Last year I joined my local photography club. The club holds regular competitions and I was amazed by the quality of the bird and wildlife photographs. I’ve never been much of a natural history photographer. So it’s not surprising that my own photographs did very poorly in competitions. In particular, a judge criticised a woodpecker photograph that I submitted because it was clearly on a bird feeder. “Hand of man!” he said as he dismissed my attempt.
I love the immediacy of digital photography. In fact, I’m puzzled how anyone managed to gain expertise in the days of film: it takes hours, sometimes days, to get any feedback on the shot you’ve taken. By that time, I’ve usually forgotten about the camera settings I used or even what I was trying to achieve with the photograph.
That said… there’s something about the tangibility of using and developing film that’s missing from digital photography. I find film photography thoroughly more enjoyable—even if the resulting images are no better than I could get with a digital camera. It feels like there’s more craft and expertise involved.
About this time of year, when the days are lighter, I get the itch to load a film camera and mix up some chemicals. So this week, I thought I’d tell the story of how I develop a black and white film. I’ve found lots of great advice on the internet, but there was little for absolute beginners, so that’s where I thought I would start.
Last Sunday (30th April) was ‘World Pinhole Day’. So I decided early on that my photo story this week would be about pinhole photography.
Initially, I’d planned to take and show some pinhole photographs. But as I played with the idea, I realised that the more interesting story was about the making of the pinhole camera.
So think of this as a DIY Photography story.