Week 0: The Project

Hi and welcome to everyone interested in pinhole photography.

This blog has the purpose to keep myself going. I will try to produce a print of a pinhole negative every week and to present it here. At the end of 2010 I will end with a portfolio of 52 prints. With print I mean a print produced in my small darkroom.

The images on this site will all be scans from real prints and not scanned and photoshopped negatives. Most of them will be scanned lith prints, some may be kallitypes or cyanotypes - whatever fits best.

In addition to that I will also present some information about pinhole photography and about lith printing.

So I hope to present some nice images to you. Stay tuned.

This is a closed blog of a year of pinhole photography in 2010. There will be no more posts to this blog. That is the reason why I present the blog in oldest-first order and not as practiced in other blogs in newest-first order. This makes reading easier.
Posted: Friday January 1, 2010

Week 1: Bottles ...

Bottles, Zero45

Hey, here we go. It is the first week of 2010 and I am still on schedule. So here is the first image. I captured this image last year when I gave my new studio background a try. Did I say studio? Oh well, it is not what you think of a studio, but hey who cares.

I used the Zero 45 with 75mm. The aperture was f216 and the exposure time was 30 minutes. This is a scan of an 8×10" lith print of it, which I did on my current favourite paper for lith printing: Adox Fineprint Classic. More about this later.

Have a nice week.

Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Week 2: Tree and Snow ...

Tree and Snow, Zero45
Trees and Snow, Zero45

We had some snow. Well as always not much snow, but at least the landscape was a little bit powdered. The sun had already melted the snow from the trees so I went for some kind of minimalistic high contrast images with a vanishing horizon line because of equally bright ground and sky.

I loaded my film holders with film and went off with the Zero 45. I did 6 captures of 3 subjects. I tried each subject twice, one time with the pinhole and one time with the zone plate. Guess what, in the future I will stick with the pinhole.

Traces in Snow, Zero45

The prints are done on Adox Fineprint Classic. Did I mention that this is currently my favourite paper when it comes to lith printing. I like this paper because it produces nice grainy prints and because the color of the highlights does not turn into reddish tones like when using e.g. Fomatone MG. But it is hard to get this paper to produce colored highlights at all. The magic is done with Wolfgang Moerschs Ω lith additive which is used in high dilution (1+100) as a short second bath.

Even using a fat developer setup of 1+10, this paper does need a long time to develop in SE5Lith developer. The image showed for this week needed 10 minutes in SE5 and one minute in Ω to produce deep blacks. The other two shown here needed even longer. But if you like the look of lith prints, it is worth the wait. What you can see in Traces in Snow on the right is a print which was not exposed long enough and then developed too long. This resulted in a too dark and too contrasty image. With a bit more exposure on the paper (I was already at +2.5 stops) the highlights would have followed the shadows and the print would have more color and a bit less grain. Also the vignetting of the pinhole would not have been so obvious. But I had already settled on the first image above for this week and will try Traces in Snow in another printing session.

Posted: Monday, January 11, 2010

Week 3: An Old Shed ...

An Old Shed, Zero45
An Old Shed, Zero45

I was out again in the snow with the Zero45. This time we had a lot of snow for our usually snow free region. I think it was around 4-5 inches. I walked around, trying to keep out of the way of children sledging (it is saver for me and saver for them) when I came by a small and old shed, covered with snow. I think I spend about an hour there taking photos.

I started my printing session with fresh lith developer and then realized that it was not a day for lith. Sometimes it just does not fit. So these two images are not lith printed. They are developed using normal print developer and then sulfur toned after the highlights have been bleached back a bit.

Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Cameras ...

Pinhole Cameras

Maybe it is time to write something about the pinhole cameras I use. It is all about pinhole cameras and I own and use several of them.

The first little gem I want to talk about is the Zero2000. It is made by Zernike Au at ZeroImage. It takes rollfilm 120 and the image format is 2¼×2¼ inches. It is a nice little wooden box, it is small and I like using it. I bought the deluxe version of it, which contains a cable release and a level on top of the camera. It is so small that you can have it with you all the time. Although you have not seen any images on this site being captured with this camera - they will come eventually.

Then there is another camera which I use a lot right now, also made by Zernike Au. It is the Zero45 - the 45 stands for 4×5" inch film format. I like this camera because of the format, the negatives are big enough, but not too big to fit into my Durst enlarger. And it is pretty flexible as I can attach two more extension frames which let me use the camera with a "focal length" of 25mm, 50mm and 75mm. The cameras has 3 pinholes you can choose from which correspond to the mentioned focal lengths. You attach sheet film holders to the camera which are held by elastic bands. Also the frames are held together by elastic bands. This camera is still small enough to be carried in a not too big camera bag. It is still light travelling.

The third in the team is the rsph810 which I built myself. It is an 8×10" camera which you can attach sheet film holders similarly to the Zero45. It has a focal length of 90mm which produces a pretty wide angle of view. 8×10" pinhole images look impressive. When I first used this camera I thought about using a bigger pinhole diameter because the images then will look more like pinhole images.

But there is a price you have to pay. Compared to the other cameras, this camera is big, the film holders are big and you need a big bag to carry it around. It is not the weight, it is the size which counts. Because of the size you are also not carrying too many sheet film holders with you (well I anyway only have three of them) which also means some limitation. And to bring this rant to an end, also the negatives are big - too big to fit into my Durst 138 and that means that I can use these negatives for contact printing only.

Then in addition to these three real pinhole cameras I sometimes use a pinhole body cap for my Nikon camera. I also can use this body cap together with an adaptor to turn my little Panasonic Lumix G1 into a pinhole camera and do digital pinhole photography. But I have to say that I do not do this often.

Posted: Friday, January 22, 2010

Week 4: Yucca

Yucca, rsph810, lith print
Yucca, rsph810

This is again a still and me playing with equipment. New equipment that has to be tried out. What you see is a lith contact print from an 8×10" negative. The 90mm 8×10" camera was not standing near the plant, it was more about setting it up in the plant. And it was almost impossible to open the pinhole without shaking the leaves.

I bought a new lamp, an ADOLIGHT 3x (from PhotoImpex) which contains 3 energy saving bulbs and produces the light I need for my pinhole studio work. The problem with pinhole in the studio is, that you can not really use flashes. At least not the flashes I own which is just two old Nikon SB-24. To get enough light on the film through the pinhole I would have to fire these flashes more than 60 times at full power. So it is easier to setup the pinhole, start exposure and leave it alone for an hour. And another advantage - you actually can see your light. More about my "studio" in a later post.

I did two versions of this image - and you can see both versions here. First I had the ... well first I did a negative scan. Just because I never did an 8×10" negative scan with my scanner before. To be precise, I never scanned any 8×10" negative with any scanner before. The scan looked good, but it was nothing more than a negative scan. So next I did a print in normal print developer and sulfur toned it. That is what you see on the left. At the end of that printing session there was still room for some fun. That is when I put some Fomatone MG into lith developer. I liked that result more. Here it is. And I am curious which version you prefer.

Posted: Monday, January 25, 2010

Week 5: Yucca (next) ...

Yucca, Zero2000
Yucca, Zero2000

I am late this week. There was too much work and also I had some commitments for some APUG print exchanges. So I had to do a kallitype of last weeks Yucca. And I also printed this image again in lith for the so called group print exchange. If you are really interested in traditional photography you should give apug.org a try.

Yucca, Zero2000

So this week I gave the Zero2000 and my yucca a go and produced some prints. Here it is. It is a direct carbon toned print on Adox Variotone. Hope you will like this one. The first of the other candidates (on the left) is only carbon toned for a short time and the second candidate (on the right) has no toning at all.

The film used was a Fuji Neopan Acros (my standard at the moment in the Zero2000) which I developed in Wolfgang Moerschs eco film developer. My usual standard developer for 35mm and 120 is XTOL, but I ran into some problems lately with XTOL and Acros, so this is my first try of this new developer. So far it looks good to me, very fine grain and nice tonality.

Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2010
This is an archive of a closed blog project. For my current images visit: ZoneV