More Detailed Workshop Information

The Lecture:

My PowerPoint lecture has evolved over many years and is altered to suit particular audiences. This can range from interested amateur photographers to university students, astronomical and science societies, artists, teachers as well as to primary and secondary school children.

In just over an hour the talk covers: The simple science of how a pinhole forms an image. Its fascinating 500 million year history (!) covering its use in: nature, perspective, optics, astronomy and photography The contemporary approaches showing various pinhole cameras (including: Bread rolls, traffic cones, adapted books, holes in the Berlin wall, Cameras made of snow and ice, using holes in a cream cracker, a pinhole suit and various adapted cameras.) and the many images these cameras can produce.

I then show my own work which ranges from images taken with drink cans, wheelie bins, cameras that fit in my mouth, 360-degree images, Wellington boots, underwater cameras and using durations in time from a 1/5000th of a second to 6 month exposures. I also have built up a collection of other pinhole photographer's work, which I use in longer duration workshops.

I make the talk as entertaining and stimulating as possible, including some audience participation as well as an unnerving use of a golf club.

The Workshop:

I show people how to make pinhole cameras out of discarded aluminium drink cans; we then load our cameras with a sheet of traditional photographic paper, take an image, go back to a darkroom and develop it into a black and white negative. The cameras, which take around 10 minutes to make, take a wide-angle picture of 160 degrees. After exposing the paper negative with an exposure of between 5 seconds and a minute (depending upon indoors or outdoor use) the camera is taken back to a 'darkroom' where the paper negative is seen to appear using traditional photographic chemicals.

The whole process from making the camera to creating a final image takes less than an hour although workshops normally result in people want to take several photographs over a longer period of time. The resulting negative image is fascinating in itself, (and rarely encountered in our digital age) but can easily be viewed as a positive using the inverse setting found on most camera phones, combining both traditional and new technologies.

I can fit many other elements into my workshops including the use of colour, 360 degree, paper cameras and many other approaches. With limited time, however, these become simple demonstrations but I do endeavour to allow every participant to take away a small camera, which when installed at their homes after the workshop can take a 6-month duration exposure.

What I need:

I supply the materials although a ready supply of empty aluminium cans is handy. I also need a room, which can be adapted into a simple darkroom. (I provide the red safelights, dishes, chemicals etc). I also currently do not own a digital projector