• Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2013: The Results Are In

    April 28th was Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2013. I loaded up my MintyCam with 35mm film and my Zero Image with 120 film and headed out the door.

    Pinhole photography is difficult, despite the simplicity of the cameras. At least I struggle with it.

    My first attempt at pinhole photography was during a photo class at the Smithsonian. I used a Quaker Oats container and photo paper. The results weren't very good. And that's when I actually GOT results!

    I built a matchbox pinhole camera a few years ago and was thrilled to get ANY images on the film.

    WICA and the gum tree - From my homemade matchbox pinhole camera

    Not to be deterred, I came across the website of Chris Keeney. He's a great resource for all things pinhole, including the MintyCam, a pinhole camera made from an Altoids tin. 

    I bought a MintyCam from Chris and ran a roll through it for last year's Worldwide Pinhole Day. Success!

    Poplar Pond - The MintyCam worked!

    To see the entire roll from last year's Pinhole Day, check out my Flickr set WPPD 2012.

    The pressure was on for this year. I'm happy to say that both the Zero Image AND the MIntyCam came through with flying colors!

    Poplar Pond - Made with the Zero Image Pinhole 

    Bridge Over Four Mile Run - Made with the MintyCam

    All of the photos from Pinhole Day 2013 are in my Flickr set WPPD 2013. Take a peek and let me know what you think.

  • Frogs, and Turtles, and Snakes - Oh My!

    Frogs, and Turtles, and Snakes - Oh My!

    There's a small pond near our house called Poplar Pond. It's part of Long Branch Nature Center, one of three nature centers in Arlington County. 

    For some reason I'm obsessed with this little pond. I stop there at least once a week, if not more often. I love how the change in seasons affects the pond. Different critters are active at different times of the year and you never know what you're going to see. I think I've taken a bazillion photos there.

    Earlier this week I was on my way to the library and I stopped by the pond. I was shocked to see a small snake gliding around on the surface of the water. I hadn't seen any snakes in the pond before. 

    As I walked around the pond, I saw several more snakes, including a large one who came out of the water to lay on the platform. (You can see the platform in the two photos above.) Soon she was joined by two smaller snakes and they proceeded to mate. I counted six snakes total.

    I went inside the nature center and asked the naturalist about the snakes. He said they were Northern Watersnakes, very common to freshwater here, and that it's mating season. These particular snakes give birth to live babies, usually between August and October.

    This morning I went back to the pond armed with my camera, hoping to see the snakes again. One of them was resting on an exposed log, and there were two others swimming and basking in the sun. I walked all the way around the pond looking at the snakes, American bullfrogs, and Eastern Painted turtles.

    One turtle climbed out of the water and walked over the top of the snake who was resting on the log. The snake didn't seem to mind at all!

  • I Declare Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2012 a Success!

    I Declare Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2012 a Success!

    Earlier I wrote about my previous and not-so-successful attempts at pinhole photography:

    Mark Your Calendars: Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2012 Is Coming Up Fast!

    And now, all that's changed. I finally got images on my film using a pinhole camera!

    This was the first year I've participated in Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, which happened on April 29, 2012.  Just to be on the safe side, since I've had limited luck with cameras I've made myself, I used a MintyCam, an empty Altoids tin reborn as a fantastic little 35mm pinhole camera. I bought my MintyCam from Chris Keeney, a very cool guy who makes very cool photographs, and not just with pinhole cameras either.

    The image above was the one I submitted to the Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day website. If you have time, I highly recommend taking a peek at all the great pinhole photos submitted from all over the world.

  • Mark Your Calendars: Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2012 Is Coming Up Fast!

    Mark Your Calendars: Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2012 Is Coming Up Fast!

    It dawned on me today that I've only got one week to get ready for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2012! The annual event takes place the last Sunday of April. 

    I've never taken part before, mostly because my pinhole photography experiments have been complete disasters. Well, maybe not COMPLETE disasters. I did manage to get images. Just not very good ones.

    My first pinhole camera was made out of one of those cylindrical cardboard Quaker Oats containers. I used sheets of 5 x 7 photosensitive paper inside to capture the image. I think I got maybe one picture that was halfway interesting.

    A few years ago I built a pinhole camera out of a matchbox. (For a good tutorial, check out I carried the darned thing around in my pocket for a week. It used 35mm film, and I (stupidly) attached a roll of 36-exposure film to it. It seemed to take forever to use up that roll, especially since I was dying to see what I got, if anything.

    This year I'm determined to have a pinhole photography success. I've got a Zero Image 6 x 6 pinhole camera, lots of film, a light meter, and the Pinhole Camera Exposure Guide.

    Keep your fingers crossed!