The waiting is over...

by Helen Hooker January. 21, 2019 376 views
One of my first shots - a Spitfire in the hangar at Duxford. I've cropped out a large expanse of grey flooring as I misjudged my framing. Not having a viewfinder to frame up your shots has its challenges!

One of my first shots - a Spitfire in the hangar at Duxford. I've cropped out a large expanse of grey flooring as I misjudged my framing. Not having a viewfinder to frame up your shots has its challenges!

Back in April I started shooting with my new Ondu pinhole camera – the ultimate in low tech photography. The camera itself is a work of art, beautifully sculpted from wood, but instead of a lens it has just a pinhole. I’ve never tried this type of photography before so it was a real leap into the unknown. I knew the resulting pictures would be unpredictable and were unlikely to be as sharp as anything I’d get with a lens but only time would tell.

The walled garden at Chartwell in April

The walled garden at Chartwell in April

Audley End House. This was an exposure of just one second and you can see the shutter shake!

Audley End House. This was an exposure of just one second and you can see the shutter shake!

Last week I finished off the roll of film and waited with bated breath for the negatives to come back from being developed. As I expected, I had a good number of failures, but I understand that’s common with pinhole photography, especially when you start off.

An early morning shot at Dillington House. This one taught me that pinhole cameras are very prone to lens flare!

An early morning shot at Dillington House. This one taught me that pinhole cameras are very prone to lens flare!

Fortunately I keep a notebook in with my camera and carefully note down my settings and shutter speed for each shot. This proved very handy when I couldn’t remember where I’d taken some of the photos!

Thaxted Church

Thaxted Church

I evidently forgot to wind the film on between shots here, so this is a double exposure. I rather like the effect and will be trying it again intentionally!

I evidently forgot to wind the film on between shots here, so this is a double exposure. I rather like the effect and will be trying it again intentionally!

Another one from Thaxted Church. This was a five minute exposure and I stood in the centre of the frame for one minute of it. Evidently I should have waited longer, as there's only the ghostliest of impressions of a human shape there!

Another one from Thaxted Church. This was a five minute exposure and I stood in the centre of the frame for one minute of it. Evidently I should have waited longer, as there's only the ghostliest of impressions of a human shape there!

I’ve already put another roll of film into my Ondu, this time black and white, and shot off a few frames. In general I found the longer exposures were more successful. The shutter mechanism is a small wooden lever which is lifted, and I suspect it’s hard to make that really shake-free when you have to do it quickly.

A thirty minute exposure of Christmas lunch. The dinner table and bookshelves are moderately sharp, but the humans the food on the plates aren't!

A thirty minute exposure of Christmas lunch. The dinner table and bookshelves are moderately sharp, but the humans the food on the plates aren't!

Compared to modern photography, these shots aren’t sophisticated or perfect in any way, but they have a certain quirky charm. I’ll keep you posted on how the next batch turn out!

Great Bardfield Church, looking towards the altar.

Great Bardfield Church, looking towards the altar.

21 January 2019

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There are 7 comments , add yours!
Heike 1 year, 4 months ago

Fantastic! All this photos have really a very charming character  !

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 4 months ago

Amazing experiments my friend

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
John Waco Jr 1 year, 4 months ago

Just love your pinhole photography ... Today I see it very often that young filmmakers at film school, they keep demanding, we need the state of the art camera. pinhole lens built to the same standards as the best motion-picture lenses and designed to take advantage of this.

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Nick Ambrose 1 year, 4 months ago

Interesting stuff Helen. Must give it a try someone!

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 1 year, 4 months ago

Great,love it. Still have to try out my Agfa clickll with a 120mm film

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Rachel The Introvert 1 year, 4 months ago

I for one LOVE the effect. So vintage and charming wow!! I’ve never done anything with film so this just blows my mind.  Can’t wait to see more !

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald 1 year, 4 months ago

how far we have progressed, it is as if you stepped back in time. very cool

1 year, 4 months ago Edited
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