Mobile Giant Pinhole Camera for the 1997 Bradford Festival

I have been making and working with pinhole cameras since 1985.  They have taken many forms, from the Giant Camera fixed on the back of a pick-up truck for the 1987 Bradford Festival, to handbag cameras, metal, cardboard and wooden boxes of varying dimensions.

The work is an ongoing experiment and adventure, the images are so unlike the way we percieve through our eyes that they open our minds to new possiblities of seeing and understanding the world. I’m not interested in taking pictures of what I have already seen but trying to make pictures of what I imagine and discovering new perspectives.

A very brief background on Pinhole Photography

Pinhole photography is lensless photography. A tiny hole replaces the lens. Basically a pinhole camera is a box, with a tiny hole at one end and film or photographic paper opposite. Light passes through the hole forming an image inside  the ‘camera’. Exposures are long sometimes even hours and the images are softer than pictures made with a lens and have a nearly infinite depth of field.

The first known writings about the basic optical principles of the pinhole are commented on in Chinese texts from the fifth century BC. Chinese writers discovered that light travels in straight lines. The philosopher Mo Ti was the first known to record the formation of an inverted image with a pinhole or screen. Later the phenomenon was observed in Egypt, Greece. It was mainly used for scientific purposes in astronomy, in Europe during the Renaissance, it was fitted with a lens, as a drawing aid for artists.

Since the 1980s there has been a revival of pinhole artists around the world, thinking outside the box and creating beautiful, unique and lyrical imagery. I am glad to be part of this community.

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