Pinhole PhotographySilvia Gonzalez de Leon

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For some fifteen years I have been making use of the pinhole camera for specific explorations. Every time I go back to it, I discover new things, frequently by accident, and this ability to feel surprised is the reason I continue to be faithful to this kind of photography.

First, as there is no lens in between, I discovered the possibility of getting very close to the objects and see them loom very large, playing with the size of things and changing their scale.

A monumental cup in the foreground, a minute women in the background who could fit inside the container…

I also discovered serendipitously that I was able to take a direct photograph of the sun. I found the effect to be so interesting that I decided to use it for a series of twilight scenes.

The sun, photographed with this camera, seems to enter the pinhole in rays that follow a spiral path, like gushes of light that are ordered in a peculiar way.

The path that is followed by light is different in each image, sometimes it resembles a labyrinth, other times it is like an eye, or sometimes a halo can be seen around the heavenly body.

What is known in photography as flare acquires very special qualities in pinhole photography.

It is possible to design the camera you will be using. A wide-angle camera, for instance, which will leave its round imprint on the film, a possibility that is not allowed by conventional cameras, which only take one part of the image because they have to adjust to commercial formats.

I built a camera with a cardboard box made with recycled film, designing it with a very narrow pinhole (2.5 cm) because I wanted to be able to include as wide a vision as possible to shoot landscapes and obtain a black vignette around my images.

With this camera I took the nudes I here present. Everything seems to be farther away than it actually is. In the two close-ups, the models were very close, at a distance of only 15 centimeters from the camera.