non-technical pinhole psychology

Worldwide Pinhole Day 2022

Today was this yeas worldwide pinhole photography day. The idea is that everyone around the world photographs with lensless photographic device and submits the photographs to the organizing site. No awards given. There is no contents; just photographing and having fun.

Hang on there, litte buddy..

Pinhole cameras are very .. odd. It is actually very hard to make interesting photographs with a pinhole but at the same time pinhole cameras are very easy to use. Open the shutter and close. That’s it. It is the utmost camera which outcome you just cannot completely know beforehands.

I’ve also found that this kind of camera makes the outcomes secondary. After such good day I don’t care if the photographs are good or not. If all photographs would be ruined I wouldn’t be dissapointed at all. Maybe a bit because I would like to have had captured some memory from the day, but hey – now I have at least this blogpost!

Pinhole cameras are careless and because they are technically very simple, you don’t have to spend time on technical things and therefore live in the moment better. And the expectations are low because .. well, the outcomes are usually very low in terms of quality. But that is just fine! We need to embrace the non-perfection as our society seem to always aim for perfection.

Strange attachments and unordinary camera angles = fun!

For me it was very good and refreshing day being around and photographing with only a pinhole camera. I enjoyed sunny spring day, fresh air and some tea in the park. Walking around with pinhole camera got people interested and I had many nice chats with people explaining about the camera.

Sun, tea and pinhole camera – all you really need.

I will post the outcomes here if any after I have developed my films. Thanks for reading! Please comment if any thoughts rise because of this, I will promise to read & reply!

non-technical psychology

Stop taking street photographs

Did the topic irritate you? If your answer is yes, this article is for you.

If you have shot street photography and questioned yourself of why are you doing it, should you bother people, how to take photos of strangers then you should start listening yourself. Your inner self is asking you the right questions and you try to fool yourself. Instead of being you, you try to be something else.

Just take the goddam photograph or don’t take it.

It is that simple. If it is hard to take one photograph then something else is messed up inside you. This might be difficult to accept but when you accept it, you become free and start to see.

Street photography has a high performing factor; you really really want to take that awesome street photograph you have seen online or in books. But when you go out on the street and try really hard you come home exhausted and with at the best – mediocre or just crappy shots. People photographed from back, too far away. And when you zoom in into a photo that you think you really took candid you suddenly notice at least four people staring at you.

If you feel awkward to photograph on streets or unsafe and try to find answers from online then you should just stop street photography. First of all it is probably a bit burden for you. And by your behavior on streets it is annoying for others. It is probably not really not worth it.

I know that the term ”decisive moment” is a bit worn out. Well, it has worn out badly. But it is the essence of street photography; you save some moment from this world what is worth keeping and worth sharing. It tells a story. It makes the viewers interested. But you cannot force it. Decisive moment cannot be created. But when you find one, you know it. You know it in your guts so hard that you cannot leave without taking a photograph. And that is the moment you should use your camera. You probably drop into zone where nothing else matters – what people think, how close you should be etc. You have the full license to photograph. Depending how long you have hold camera in your hands in your life you probably have been in this moment – maybe more than once.

Next time you are questioning your actions then you should really understand that inner you is asking you to stop. I would also argue you are taking mediocre or bad photograph at that time. ”Would I dare to take photo of that person?” – probably you are too far already because you are a bit afraid, it seems. The person has noted you already and your insecurity. And probably it would not be interesting shot at all because of your hesitation. So there is your answer. No. You shouldn’t take that photo. You don’t need to think about it. Your hesitation has answered to you already. If it would be a good photo, you would have taken it already.

So next time either take the photograph or pack your camera into your bag and go for nice coffee somewhere. Save yourself. Relax and accept the situation. Only after that the magic starts to happen.

pinhole technical

Analyzing pinhole with scanner

I’ve read many times that people analyze their pinholes with a scanner. I tried this today with Epson V600 and my conclusion is that the resolution is nowhere near to make any good analysis. The shape / quality of the hole is probably pretty hard to see. I scanned at 2400 dpi and on my file one pixel equals 0.01mm so the difference between 0.28 and 0.32mm pinhole is only four pixels. 

These are two commercial pinholes from eBay. The millimeters are the advertised sizes and the cyan lines are lines placed for the advetised millimeter distance.

Because the resolution is so low even at 2400 dpi scan, I can only say that the pinholes might be as advertised based on the measurements I made. Both pinholes were purchased from same seller (1 year apart). Based on sellers microscopic images the hole should be really clean.


Exhibition: Kristian Jalava and Jukka Silokunnas at Photographic Centre Nykyaika

Photographic Centre Nykyaika, Tampere, Finland

Today was opening for two exhibitions at Nykyaika; Kristian Jalava’s “Invertible World” and Jukka Silokunnas “Entropy 2”. Both artists work is amazing, playful and very interesting.

Kristian Jalava’s work is done by exposing normal darkroom silver gelatin paper on a pinhole camera. Sounds normal, right? The thing is; the works are huge. Biggest print at show is about 3×4 meters (118 ” x 157″). The prints are the originals making all of them to be “negative”.

“In the photography project Invertible World, Kristian Jalava darkens various buildings into pinhole cameras and exposes large negative images directly on black and white paper. With his experimental photographic method, Jalava utilizes the static structures of society as part of the analogue image-making process. Jalava looks at the phenomena of a changing world from the perspective of buildings – in a shelter of structures that maintains slow time.”

I had a chat with Kristian about his work and these discussions are always eye opening and so fruitful.

Jukka Silokunnas exhibition was downstairs and he is making mostly video art, altough he had some physical objects also in display. His playfulness is so visible in his own person and in his work. I chatted with Jukka too and he told he want to use joy & fun as part of his work. And that works so well. I started to think myself how could I make uplifting art because we cannot have too much of it. Jukka’s work is amount materialism, dissasembly and .. junk. His work method is quite unique and totally interesting.

In both artists work one can see that all the hard work is needed to make such work. Nothing comes easy. Both artist work in very physical way; Kristian by exposing & developing enormous prints and Jukka by dissambling a van to small pieces. Crazy and nice guys, both of them.

I left the exhbition thanking myself for making myself to see the exhibition after a very rough two days. I felt like a new man after returning back to home. Well, of course big kudos to Nykyaika for being such awesome place. I feel blessed to live in a city with such gallery & photographic centre.

grain technical

Digitizing film negative with digital camera

I’ve previously tried to digitize my 135 film with digital camera without any great results. Few years ago I purchased Canon FD slide copier + bellow combo and it takes only Canon FD lenses so I tried with 1.8 50mm FD lens and the results were .. horrible. Well, great in stylistic way.

I printed some mounting rings so I could use enlarger lens instead of the smuhy mushy FD lens. I got everything running and ..

I was blown away by the quality.

Left: Digitized version, Right: clip from the 30x40cm darkroom print

I rushed to pick one of my favorite negative which shows Tri-X grain in beautiful way and digitized that. I was very sure I couldn’t pick that grain. But it almost did. So close but remember this is quite a challenge. Grain (or actually; the grain clumps) are very small. The part used as example is a small part of 135 film negative.

The clip analyzed here is about 13x18cm from 30×40 enlargement. Calculate the enlargement amount if you want, it is quite big. The original is 135 negative.

I think digitizing this way is very very good This is just unbeliavable and mind blowing. I never understood digitizing with digital camera could produce such high quality. Also the easyness digitizing a single roll is so much faster than with scanner when the roll is uncut. I believe it takes 2-3 minutes to capture all 36 frames – and the quality is much much better than with flatbed scanner.

So question: is this some kind of hidden secret? Voodoo? Is the flatbed mafia next to my door when I post this?

Digitized with Fujifilm X-T30 + Nikkor 50mm enlarger lens, ISO 160, 0.9s exposure time. On right darkroom print on silver gelatin.

Below is the full frame from 135 film negative (and the previous clip):

exhibition saltprint

My salt prints in exhibition

Two of my salt prints were on display in Laikku, Tampere, Finland during 5.2.-27.02.2022. It was a collaborative exhibition of Pirkanmaa photography clubs & societies.

The prints are made with UV enlarger from 135 film negative. Exposure time ~5 hours. The print area is about 18×24, framed in the exhibition to 40×50 size.