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Dave Thomas | profile | all galleries >> Thru a Pinhole >> 2014 Extra Pinhole Day tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

2014 Extra Pinhole Day

2014 has become a bigger year for pinhole photography. In addition to the Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day effort on 29 April, Ye Olde Photographer got an itch to add some Schuylkill Valley historic sites to his pinhole catalog. The effort turned into a slight comedy of errors involving three different days, but in the end approached the desired result. ("Keep doing it 'til you get it right!")

We already had several shots of the 1910 vintage Pennsylvania RR Schuylkill Division bridge near Oaks, now part of the Schuylkill River Trail. YOP discovered a former station building in Birdsboro was slated to be moved to Pottstown, preventing its demolition and providing a resource for a tourist railroad and location for a BikeShare program. It seemed quite appropriate to record it in its original location prior to relocation, so armed with the 8x10 Pinhole Camera we built in 2013, we visited Birdsboro . Whilst out in that direction, we went on to Gibraltar, location of Allegheny Aqueduct , a part of the Schuylkill Navigation that allowed canal boats to cross a small tributary of the Schuylkill.

Being disappointed in the first set of station photos, we returned two more times. On the last trek we also returned to the aqueduct to try some different views. These photo excursions were augmented at various times by the Bronica SQ-A, a Canon G15, and good grief, even an iPhone!

All of the pinhole shots were taken on 8x10 Fuji HR-T X-ray film. This is a green sensitive film with emulsion on both sides (!) that is a little tricky to handle but much less expensive than "official" photographic film. Ye Olde Photographer has settled on metering and exposing at ISO 50 and developing in Kodak HC110, 1+63 dilution. Surprisingly, a developing time of three to four minutes provides sufficient density. This is essentially a workaround to avoid the film's tendency toward high contrast. Typical exposure times run around 7 seconds with this camera on a bright sunny day.

Scans of actual wet darkroom contact prints appear across the bottom row. A file for one of the shots is offered at 3200x4000 resolution, equivalent to a 400 ppi scan of the print. You can select "original" size and display it at 8x10 inches to get some idea of what the camera sees.

8x10 at the North Side
8x10 at the North Side
At South Side
At South Side
Photographer's View
Photographer's View
8x10 Setup
8x10 Setup
Contact Mask Parts
Contact Mask Parts
Parts Assembled
Parts Assembled
Mask Folded Back
Mask Folded Back
Sliding Paper In
Sliding Paper In
Negative In Place
Negative In Place
PRR Depot, Birdsboro
PRR Depot, Birdsboro
South End PRR Depot
South End PRR Depot
Allegheny Creek
Allegheny Creek
Allegheny Aqueduct
Allegheny Aqueduct
Full Res
"Full Res"