Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Cutting Edge Pinhole Photography

Every description of pinhole photography includes some kind of statement like it’s not very sharp. I suppose that depends on what you photograph.

The diverse ecosystem in our front yard has done very well in the heat, punctuated by the occasional gulley washer. I sharpened the Classic 20” to deal with it.

Sarah used Father’s Day as an excuse to replace a serrated slicer that came with a cheap knife set we got as a gift. The new one makes quick work of a baguette. 

It’s a little intimidating but we were so impressed that we also replaced a smaller bar knife we’ve had since the 70’s.

This exhibition of cutting effectiveness reminded me to sharpen my favorite, the six inch chef’s knife.

We usually have three scissors in the kitchen, interchangeably used for cooking, gardening and making pinhole cameras.

I’ve been trying out some new materials and methods for making cameras, which requires a craft knife with a new blade.

Using my little coping saw to cut the notch in the winder for a 35mm Populist.

After decades of managing our privet hedge with an electric trimmer and never being satisfied with it, I finally went totally manual, adopting the method recommended by This Old House’s Roger Cook. For the straight line trimming of new growth, I got a pair of hedge shears with a power lever and extendable arms to reach all the way to the middle. The locks on the arms are exactly like tripod leg locks. It’s actually easier than wrestling with the electric machine while trying to hold the safety switches on and not cutting the cord in half.

Most of the work within reach is done with a pair of hand clippers, gathering handfuls of new stems and cutting through them at once. 

We have had this pair of long-handled loppers for at least a decade. You can see the wear and tear on the blade but it can be brought back to an effective edge in a few minutes with a file.

Most of the work in maintenance of a privet is removal of the dead branches that are woven among the living. Some of them require a pruning saw to supplement the loppers.

I admit to cutting my fingers with the new knives, but the privet itself and squeezing around rose bushes to get to it drew much more blood than the human-made implements.

So, sharp enough?

All with the The Evil Cube, .30mm pinhole 6cm from a 6x6cm frame. The film is Ilford Delta 100 semi-stand developed in Rodinal 1:100.

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