My Task

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

I had the privilege of giving a presentation to the Central Maryland Photographers’ Guild about pinhole and alternative process photography. The idea was not only to give a talk, but also to give everyone a task based on the talk, and then return the following month to see how the participants have fulfilled that task.

My initial idea was to have everyone make a pinhole image, but I knew that that would present some real problems. As expected, when surveying the audience, nobody was still using film. This meant that they would not be able to make their own pinhole (an actual pinhole should not be used with a digital camera because it will allow dust to get to the sensor). I explained that although it would be possible to print one on Pictorico, ink does not really do a good job blocking light, so this would not work properly. The only reasonable way to do this would be to purchase a pinhole body cap.

I had planned to talk about the Bromoil process with examples of my work, which I did, but at the last moment decided to include Lumen prints in my talk. I am very lucky because I know a number of people who, having switched to digital and no longer have a use for their old photographic paper, have given their unused paper to me. I have been able to use much of it with the Bromoil process (an extreme example), but RC and glossy paper does not work with the process. That paper has oftentimes been used to make Lumen prints.

I decided to give the participants a choice of tasks. One option was to purchase a pinhole body cap and take a digital pinhole image. The other was to make a lumen print. Others are not as fortunate as I in having some old photographic paper, so I put together 30 bundles of paper and gave them to those who wanted to give this a try.

I was not going to present a task without doing it myself so I used some old Kodak Panalure paper to make a few lumen prints. In the past I have used this paper within my pinhole cameras because it properly captures the full color spectrum (as opposed to common orthochromatic paper, which does not). The offering here is one of the prints that I will be bringing on my return to the guild, and I look forward to seeing what others have done.

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About GLSmyth

GLSmyth.com GeorgeSmyth.com
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