There is something special about a pinhole camera. There is
a beauty in its simplicity and rawness that technology has
not been able to better. There is a timeless quality that
can make the most uncomplicated subject seem full of poetry.
pinhole picture I take I hope to capture the joy and excitement
that the early pioneering photographers (Fox Talbot and friends)
must have felt when they took and developed photographs for
the very first time.
my first ever exhibition of pinholes, I have included a number
of subjects of a personal nature. From local surroundings
- Chatham Bandstand, Rochester Castle and the Cathedral, to
friends - Billy Childish, to personal belongings - typewriter,
pocket watch and trench cap.
these photographs have already been used in my latest poetry
book "Journals of a Jobseeker" and as an insert for The Buff
Medway's new album entitled "1914". Three pinholes of Billy
have also been used in his most recent box set of poetry books
as a picture of the author.
A wooden light-proof box (4" x 4") with a pin-sized hole made
through the front side. This allows light to enter and form
a negative image on photographic paper placed inside at the
back of the camera.
I aim the camera as best I can (besides having no lens,
a pinhole camera also has no viewfinder). I open the wooden
slide and allow light to enter through the pinhole. When I
think the image may have formed (anything from 40 seconds
to five minutes), I close the wooden slide. I then have to
use a light-proof bag to load fresh photographic paper.
I develop a negative print in my bathroom darkroom and make
a positive print from this by placing another piece of photographic
paper under the negative, exposing it to a light bulb for
5 seconds and developing that into the actual photograph.
of photography is not an exact science and the pinhole photographer
faces many disappointments in his darkroom. The hard work
will eventually pay off.
photographer laughs in the face of the delete button.
Wolf Howard was born in Medway, Kent in 1968. At 16 he became
a drummer, at 25 a painter, at 30 a poet and at 34 he became
a pinhole photographer and Super 8 cine film-maker. He is
a member of the Stuckist art movement and currently plays
drums alongside Billy Childish in The Buff Medways. He is
Further information: See Wolf Howard's additional
CV and paintings here.