Claudia Wornum > September 2008 - Featured Pinhole Photographer

Monday, September 1, 2008

"The first time I saw pinhole imagery was in an alternative photography class. I was amazed that you could use the long exposure times to 'ghost' figures in and out of the final picture. There is a wonderful series by Julie Schachter in The Visionary Pinhole by Lauren Smith. These photos were so inspirational, so innovative to me, I'd never seen anything like them. I mulled over the possibilities but didn't begin in earnest till about a year later when I was completely bored of my current batch of lens photos. I decided to shamelessly imitate Ms. Schachter's ideas. After a lot of challenges: working out how to get any image, much less and interesting one, I learned I wanted an entirely different outcome. I had started backpacking and was far more drawn to landscape. I also wanted to use the open ended possibilities of the home made pinhole camera to make a foundation for experimental processes. I could cut a full roll of 120 mm film in half and create a continuous panorama. I could use 8 in. x 10 in. Ortho Litho films, placed side by side in giant aluminum cans to get an extra wide angle, detail rich large format image.

I particularly liked to solarize the Litho in the darkroom. The huge surface area of the negatives provides a lot of information to explore. I develop my own color negatives so I can tweak the process at any point. I use black and white film and print chemistry on color films and vary the temperatures and timing on everything. Expired films seem to work best for me, they carry their own surprising quirks and I feel less precious about the investment, consequently I'm even more inclined to break the rules and take risks. It's a long way from my inspiration but I still plan to adapt Ms. Schachter's 'Bathers Series' into a subjective vision, possibly involving alternative processes, certainly using a pinhole camera."

CK → Since the Fall season is much about nature and change, I am happy to be able to announce this next pinhole photographer feature. Claudia's pinhole solarizations of nature inspired me the first time I saw them. Being a nature lover myself, I enjoyed how her solarized pinhole C prints gave me a unique perspective into back country landscapes she traveled through.

All photos © 2008 Claudia Wornum and Reproduced by Permission