17 Minutes of Light

One of the fun projects we had recently in Intermediate Black and White Photography class was making pinhole cameras! The concept is simple, but Yoda (Sam Olfano) always tries to ‘edumacate’ us, as I like to say!

For the pinhole we used the bodies of our film cameras, but took the body cap off and replaced it with a thin piece of brass with a teensy hole in it. Not so simple to make. We took a tiny sewing needle and barely dimpled the brass. Then we took the finest of sand paper and sanded the opposite side of the dimple until we made a hole that was only visible when we put in our enlargers in the darkroom. The trick is getting the hole small and perfectly sanded round or you would end up with real fuzzy photographs. Then you had to use math and measure the hole and the focal length of your camera, to create a lens that you can get some unique results with. Some of my first attempts were not as successful and looked more like scrambled eggs than a photograph.

After much practice, and many boxes of film and photo paper, I began to grasp the idea. I applied this new gained “black magic” and got some nice shots! One of my shots was an almost 17-minute exposure! Once again I am sitting out at night in the cold, freezing getting photographs!

Here are some of the shots I took, let me know what you think!

Pinhole3002 Pinhole3001 Pinhole2004


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