So, I came across this Kickstarter Campaign.
Here’s what one of the cameras looks like (image copied from their Kickstarter page and for which I do not own any rights):
They have a lot of models but were I to get one, I would get this one. It can be yours by pledging $140 (the retail price will be $168). It is the ONDURAMA 6×17 Curved Plane panoramic camera. Of course, there are a few other I would be interested in.
HERE is a Flickr gallery of images taken with the cameras from their original Kickstarter campaign (this is their second campaign for an improved design and more models).
For them not familiar with pinhole cameras, they are basically a box that holds the film, and a manual shutter that lets light through a pinhole and onto the film plane. You control the exposure by how long you leave it open.
“Wait just a crooked minute!” you say. “Last we heard from Disperser, he’s gone digital and he ain’t looking back! . . . who is this, and what have you done with Disperser? I mean, not that we care; we don’t read his stuff anyway, but he was good for the occasional laugh.”
Relax, folks; it’s really me. And, I ain’t buying one of these. And even if I were, I would do it strictly for the esthetics of it. It is a beautifully hand-crafted piece of photography’s modern history.
I mean, I would actually like to buy one, but I really can’t justify it because it would just sit on my shelf. I suppose if I did buy it, I would likely use it at least once. But then, I could just use some of the box cameras I do own.
However, I really don’t want to get back to film. Still, I got to wondering . . . could I duplicate the effect? Well, let’s see.
I took this photo . . .
I say that is my typical processing, but previous posts show a few overworked versions. The above is close to what I saw . . . perhaps a bit more color saturation . . .
The thing is, as a small photo it does not really convey the impact of the scene unless I push it a bit more like I did for this photo.
Anyway, I’m meandering from the subject.
Pinhole photos vary in quality, color tone, sharpness, etc. To recreate the effect I played around in onOne and Topaz, and then tweaked a few more things once back in Lightroom.
You can click on those to get slightly larger versions.
I liked the second one, but there was too much of the center that was sharp, so I simulated a tilt-lens effect to get this.
Eh . . . it’s not that close, but it does resemble some of the pinhole photos I’ve seen. With a bit more effort I am sure I could duplicate the effect.
BUT! . . . say I could get even closer to what a pinhole camera produces; there would be no point to it; the fun of getting a pinhole image is more the process itself than the end result; the use of the camera, calculating the exposure (a light meter is highly advised), and the final print one gets back from the developing lab (or develops oneself) and can be held with one’s hands.
I wrote this post for two reasons: one, I think these guys deserve support for what they are doing, and two, photographers who have not heard of this might be interested in picking up one of these for their enjoyment and experimentation.
OK, OK . . . three: perhaps some wealthy patron of the arts will be interested in seeing what I would do with these (one of each model) and make a generous contribution to the campaign in my name (the $1,300 contribution nets you one of each camera model). Why, were that to happen, I would do a number of posts about the cameras, their use, and the photos I take with each of them (there are a number of film formats available).
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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Edited to Add:
Here are links to some reviews:
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.