I have been shooting pinhole photography for a little over a year now. At first, I tried to make my own pinhole camera, but I quickly realized that I was terrible at it. I’d much rather spend my time making pinhole exposures then redoing my pinhole camera failures. I started researching various models when I came upon Sergey Lebedev and his Pinhole Works cameras.
Well, they are technically cameras, but truly they are brilliant works of art. Each pinhole camera is unique. Lebedev uses driftwood he finds washed up along the Baltic coastline. They use 120 film and come in 6×6, 6×9, and even 6×12 formats. The pinhole camera I use is a 6×6 format made of driftwood and sea glass. It produces a sharp image for a pinhole camera which makes it fun to use, especially for indoor exposures.
When shooting with Lebedev’s camera, I’m always on the lookout for the potential for motion. How can I use motion within my composition to tell the best story possible? Since a pinhole camera has no viewfinder to help with framing your exposure, it can be guesswork at times. However, just like any other camera out there, the more you work with pinhole, the more the camera just becomes an extension of the photographer.
Pinhole has allowed me to embrace the imperfections in an image and I’ve felt free in just experimenting with the camera while trying to tell a story. An introvert by nature, Sergey’s camera has also given me the opportunity to connect with people I wouldn’t normally have talked to because everyone has questions when they see what I’m photographing with. It has been a great way to spread a little love for pinhole photography.