As I mentioned in this morning’s reblogged post, today is a day to celebrate the pinhole camera. We met a group of people down at the B&H store in Manhattan, talked a little about how to convert cameras to take pinhole pictures and things to remember as we figured out exposure times. Then we all trundled off to the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market. (Yes, Hell’s Kitchen has been gentrified for quite a few years already.)
I did not actually bring a pinhole camera of my own. By the time we had decided to attend, it was already too late to find something for me to convert. I was also a bit intimidated by the equipment I imagined would be in use by other photographers on the walk. I didn’t want to show up with my little kit camera (that isn’t even built yet!) and look like a poseur.
I needn’t have worried. As it turns out, most of the people there were sporting their DSLRs fitted with a custom body cap with a hole in it. Those who didn’t even have the cap could buy one ready-made in the store. Rather than dealing with exposure, some of them just changed settings on their camera so the exposure wouldn’t be so long. Which kind of defeats the purpose of the exercise, really. Buzz, with his converted Brownie, scored major points with our workshop leader. I had my Lubitel 166B with me, and that got a little attention from those who knew what it was. It isn’t a pinhole, but at least it’s film!
What we did have along with us was a camera that the workshop leader had bought from a previous attendee. It is an old Polaroid film back attached to a cigar box with the pinhole in the front of the box. That satisfies those who prefer film, and those others who want the instant gratification of digital. He let everyone have a go with the cigar pinhole camera so we could all try at least one film shot.
Here was my effort:
It is underexposed, and this film seemed to give a blue tint to everyone’s pictures, but I still kind of like the silhouettes. (The specks on the right of the picture aren’t dust on the scanner. They were actually on the film.)
It also gave me an idea for my own possible conversion camera:
This was the camera that captured a great deal of my childhood. My father bought it in 1965 (I still have the receipt) and he was quite proud of it. I found it again a few years back and kept it, but so far it’s been only decorative and sentimental. But it might be put back into use soon.
I think I smell a summer project…