Ok, full frontal disclaimer… this event takes place in Berkeley. I know, I know. I can hear some of you groaning already…
But Berkeley is good for a few things… like amazing radio (KALX you rock!), incredible Indian food (Vik’s, yummm!), used record/cd shops (I love you Amoeba), a wealth of intellectual and progressive “capital” that truly drives our country forward (despite how annoying it can be sometimes), and this photography store: Looking Glass Camera & Photo Supply. Their motto is “the camera store that loves you back!” and it’s really true.
This Sunday, April 25th, they’re hosting their annual Pinhole Day Workshop & Celebration in honor of Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Photobugs are likely familiar with the concept, but for you laypeople out there, a pinhole camera is the simplest kind of camera consisting of nothing more than a box with a tiny hole in it. There is no actual lens.
It easy to make a pinhole camera out of a box or cyclinder (I’m going to use a coffee can) by simply poking a hole into your container. You need a way to cover the hole… simplest method is thick tape, like electrical tape. You also need a larger opening into the container so you can put your film in. My coffee can already has one built in… a shoebox, similarly. And then the whole thing has to be relatively light-tight, so you don’t get light leaking in through seams to expose your film in unwanted ways.
I won’t get into all the physics of it, but the neat thing about pinhole photography is that everything from the closest blade of grass to the farthest horizon line are all equally in focus. You can also make multiple exposures, or create interesting visual “tricks” with long exposures.
In any case, The Looking Glass is like one of those old-school mom & pop shops. They’re always throwing fun & interesting events to bring the community together around a shared passion of photography. Others include Print Swaps, Summer Lectures, Photo Contests, Free Studio Portraits on Halloween (you have to be in costume!), and more. Plus all the other stuff you want from your camera/photo store, and great prices that are comparable with the big boys in the city, but you don’t have to drive across the bridge.
Sunday’s workshop costs $10 for adults and $5 for kids… In their words “Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day is a great way to create and share the most historic and simple form of the camera. Our workshop gives you the chance to make your own camera, capture your image with a minimum of fuss, then print out your photo in our darkroom. It’s the ultimate in hands-on photography!”
I’ll be there. Hope you will too…