While I was hiking Abram’s Falls a little while back, I decided to try out my new digital pinhole lens once again. I thought maybe I would have a little more success in the light of day. It was really fun to try out and I think I learned some valuable things.
This is by far my favorite shot from the day. Now a couple of you asked about the fuzzy, soft focus look that all these images have. They are not necessarily a standard in pinhole photography, you can get fuzzy or clear photographs. But all of mine were coming out with this very soft look to them. At first I wasn’t sure if my settings were right or something was on the lens. But as I reread the instructions I realized that the way they make the lens or pinhole cap, is by creating a pinhole in film. So where if you were doing traditional pinhole, you would literally have a hole that is putting light on film, this has film over the hole to keep dust etc from getting on your sensor. Now, I don’t know if this is the main reason for the soft focus look or not but it seems like the most likely to me.
Lesson #2–Always, and I do mean always, bring a tripod. I hadn’t really thought about this but in traditional pinhole, unless you bought a fancy traditional pinhole camera, you are usually making your camera out of a box or something like that. So when you take a picture and have much longer exposures, you’re going to put it down to do it. It’s not a hand held thing. But now I’m so use to just holding my camera that it doesn’t work that way. Even in bright sunlight it’s hard not to get a pretty significant blur, due to the long exposure. So, lesson learned, bring a tripod instead of propping your camera up on rocks.
Finally, you don’t have to count your seconds. Instead of timing myself with a watch or counting, “1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi…” and looking a little ridiculous, you camera has a counter for you. I was shooting with a Canon 5 D Mark 2 and when you change it to your “B” setting, which allows you told hold open the shutter for your chosen length of time, a counter on your top display screen will count the seconds. Very handy indeed! Just be sure not to move the camera while you’re trying to look at the timer. If anyone else is doing digital pinhole, I also highly suggest using a remote for the shutter. That way you are nudging the camera when while you hold the shutter open.
Well, that’s it. Another exploration of pinhole photography! If there is anyone else trying this out, I’d love to hear some feedback or experiences of your own!