tube video stream.