The Botanic Gardens have today unveiled a new festival focusing on pinhole photography. The event is scheduled to run for two weeks, and is designed to be accessible to both professional and amateur photographers, as well as interested members of the public.
Kenny Bean organised the exhibit and has been working as a photographer for 25 years, branching out into pinhole photographs around 5 years ago. He described how “film cameras and digital cameras are quite strict in the photography that you do – you can see the image come back so you know its going to work, whereas pinhole photography is very random. You’re not sure what you’re going to get so it’s more of a surprise and it’s a different challenge to get a picture out of a pinhole camera than a digital camera.”
The festival includes works by Jason Cornell, an artist who places a pinhole camera in his mouth and photographs everyday objects, as seen from the back of the throat. Minnie Veiss, another proponent of the art, uses a Camera Obscura set-up in conjunction with pinhole techniques.
The Stills Gallery and the Camera Obscura building are also involved in the project, with the gallery hosting a reading room where people can learn more about methods and techniques. The Camera Obscura is hosting children’s workshops where kids can make a working camera obscura, which they can then take home.
The festival is open every day from 12 till 4pm, and features an open dark room for visitors to use as they wish. For complete novices, Bean explains that they are running “a beginners workshop, 2 till 3 o’clock every afternoon, so they can come and learn…how to take photographs with biscuit tin cameras…and then once they’ve learned how to do that they can come back…and just carry on working in the dark room themselves.”