Based on the earliest photographic principles, pinhole cameras allow us to return to pure analog photography, without the need of complex electrical or mechanical equipment. Their construction lends itself to a more relaxed practice of photography, without a focus on fast shutter speeds or small apertures; where the only variables are composition and proper exposure.
Instead of taking hundreds or thousands of images, the process is focused into single exposures that last anywhere from a couple of seconds to six hours, or even months at a time.
Selections from my current photographic projects coming soon.
Lensless photography takes us back to the earliest days of photography’s history, before Louis Daguerre and William Talbot invented the first modern photographic processes, when photography was merely a theoretical possibility that lingered in the subconscious mind of a select few.
Drawing from his observation of nature, Aristotle described how light traveled through a small hole and projected itself on an opposite plane. Euclid even theorized how the pinhole demonstrated that light travels in a straight line. Almost a century earlier, the Chinese philosopher Mo Di also described the principles of the pinhole camera, describing it as a “locked treasure room”.
Nearly fifteen centuries later, Persian scientist al-Haytham drew upon the same concepts to base his ground-breaking theories on the principles of optics and visual perception. Al-Haytham was the first to create and properly set-up a camera obscura and suggest that what projected onto the plane was the image that existed on the other side of the aperture.
Of course, al-Haytham used the camera obscura merely to study light, and it is likely even he did not dream about the possibilities of a photographic process. But the pinhole camera lived on and remained popular among artists throughout the medieval ages and the Renaissance.
Interested in pursuing your own?