Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Old school

In this day of million-megapixel-digital photography we sometimes forget how we all started. I can’t remember how this conversation started in the newsroom but the other photographer and I showed our age when we reminisced about our experiences with a pinhole camera.

What’s a pinhole camera you ask? Well first find an empty oatmeal box, cut a square hole in the side, cover it with aluminum foil, prick a tiny hole in the foil and you have one of the most ridiculous looking cameras ever conceived.

It was a rite of passage for photo students at San Joaquin Delta College in the Photo 1 course to make and use one of the contraptions as your first assignment in the course. The seconds long exposure was made onto a piece of enlarging paper which would yield at best fuzzy negative image. That was then contacted printed to get the final print.

Pinhole camera pictures were marked by soft focus, light leaks and true abstract imagery that still give me nightmares looking back. I think I destroyed my pinhole camera as soon as I done with the assignment. I don’t I think I will ever make one again. My days of old school photography are long gone. Give me a million megapixel camera any day.

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