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Why I Use a Pinhole Camera

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

A pinhole camera is nothing more than a box with a tiny hole on one side. By contemporary standards, pinhole cameras are positively archaic. There is no optical lens or viewfinder. The aperture of my camera is ƒ-256 and therefore exposures are typically long. Depth-of-field, the distance between the nearest and farthest objects of relative “focus” is infinite. Compositions are based on experience and dead reckoning.

Original cardboard box pinhole camera. (1995 - 2002) 4x5 format


Presently: Zero Image pinhole camera. (120 film, 6x9 format)


Why a pinhole camera? My sense of the wilderness is mysterious and ethereal. A pinhole landscape photograph is not about fine detail. Rather, the landscape is reduced to light, form, and, in many situations, movement. Indistinct forms heighten mystery. My aesthetic vision is influenced by the Hudson River School (mid 19th century American art movement) where the wilderness is typically viewed as unspoiled, pastoral, and timeless. Beauty and harmony are everlasting.

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