Saturday, June 24, 2006

Pinhole Distractions

I have been working on the big volcano book this weekend. All the parts are cut out and painted. I made several tests to see if I could hinge the parts together with cloth. I found that brushing Imperial batiste with Polyvinyl Acetate glue made it pretty tough. It doesn't unravel, and is easily painted with black gesso.

I am also distracted by this:

It's my oatmeal box pinhole camera. There are instructions here. My son is coming for a visit next week. We usually have "Art Camp" during the summer visits. This year he wants to make pinhole cameras. I have been wanting to try a pinhole, but didn't want to bother with the time required to turn the bathroom into a darkroom. However, since there will be two of us, the scales were tipped. I also went to Flickr and found an incredible number of fantastic photos taken in pinhole cameras of various kinds. Just search on "pinhole" or "homemadecamera." Here is my favorite

There is something so appealing about making such a low tech camera. I'm not technical and can't remember all those photography rules. So the thought of no lens, no filters, no whatever really appeals to me. When I went to our local photo store, (Kaufmann's on 25th in San Mateo), the guys were so nice. I thought they would think pinhole photography was too funky and weird. But one guy was very helpful finding small packages of chemicals and paper. He told me that lots of people do this for art projects. Another guy told me how great the Holgas are, and to check out Pinhole Journal. A customer in the store told me where to get black-out material. When I called Freestyle to get the rest of the supplies, the woman on the phone was so nice and enthusiastic. She told me about her matchbox pinhole, and Holga photos. (If you haven't heard of them, Holgas are $20 plastic cameras. They have light leaks, the back can fall off, and they take very atmospheric photos. Check Flickr for these, too.) I feel like I've stepped through a camera lens into the pinhole world. People are instantly friendly.

Looking at all the pinhole photos on Flickr gave me a real energy boost. It's fun to have a new interest, I feel charged up and excited about it. I think it will feed my creative energy in general. I can use the photos in collage, and already have some plans for my fern book. There are so many things to explore and try out, I can get excited about something and get completely off track on my art projects. So right now I'm trying to restrict the photo stuff to the evenings.

Who knows how these photos will turn out. I did find this calculator, which I hope will help. I'll post photos next week if anything is at all presentable.

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