Use of light – Image 8 – Justin Quinnell

An alternative process that has interested me from lectures is pinhole photography. A process where photographic paper is placed into a light tight object, a small hole is created in front of the paper that’s covered in tape. When the opportunity to take a photograph irises, the tape is removed for how even long the desired shutter speed is (dependent on the size of the hole and the size of the object), typically around 20-40 seconds for a quick exposure. The light then exposes the photographic paper which is then developed in the darkroom like a typical analogue print.

Pinhole photography is cheap because a camera can be made from anything. Pinhole photographer Justin Quinnell explains the different types of pinhole camera that you can create, ranging from cans and boxes to wheelie bins and toilet rolls, the possibilities are endless. Quinnell has a lot of experience with pinhole photography and is very much the modern reveloutionary with the process. Photographers like Henry Fox Talbot have experimented in the past with this process because it was a lot simpler than using wet plates and manual dials. But in modern day, even though Quinnell has high quality film and digital devices at his fingertips, he still chooses to reap the benefits of pinhole photography.

Bridge view_corr sml

A photograph / photography lighting technique that Quinnell uses that particularly inspired me was his 6-month exposures. He leaves a pinhole camera outside for six months, which physically embeds the image onto the photographic paper. The lighting technique is simply a really long exposure which captures the sun trails and the objects around the camera. Its very unique and that’s why I saw it to be an interesting use of light to create an interesting image.

After the image is onto the photographic paper, even though its on black and white, Quinnell scans it in colour (400dpi) to create a blue tint to the image, making it look like the shade of the sky and consequently making it look more interesting. Overall, the image looks surreal, but its incredibly truthful because the light is painted onto the paper, making it a physical light painting, and more truthful than images manipulated by the settings of a normal camera


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