A story of pinhole camera design: a pinhole camera is just a box with film or paper on one side and a tiny hole on the other. When I decided to experiment with pinhole, it never occurred to me to buy a camera – I just assumed I would make them.Read More
My photograph "Millennium Park, Chicago" was included in an exhibition of pinhole photography at la Lunares, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My thanks to the curator, Paula Guillardoy!Read More
Introduction to solargraphy.Read More
I'm happy to have been chosen as part of the new exhibit series at the Harvest Cafe in High Bridge. The show is up and there's a reception next Saturday, the 18th, at 6PM. Come down and take a look...
Since I've referred to these photographs in some of the things I've written about my work recently, I decided to pull them into the digital realm for the first time. These pictures were made along North Broad Street in Philadelphia. I was interested in the everyday, the mood of a place. While I changed tools soon after, from lens cameras to pinholes, I don't think my approach has changed all that much.
More of the photos are here.
Back in the summer of 1977, when I was a kid in North Carolina, I found in my National Geographic World magazine a punch-out pinhole camera that used 126 film. Some weeks ago I was digging in some old papers and turned up just this one print. No sign of the film. But I do remember lots of roadtrips in that van.
I'm happy to announce that next week I'll be installing some prints at the Electric Moustache Gallery in Winston Salem, NC. Thanks to my sister Zap, the family group show that we've been kicking around for a while is actually going to happen. It will be up for the month of September. On view will be my photographs, plus paintings and other creations from Zap McConnell, sculpture from Matt McConnell, and glass from Betty McConnell.
There's an opening at 7pm this coming Saturday - come on down and see!
Back in 1997, I was lucky enough to be in school. The photo critic A.D. Coleman came by and gave a talk: he said something to the effect that "in ten years the only ones using film will be willful dinosaurs." Willful dinosaurs. I thought it was a good phrase. I didn’t really mind being one. Back then, I was wandering the streets of Philadelphia with a 2x3 press camera and a really old lens, attempting some version of Atget. Pretty much a willful dinosaur. A couple years later, I found my way to pinhole through thinking about camera design. I was looking at panoramic photos taken by Josef Sudek, and I wanted to try that. Not having an eighty-year-old Kodak, I figured designing my own camera might let me come close to what I was looking for.
Still using that old baby view camera, I started a new project in the summer of 2000. I took my first 120 pinhole camera along almost as a lark - but once I was back home, the pinhole images interested me more than the lens-made ones. I decided maybe I didn't need lenses anymore.
Skip ahead a dozen years: I recently heard, second hand, someone’s reaction to my making pinhole cameras: "Why go back to the stone age?" I could make almost the same photographs using a digital camera and some not terribly complicated post processing in photoshop. Why not do that?
As long ago as 1872, Edweard Muybridge used photography to show things that happened too fast to be seen any other way. Today we don't lack for technologies that can expose otherwise invisible things. But they aren't all complicated. Pinhole photographs still reveal a different reality, one that we don't usually take the time to see. It’s a bit much anymore to think that photographs show truth, but I still like the direct connection to a specific time and place that is recorded on the emulsion when I use film.