Friday, May 11, 2018

My Eighteenth Pinhole Day

A common complaint on Pinhole Day is that it's cloudy, cold and windy.  This year in Oshkosh it was bright, relatively calm, and fairly warm.  Whatever the weather, you gotta do pinhole today. That wasn't my problem. I was just oddly uninspired. But that's no excuse either.

The defining idea of Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day is that we all take photos on the same day, so illustrating the conditions in your corner of the globe is an obvious theme. This spring hasn't been very conducive to plant growth, so in the early morning light, I went out to get these daffodils, just barely erupted from the ground, which are usually in full bloom by now.

For the last two years in the spring, I had total knee replacement surgery, so I thought a picture of the current state of my knees was an appropriate subject. Oddly, the newer scar on my right knee is less noticable than the older one on the left, but neither is really prominent in this picture.

In the afternoon, we went out to see if we could make use of some of that sunshine and went to Menomonie Park. I kind of like this image, but two years ago, we also went to Menomonie Park and I submitted a picture of a tree by the shores of Lake Winnebago.

After the spring we had, the sun brought out a lot of people to the park, but I've never been one to approach people about being in my photographs. I thought this blue hammock with the white bicycle was interesting, so I snuck up as close as I could. Just as I closed the shutter, I was a little surprised when a couple rolled out the hammock. They didn't say anything about my camera and tripod pointing at them.

When we got home, the first crocus of the spring had popped up in the back yard. My submission last year was about the emergence of spring, and I don't want to repeat myself so soon.

When I start to get desperate late on Pinhole Day, I usually resort to a self-portrait at the computer reviewing submissions. I avoided that this year, but I took advantage of the sun in the west hallway window to document the current state of my mustache and managed to not look too crabby trying to hold absolutely still for 3 seconds, but still looking awfully severe.

Even on pinhole day, you gotta keep up the regular duties, so I left the shutter open while I chopped all the ingredients for chicken soup, apparently vigourously enough to shake the camera, capturing a stray sunbeam shining on my back which I wasn't aware of.

There was a full moon, so as soon as it got dark, I opened the shutter in the back yard, and left it there until just before we went to bed.

Last year for Pinhole Day, Justin Quinnel was promoting the slogan "Action against refraction" and I thought of that when I noticed the sun shining on the plastic prism in the window sill in the morning. Late in the afternoon with the sun streaming into the west window, I made this arrangement on the kitchen table. I submitted it as my Pinhole Day photo with the pinholier than thou comment: "Even on a day celebrating light traveling in straight lines, I acknowledge there are uses for bending it with shapes of transparent materials."

I hope you had a great WPPD and got to submit a photo.  As usually we're getting a wild variety of images with every kind of camera you can think of.  I have to give a shout-out to Sarah, and Andy, who both made my cameras look pretty good.

All with the Evil Cube. .3mm pinhole 6cm from 6x6cm frame on Portra 400.


  1. Very nice work, Nick. I love the prism diffraction one!

  2. Well, I didn't exactly show the capability of your original Populist camera in terms of producing a quality image, but I did get a photo that was meaningful to me. I had a small stroke that garbled my vision shortly before WPPD, and my overexposed selfie captured to a degree some of how the world appears to me
    currently. I was unable to drive myself to any of the locations I'd chosen for the Big Day, so I maybe I can be forgiven for turning inward this year and inflicting a self portrait on the gallery.

    I do look forward to WPPD and remain excited about the idea of this loose network of pinhole practitioners sharing their experience and locales on one day of the year. There is a majic in it that charms and resonates deeply somehow.

    Anyway, Nick, you came away with a lovely record of the day. Maybe in 2019 I'll try out the new model 35mm Populist and do more justice to your designs. And for those designs, info, resources and inspiration, I thank you.