About “Pinhole, Printed”

“Pinhole, Printed” is a modern take on an old photographic technique. I have a passion for pinhole cameras. Like most other photographers, I have switched to digital cameras and never looked back – except for pinhole photography.  I love the unique perspective of pinhole cameras and the analog quality of film.  As a deaf man, the visual impact of images has always been very important to me.

I have been taking pinhole photographs for many years, almost always with cameras I have made myself from cardboard or wood or metal cans, or from existing camera bodies that were radically modified to take various film backs.  In other words, they were difficult to reproduce and not easily shared.  Each offered a different perspective and world view, some better than others.  I have taken pinhole pictures as far north as Labrador in Canada, and as far south as Antarctica.

One of my more extreme examples was a pinhole telescope, created for a partial solar eclipse in 2002.

 

Pinhole Telescope and 2002 Partial Solar Eclipse

Pinhole Telescope and 2002 Partial Solar Eclipse

With 3D printing, my horizons have expanded, since 3D printing makes it possible to design and build an incredible variety of things.  It wasn’t long until I revisited pinhole cameras and in the process of designing my first, I realized this was an opportunity to bring pinhole photography to others with a camera designed for the purpose, rather than hacked and modified (Holgas, for example) for pinhole use.  I then focused on designing and building a basic camera that would be relatively easy to print and reproduce on 3D printers the world over.  It took a lot of iterations (over 35) with tweaks to address the limitations of plastic extrusion and make it possible to print a good, sturdy, and light camera that would stand up to weather and handling.

Failure is not final!

Failure is not final!

The result was Flyer, the first 3D printed camera to be funded by Kickstarter, and now in the permanent collection of the New Mexico History Museum. [Flyer 6×6, Clipper 6×18 Win Honors!]

Test Print of Flyer 6x6

Test Print of Flyer 6×6

As a Kickstarter stretch goal, I designed Clipper after my original wooden panoramic pinhole camera, and the result has exceeded my expectations. [Inspiration for Clipper]

Flyer & Clipper on exhibit at New Mexico History Museum

Flyer & Clipper on exhibit at New Mexico History Museum

Pinhole cameras aren’t all I do, of course.  By nature, I’m a maker, tinkerer, and experimenter.  In my professional life, I’m a technologist and inventor, holding 35 U.S. patents at last count.