Using a Pinhole Camera to Capture Rural Decay in the United States

One photographer, while on a road trip across part of the U.S, had the chance to try a pinhole camera currently in development. The results are beautiful, and if you enjoy film and large format photography, this is well worth your time.

As I watched this video, engrossed in the sight of a camera I hadn't seen before, I had a realization: I have no idea how you explain the allure and charm of pinhole and large format photography to somebody who doesn't know what it is. The images to my eye are beautiful and intriguing, a result of an antiquated but impressive process. While detail and depth are often sacrificed, the results are singular and have a quality that's difficult to define. But, if challenged by somebody with no interest in photography as to why I like the images so much, it's difficult to defend. Perhaps it's the difficulty of the capture, or the processing, or the history to the whole thing, but the images themselves — if captured on a modern digital camera — would be binned in all likelihood.

The camera used in this video is by 5119 Cameras and it is currently a Kickstarter project. I dearly want to share the project, but due to the myriad scams on the platform over the years, we try to steer clear of them. Nevertheless, you have the details to seek out the project if you wish, just at your own risk. Personally, I'd love to get my hands on one of these DIY large format cameras and give it a try, so perhaps that review will be somewhere down the line!

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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How beautiful! The idea with the camera! And the video is also good. Pleasant guy! Thanks!

Got me interested in the Fuji:).

I'm confused about the hesitancy to share the link to the camera's kickstarter while it's still active for a few days, and the campaign could probably use the exposure to help meet its funding goals? I know that there are always risks involved when backing a project, but what about this one seems like it could be a scam? This whole post is built around a video from someone else showcasing the kickstarter camera in use. David Hancock, the guy who made the KS campaign, has published hundreds of educational film photography-related videos (how I found out about him), including ones documenting his prototype tests of this camera throughout the past year. And he clearly explains his plans to use sustainable manufacturing methods and provide a large format film camera that literally anyone can use, regardless of experience, physical limitations or disabilities. Meanwhile just a few weeks ago, there was an fstoppers presale review of a camera bag that was only available on kickstarter at the time, and earlier this year there was a post promoting a kickstarter campaign from one of the fstoppers founders--for something that wasn't even photography related. Just weird to me to not link to THIS one...