In between all sorts of other things, I’ve been experimenting with ways to create unique photographs just as much as the actual subject matter. Above is a recent cyanotype made from this photograph. The paradox involved with solar printing however, is that at the moment is there is too much sun for me to have raging success right now. I know, I know, always complaining, right? But experience tells me that autumn and spring definitely work the best for reliable, workable sunrays. I’ll get back on this a bit more in a few weeks as I love working with simple, small subjects on larger expanses of delicious papers. Less is more, just in case you were not aware. It’s the law.
I’ve also been mucking about quite a bit with pinhole cameras. First off I dug out and dusted down a camera I made many, many moons ago when I attended a pinhole workshop day. Nothing. I tried my daughter’s version and that fared a little better, I had a couple of pictures that weren’t too shabby and I even tried developing some in Caffenol-C with various results from nothing to meh. Then I tried a Stenoflex my husband bought me as a present a couple of years ago. The pictures it made have horribly deep vignetting and the shutter broke on the second use. My son then gave me this little P-Sharan pinhole camera pictured above.
This is great; it takes 35mm film and so I can pop it into my bag and take it out and about. I took the above photo with it in a disused railway tunnel. Elastic bands on the handlebars of my bike to hold it steady, shutter up for 20 secs, done. Wind on and do another…
Still I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about building a well functioning pinhole camera though. Next attempt was this old ikea storage tin. A simple pinhole ‘lens’ from a coke can, inside spray painted black and a black paper shutter. I have to load it with paper, make a paper negative and then turn it into a positive. This was the first picture I took with it and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Funny how the complicated stenoflex couldn’t get an image like this. But still not 100% happy as I like the idea of loading a camera with film, as shooting with paper is a bit restrictive in terms of portability. So this is where I’m up to. I’m attempting to build a pinhole that will take 120 film. This is prototype N°3; 1 and 2 were a bit disastrous. I’m basing the design on this but with some serious modifications because there are way too many flaws in the design. Oh, and I don’t speak Spanish so that cranks up the fun levels. By the way, don’t you just love the picture of the bum with the plaster on the front? Yeah, me too.