Like a lot of people, I learned about pinhole photography in college, in a basic photography course. For me, that was in 1972. Some pinhole evangelists (from Georgia I believe) were travelling through and showed us their cameras and photos they had made. I think most of us were pretty amazed at what they were doing.
After listening to our pinhole visitors discuss the medium, our instructor handed out instruction sheets for us to make our own pinhole cameras for the next class. We did (shown here is my first camera), and then we made our first images. We wandered around campus, placing these little boxes on the ground, opening up the shutters and then watching them soak up the light rays. Most of us weren’t satisfied with out first or second negative and kept going back to try it again. It was a lot of fun for the class. The next week the class moved on to learning about how our 35mm cameras worked and how to develop film and make prints. But I kept on just couldn’t get enough of the pinhole camera. That began what has turned out to be my life-long involvement with pinhole photography.
A question that is often asked is “why pinhole?”. Over the last 30 years or so, this question has been the subject (either overtly or implied) of numerous discussions and exhibitions of pinhole photographs. Pinhole photography holds a fascination for a lot of people, and more and more people seem to be giving it try, to see what it’s all about.
There must be some good reasons I have continued to experiment with the pinhole for 30 some years. At least I hope so. I intend to use these pages to explore what some of these good reasons might be. I plan to add occasional postings on the subject of “the spirit of pinhole photography” as they come to mind.