This is quite exciting for me as it is my first post from a film that’s been run through my Zero Image pinhole camera. A camera without a lens, and in it’s place the tiniest little hole which forms the image. The camera is a teak masterpiece made by Zernike Au from Hong Kong. These cameras aren’t inexpensive, but they’re like a piece of fine furniture! Of course there is also no viewfinder or lightmeter either. What’s really fun is it allows me to see in a new and freeing way without having to worry so much about the technicalities of photography and to be able to concentrate on what I see in front of me. Because the “lens” is just a tiny hole (0.18mm in diameter – f/235) this makes for some fairly long exposures. This particular image required 30 seconds if I recall correctly. The beauty thing is that I use colour negative film which allows me to overexpose almost as much as I want without the worry of ruining my image, so I always give at least twice as much time for my exposures as what my meter indicates. So with these long exposures I can now interpret movement in my images and in this image it allowed all the small waves to blend together and lets us see quite clearly what is under the water in a way our eyes cannot. This adds an element of mystery to many images and a bit of fun too. Another unique feature of this camera which translates into a “different feeling” image is the fact that this tiny pinhole creates diffraction of the image forming light rays to such an extent that the whole image has a very ethereal look to it almost like what a soft-focus lens or diffusion filter might create on most other cameras. This pinhole, due to it’s size also creates virtually infinite depth of field (what is in focus) from very close in front of the lens right off to infinity. Remember that most modern lenses max out somewhere around f32 or so while this “lens” is an f/235 aperture. Another fun fact about this image is that it was created on a film I have had in my freezer since it expired back in 1989!! That is a very well ripened film which doesn’t seem much worse for wear considering it’s age.
You certainly can’t tell from this photograph that I was standing amongst roughly a hundred tourists who flock to this gorgeous viewpoint to have a photograph of themselves standing in front of it for a souvenir ( I took maybe three for people who handed me their cameras). Stepping off the boardwalk I carefully balanced on a few large rocks to get this shot setting my tripod up in the water. Of the hundreds, or even thousands of images made that day of this scene, I would venture to guess that I made the only one with this kind of camera!
[Zero Image 6×9, Fujicolor 100]