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about my pinhole photography

from camera making to fine art printing

chambre 8x10 N&B_edited.jpg


my pinhole camera (mickey)

Pinhole cameras are simpler in construction than regular cameras with lenses and can be easily made by hand.

However, since pinhole photography images are not expected to have the same resolution as a lens, it is desirable to use as large a film as possible to obtain a sharper image, which makes the camera larger.

Therefore, I use a pinhole camera, which is a modified version of an existing 8x10 camera for indoor shooting such as still life, and a can camera for 4x5 size for outdoor shooting such as landscapes.

In addition, can cameras are made to fit the subject and sometimes use film smaller than 4x5 inches.

For example, in the "I want to meet Ichiyo" series, a "Band-Aid" box containing a 6x9 cm sheet film was used as a pinhole camera to enter into a 1/20th scale miniature house and photograph its interior.

Pinhole photography has an extremely slow shutter speed compared to a camera with a lens, often taking from a few seconds to a few minutes even in bright daylight and tens of minutes in a well-lit room when using ISO 100 film.

Therefore, it is difficult to shoot hand-held, and must be secured with a tripod or similar device to prevent it from moving during shooting.

In principle, when shooting in Paris, where a tripod is not allowed, the camera is placed on a flat surface such as a table or bench on the spot, or on the ground if nothing is available.

A can camera, which has neither a winder nor a viewfinder, cannot take one picture without changing the film before taking the next.

As I don't want to change film outside, I prepare several similar can cameras with a sheet of film in each can in advance to go and take photos.




Since this is a pinhole camera without a viewfinder, it is impossible to know what the picture will look like until it is developed.

There are some major failures, and occasionally, amazingly great successes, but for the most part, the results are so-so.

But don't give up there.


I like the printing process the best in my pinhole photography, where everything from camera making to printing is done by hand.

Even if the negatives are difficult to print, the images I have taken the time and effort to obtain are printed with respect and care, using photographic paper suitable for fine art prints.

For more information on making pinhole cameras, please refer to external sites, such as the online workshop of the Japan Pinhole Photographic Society (YouTube videos in Japanese).

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