I’ve had a fairly productive time of it pinhole photography-wise. Whether it all works is another issue all together though! (This is particularly true of my infra red pinhole photography, were I attach to the front of my camera the IR filter, and it doesn’t always work).
Back in May, on a very wet Sunday morning I met Alex Howick from BBC Radio Derbyshire to talk about pinhole photography. It was so bad, that for the sake of speeding things along I switched to Ilford HP5, an ISO 400 film, instead of persevering with Pan 50, which is a much slower film (and the exposure would have taken for ages….). In the end, the exposure below was 15 seconds. You can hear my interview from 11 minutes and 20 seconds on https://soundcloud.com/alexhowick-1/oldfashioned . It was great to have chat and share my enthusiasm for pinhole photography, so much so, that I think I went on for about 40 minutes!
For our holidays this year we took Diggy our trusty campervan to the Outer Hebrides. The Outer Hebrides, of Canna, North and South Uist, Benbecula, Harris and Lewis have always been a place I have wanted to visit having been on exercise with the TA on Lewis and Harris in my late teens.
The islands are a step back in time, a slower pace with of life. Not the way of life sketched out in Paul Strand’s “Tir A’Mhurain”, but still not that far removed; the peat is still cut for the hearth and shops are still shut on Sundays. Many people still own and manage crofts, which are traditional small holdings, others are left to become derelict.
The geography of the islands is varied from the open space of the Uists, to the almost Scandinavian feel of Harris to the more recognisable Highland look of Lewis.
Some of these images work, but a lot don’t and I don’t know why. I was particularly disappointed in my Callanish shots, as it was for me the highlight of the visit (despite the surprising crowds). Nor do I understand why the “croft” picture worked, but the “cottage” picture didn’t, despite being on the same roll and taken minutes apart under the same light. As mentioned I rubber band my filter to the camera, but I’m looking at buying a smaller filter that I could fix/wedge/bluetac inside the camera box behind the aperture – that way all light will come in via the filter and I won’t have to faff around with keeping the filter in place – which might mean for a more even negative.
The highlight of the trip photographically was that of an abandoned croft on Skye near Staffin. The horse just makes this photograph, and I have to say I think it is my best pinhole photograph to date and it compliments my Ties to the Land Pinhole Photography project well. I think I just need to have horse with me for every shot I take now :) Also, for this shot, I switched to Ilford Delta 100 a finer grained film, which may (or may not) have had some bearing on the outcome.