Nancy Breslin reports from Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2011.
For the past ten years, the last Sunday in April has been Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Because that coincided with Easter this time, it turned into Worldwide Pinhole Photography Week. People around the world had between April 23 and May 1 to take a picture with a pinhole camera and post it at http://www.pinholeday.org/. While there is still a month to get them online, you can already see the work of over 1300 photographers, using anything from matchboxes to high end digital cameras (with pinhole body caps). I just took a quick look at ALL of the work so far, and it is an amazingly varied collection. There are pieces by students and workshop participants who are taking their very first pinhole photos, and also images by professional artists. The majority are in black and white, captured on film or photo paper, usually inverted but sometimes presented as a negative (or a diptych of positive and negative). At least two are in 3-D (#255 from UK and #1283 from USA). There seem to be lots of people on porches and an unexpected number of stuffed animals. Boats, cameras, children (sometimes unusally still as in #92 from Australia, or caught in movement as in #869 from USA), city scapes, landscapes… there’s a little of everything. You’ll see some great color: a patchwork wall (#1279 from Thailand) and a pink toilet (#1533 from Hong Kong) or a single pear (#588 from the USA). Memorable black and white shots include sneakers (#1463 from USA), a giant fork (#552 from USA) and a skull ring (#434 from Brazil). Not surprisingly there are beautiful spring flowers, such as a sea of tulips (#232 from USA), a distorted arrangement in a vase (#203 from Japan), and a single tulip bowing to the ground (#1383 from USA). One of my favorites is a self-portrait of Therese Brown and a babka (#840).
I myself ventured out first thing on Sunday morning in my bathrobe, and photographed blossoms in our apple tree (#1328). We were expecting rain and I didn’t want to miss my chance.