A view of the sky taken with a pinhole film camera, a Holga 135 PC. The camera has a 0.25 millimeter hole instead of a lens and uses 35 mm film. So it is really old school. I use an Ipod Touch App to tell me how long to hold the shutter open so there is some tech involved. I also have to use a tripod and cable release to get decent results. Which looks kind of funny overall because the camera is an inexpensive plastic contraption. But I have fun with it.
My MIL Nana gave me another film camera for Christmas, a Holga 135 PC. It doesn’t have a lens, it has a small hole (one fourth of a millimeter) where the lens is supposed to be. This is getting back to basics on photography. It has a manual shutter also. The shutter opens when you press the button and closes when you release it. This is because very little light gets through the pinhole and thus the shutter needs to be open for an extended time.
In bright sunlight you just open and close it as fast as you can. For shots in shade it may require up to 10 seconds. Inside shots can require a minute and a half.
(This is our dove nursery. We always get at least one dove nest here every year. Last summer I think we may have had three. Not all at the same time. We try and leave them alone and not stress them out.)
These cameras are known for making soft dreamy shots. Also, there is no focusing as it has a large depth of field.
The hard part is figuring how long to expose the film. A lot of chatter on the web about buying light meters and blah blah blah. Fortunately there is an app called PinholeMeter that I downloaded to my Ipod Touch. It uses the Touch’s camera along with the fstop and film speed to give you an exposure time. It worked great. Complicated light situations like the above are fun. I took readings on the rock wall, the shadowed glass, the wreath, the hedge, and the shadow. I got widely different exposure times so I used the wreath setting. As a result the rock got a little overexposed. It makes me appreciate all the ciphering that a digital camera does when it sets the aperture and exposure time.
All I need now is a “Take the Lens Cap Off” app. I took about ten shots before I realized that the lens cap was still on. Oh well.
I took the first roll of shots in and around the house just to test it and the app out a little bit. I am really pleased with the results.
Of course this camera requires a tripod because of the exposure times. I am also going to get a cable release for the shutter. Anything to cut down movement of the camera is helpful.
These images were made with 400 speed film. I have now loaded it with some slower 100 speed film and will be taking it out and about a little bit.
I love my digital cameras but there is something about film that really gets me. The richer colors of film, the nostalgic look, I don’t know exactly what it is but I just love film. I know that film in general and pinhole cameras in particular are pains in the butt and the effort is worth it to me.
What did you get for Christmas? Tell us about it.
I took this pic back in late November before it got real cold. I took with my Diana Mini Lomography camera in the split frame mode where it puts two pics on one frame. So this pic is from one half a frame.
I just love the solitary moodiness of it, the low fidelity, the grain of the film, the whole deal. I even love it that the pile of white rocks dominates the pic and almost looks like a giant, creepy flower blossom, and the dark sculpture is obscure.
In case you were wondering what was on the other half frame:
Same park, different pond.
Why does the camera have a half frame mode? If you find out tell me and then we’ll both know. It is quirkiness like this that makes me love my collection of strange little plastic cameras.
Water World Wednesday