A Record Of Light
LONG EXPOSURE PINHOLE PROJECT
In 2014 I started mass producing pinhole cameras made from small metal containers. This long-exposure pinhole project allows the photographer to record for a longer amount of time, taking the basic pinhole camera a step further than a few seconds or minutes of exposure.
For this project, the basic pinhole camera is constructed using an Altoid Mint tin. Black and white darkroom photography paper is placed inside of the camera. It is important that the camera remains stationary and taped to an object for the duration of the exposure (I tend to tape my pinhole cameras to metal posts and trees out of a bypasser’s view). The cameras are then left to expose from anywhere between two days and 240 days! The longer the exposure, the more light trails from the sun you will record. Due to this extremely long exposure, moving objects such as cars and people become obsolete and water becomes very still and flattens out.
If you know anything about photography, this is where you ask, “Isn’t the paper completely over-exposed when it come out of the Altoid tin?” My answer is “Yes, you are right!” Your paper is completely over-exposed and if you were to place it in a tray of developer it would turn completely black. Once the pinhole lens is closed and the camera is taken down, the image will need to be scanned into a computer and will essentially become your original file. The brand of photo paper, the type of photo paper (fiber-based or resin-coated), the age of the paper, the surface finish of the paper, as well as the weather all play into the color of your image once removed from the pinhole camera. Mysterious colors including reds, greens, blues, etc., appear from the black and white photo paper. Your image on the photo paper will be a “negative”, so you will need to invert it to make it a positive image. Scan your photo paper in subdued light so that the paper gets minimal additional exposure to light. Once the light of the scanner bed hits your photo paper, it alters the papers color (so no pressure, you essentially have ONE shot at this).