Pinhole photography class at the Royal Photographic Society in Bath
It is quite easy to think of photography as being a highly complex and technical process however, the principles of photography are very simple and a basic pinhole camera can be constructed with the types of items found in a typical rubbish bin. While the image quality of these cameras is basic by modern standards, there is a mystery to the pictures and in some situations, a pinhole camera can capture images beyond the ability of even the most sophisticated digital SLR. Throughout 2017, I will be running a series of one-day pinhole photography classes at the Royal Photographic Society’s (RPS) HQ in Bath.
The workshops introduce the fundamentals of photography and camera construction before the students make their own cameras and use them to undertake a set of tasks. The students will process their negatives in the darkroom.
If you have never seen a picture appear in a developing dish, this is one of the wonders of analogue photography.
During the class, we also look at contemporary photographers that are exploring the potential of pinhole cameras.
No prior knowledge of photography is required and all materials are provided.
For more information or to book visit the RPS website
Pinhole photograph taken with home-made pinhole camera
Extended (12 month) pinhole picture from Ditteridge near Bath
The owner of the car on the left of this picture must have reduced their carbon footprint massively as it has hardly moved over the 12 months of this exposure. On the right, cars appear only as faint, unrecognisable ghosts. One of the fascinating qualities of these images is that they record features which the passing observer wouldn’t notice. How would you know which car had been abandoned if you took a normal photograph of a car park?
The lines in the sky show the passage of the sun across the sky through the year.
Abandoned car at Cheney Court
This image is part of an on-going project at Cheney Court near Bath. More images from this project can be seen here.
Many photographers feel that while their digital cameras produce amazing quality images when used correctly but believe the craft of the media has been taken from them and embedded in software applications. The darkroom is still a place where the true craft of photography can be found. Darkroom equipment which was once priced beyond the means of the typical enthusiast photographer can be picked up in online auctions for a tiny fraction of its original value. Sadly, courses on the subject are slowly disappearing as colleges convert their darkrooms into digital editing suites.
DeVere 504 enlarger
Traditional black and white photographic prints still have some significant advantages over their digital equivalents the most obvious being its archival quality. A properly processed and washed black and white print on fibre based photographic paper should still be around in a hundred years time. The digital equivalent would need regular conversion by the photographer and their progeny to be available for future generations.
My darkroom is just outside of Bath, it houses two enlargers, a Devere 504 covering a range of film formats including; 35mm, 6cm x 6cm, 6cm x 7cm, and 5″x4″ and an LPL C7700 enlarger for 35mm up to 6cmx7cm.
Classes are limited to a maximum of two attendees.
Typical workshop content might include; an introduction to darkroom equipment, film processing demonstration, contact printing, enlargement, use of multigrade paper, dodging and burning and split grade printing.
If you would prefer to have the workshop at your home or workplace I also have a portable darkroom which can hold between three people including myself.
The price per person which include all materials is £160 for the day
For two people booking together the workshop is £300
If you would like me to deliver the course at your home or workplace give me a call or drop me an email.
My darkroom experience
I have taught both digital and film photography for over twenty years and have worked as a commercial photographer for nearly thirty. While all of my commercial work is now digital I am still passionate about traditional photography.
My training courses can be combined into a three day workshop covering fundamentals of photography including pinhole cameras and darkroom work. Photographic lighting including flash, incandescent and fluorescent and digital image editing using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.
Please contact me if you would like to know more about combined analogue and digital course.
On Thursday the 22nd of August I am running a one day pinhole photography workshop in the beautiful grounds of the National Trust’s Dyrham Park Estate.
Over the course of a day attendees will be introduced to the principles of photography (analogue and digital) before making their own working cameras and then taking pictures around the site.
The price for the day is a very reasonable £25 per person which includes all materials and entry into the grounds. Spaces are limited so book up early to avoid disappointment.
To book a place call 01225 892 374 or get more information please visit the Dyrham Park site by clicking here.
Pinhole image of the National Trust property at Newark Park, Gloucestershire
It is this time of the year that I adopt my alter ego of The Pinhole Wizard and collect the pinhole cameras that I scattered across the country in the depths of Winter. These simple cameras take a single exposure over a full 6 month period. They are exposed to all that the British Weather can throw at them. Many are full of rainwater, pollen, insects and sometimes air rifle pellets. Here is just one of the pictures ‘harvested’ this Summer from the National Trust’ Dyrham Park Estate near Bath. The image has lots of little spots from grass pollen, the lines in the sky is a record of the sun as it passes across the sky through the seasons. You can see more examples in my extreme pinhole photography page
If you are interested in a talk on the subject or a practical pinhole photography workshop send me an email or call on 07973 631185
6 month pinhole picture at Dyrham Park.