Friday, May 14, 2021

My 21st Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

I find it difficult to do any planning for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. I’m one of the people who answers the emails when you send a message to When I’m responding to a question prior to Pinhole Day, I always end with: “We’re looking forward to seeing what your part of the world looks like through a pinhole on April 25.” That’s how I think about the assignment, to convey something about your location, the conditions that day, what was going on in your life or a comment on the current state of the world, through the tiny aperture. I can’t really predict a lot of that before it happens, so I’m left with just loading the camera and keeping my eyes open.

I chose Supper Club Shorty. I’ve been studying ultra-wide angle lately. Shorty was the shortest camera I had made up til then. I thought it was extremely wide angle at 35mm from a 6x6cm frame. It was one of two medium format cameras I took when I went abroad in 2017. I haven’t used it since. It’s never had black and white film in it, so I filled it up with Ilford Delta 100.

A notable annual event in our yard is the blossoming of the magnolia. We had a very early spring. In early April we had two days in the 70s F. It bloomed at least two weeks early. Temperatures returned to somewhat more seasonal, so the flowers persisted until Pinhole Day. This has to be pretty early in the morning because the sun is just south of east. I used the ever popular trick of placing the camera in the shadow of a branch to eliminate flare.

The lawn has responded to the temperate weather. I won’t keep up any suspense. This is the picture I’ve submitted. It illustrates what it was like where I live in the world, and the daffodils indicate the time of year and from their profusion on Pinhole Day, the early spring.  My Scotts Classic 20” shares some of the charms and attitude of my pinhole cameras. A little postmodernism with the shadow of the camera doesn’t hurt.

What originally captured my eye in this hallway grouping was the title page of the coverless paperback copy of The Idiot. We once booked a hotel in Munich named the Prinz Myshkin Parkhotel. The owner had started a vegetarian restaurant first, and everyone told him he was an idiot to try it in Munich, so he named it after that title character. I took my copy from college along to read on the trip. I put it on my night stand when we got home and never finished it. The cats knocked it off. Sarah found it the other day. Spenser has the irritating habit of chemically identifying his territory, so we usually keep the doors closed to Sarah’s Studio and Andy’s room. I opened the doors to get the exposure down to 25 minutes and sat on the bed to keep an eye out for Spenser. I got involved in the submissions to the WPPD gallery and missed him when he went by just before the end of the exposure. I caught him before he created an incident.

The little faux greenhouse that’s been in various places in our backyard for years, with some fearsome looking rose branches in the foreground. Pretty sharp, eh?

I like the relief graphic of the leaf decomposing and I’m a sucker for raking light.

An iron urn on the old sewing machine base waiting a new assignment.

The house framed by the magnolia as recommended by a Kodak pamphlet I once read on how to take better pictures. Incidentally, no rising front on Supper Club Shorty.

The magnolia with raking light later in the afternoon.


I was pretty confident that one of these would work out and had made an insurance exposure in the camera Sarah was using. I was pretty sure I was going submit the lawnmower. I spent the rest of the day cooking and talking with Andy and Kristin over FaceTime.

Supper Club Shorty has a .27mm pinhole 35mm from a 6x6cm frame. Ilford Delta 100 semi stand developed in Rodinal 1:100.


  1. Really enjoyed your photos and the story about your photos.

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