Self With Pears

I started a "Sheet A Day" pinhole project a couple of months ago, in which I shoot one sheet of 4x5 film a day in my Zero 4x5. I want to really get to know this camera and I thought this would be an interesting practice to help me with that. I have been enjoying the project for the most part! I did finally run out of steam last week on day 46 though. But I kept on going anyway. 

As I go develop the photos i do a rough scan with my iphone and a light-box to see what they look like. I am uploading them all on my Flickr here (If you are interested in seeing them let me know. we will need to be Flickr contacts. They are not fit for public consumption!) It has given me time to decide which ones I want to scan on the V700 at Newspace

This is one that I really liked. I feel like there is something here, but am not sure what that "something" is. I like what is going on with the pears, for example. I like the sort of mundane self portrait in the background. I feel like there might be a project in here somewhere. I just need to suss it out somehow...


Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.
— Pink Floyd. Time.

I have a large format pinhole camera that takes really, really wide angle shots. I have been struggling with it since I got it. I can’t quite figure out how to compose a shot, or even what the best kind of shot is for this camera. So I decided to burn film through this mutha so I can maybe learn something about how it works. I’ve spent a lot of quality time with this camera lately.

A few weeks ago I was in a “Dark Side Of The Moon” mood and listened to this album several times from beginning to end. This song, these lyrics, really stood out for me at that time.  As these lyrics were rattling around in my mind I came up with the idea for this photo I was curious to see what would happen if I pinholed a clock’s arms moving around in a circle. So I tried it. My original idea was to start the photo at 11:11 (I have a thing about 11:11) and I did do that, but the shot turned out over exposed. This was the second shot and it came out better exposed.

Is this the best photo I have ever taken in my life? No. But I learned some things from it. I learned that having a theme, or an idea in your mind is a good way to get inspiration. I may kick around more photos around “time” as a theme.

I also learned that for this camera you have to get in very, very, very close. This was close and it wasn’t even close enough. Also, I like the way still life looks with this camera (using 4×5 sheet film), as opposed to landscape. I think the crazy vignetting works well with still life. So. Note to self.

My foray into Large Format Pinhole photography

I'd been eyeing this camera for a couple of months. For some insane reason I have had this bug to do large format pinhole photography and have been shopping around for cameras. I have also been interested in zone plate photography so, hands down, the Zero 45 won the in the "WANT" department. So when I came upon some extra cash I bought it! It was a birthday present to myself. 

Since my Zero 2000 has the same wide angle as the Zero 45 without an extension frame I added one to my setup. I thought it would be nice to mix things up a little bit and have options. 

My very generous friend Jeff sent me an amazingly awesome magazine contraption that holds six sheets of film! And I received a pack of Arista 100 for my birthday. So I was set! 

I spent the week trying out all of the various settings. I shot a couple with the extension frame, without the extension frame. I shot a few using the zone plate settings. It didn't take long to get through six sheets. 

I ordered a Mod54 and developed them Friday evening. Since I don't have a scanner that will scan 4x5 I went to Newspace to make prints of them. 

The whole process has been fun and a great learning experience. I am not sure what to make of the actual photos concerning subject matter and composition. I suppose I will get a handle on this the more I use it. Practically I have a lot to learn. For example, I really scratched the negatives getting them into the tank and I will need to be more careful next time. Another consideration is to load my tank in a light proof room as the dark bag is a bit too small for all of the stuff inside of it. 


Pinhole, no extension  frame (25mm). 4 minute exposure. 

Zone plate with one extension frame (50mm). 4 minute exposure.

Pinhole. No extension frame (25mm). 1 min. 25 seconds.